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Conservatives are the party of freedom. We believe in giving people more control over their lives, by cutting taxes and reforming public services. But there is more to Conservatism than freedom.
In recent times the dangerous myth has developed that the economic liberalism championed by Margaret Thatcher must now be matched by social liberalism. The myth has grown to the point where it is now widely believed that to be truly compassionate, Conservatives must be liberal. In fact, the opposite is the case. Britain today is marked not by an absence but by an excess of social licence. We must match economic liberalism not with social liberalism but with social conservatism.
Conservatives should instinctively understand this, for our creed has a moral object as much as an economic one. There is, too, an aesthetic conservatism, resistant to the ubiquitous banality and crude selfishness of modern life. In her memoirs The Path to Power, Lady Thatcher wrote of the 'unfinished project' of her government, what might be called 'social …