Speeches

Speeches to Bright Blue

SATURDAY 1ST JULY 2017 Speech to Bright Blue's Social Reform Conference: First Secretary of State and Minister for the Cabinet Office, the Rt Hon Damian Green MP CHECK AGAINST DELIVERY --- I want to thank Bright Blue for inviting me, but more importantly for providing an opportunity for serious Conservative thinking to take place. As we look ahead to the next five years we need this as much as ever before. The emergence of Bright Blue on the Westminster Think Tank scene was a welcome moment for those of us who want to see the Conservatives pursuing a sensible, centre-right…
TUESDAY 22ND MARCH 2016 Speech to Bright Blue: Conservatism and human rights Thank you for inviting me to come along here this morning to participate in your conference and in particular in the launch of the essay collection on Conservatism and human rights. I have to say, when I first heard that Bright Blue was doing this, I was absolutely overjoyed because from my point of view, I've felt slightly, in the course of the last eighteen months, that I'm in danger of turning into one of those CDs which has got caught with a scratch and just going on…
THURSDAY 21st JANUARY 2016 Speech to Bright Blue: Opportunity for all What kind of society do we want to live in? How can we help Britain to be and remain that kind of society? But I want today to set out what is, I believe, at least an important part of the answer. These are questions with which anyone who is serious about politics is bound to wrestle. They are so difficult that none of us can expect to know the whole answer to either of them. Much of what I want to say will be familiar to anyone in…
MONDAY 16th MARCH 2015 Speech to Bright Blue: A winning formula for young people It is a real pleasure to be able to take part in this Bright Blue conference focusing on the challenges and opportunities facing young people in modern Britain, not least because my boss is now the hon president of Bright Blue. As someone who regards himself as a liberal Conservative I’m a keen supporter of the work of Bright Blue. Two of Bright Blue’s defining principles are key to my view of politics: “optimism about human potential” and “enthusiasm for the future”. I strongly believe there…
TUESDAY 10th MARCH 2015 Speech to Bright Blue: Preparing young people for life in modern Britain The last time I spoke at one of these I made waves by saying I thought our Party needed to talk a bit more about what we’re for than what we’re against. You might not think that a particularly remarkable statement. So perhaps the fact a few journalists wrote it up says much about the impact Bright Blue has had on the political scene and on political debate generally. This is one of the most exciting think tanks around, with an important programme of…
MONDAY 2nd MARCH 2015 Speech to 'A future without poverty' conference: Putting poverty at the heart of the 2015 election Many thanks to the Fabian Society and Bright Blue for organising today’s event and to the Fabians for your important Inequality 2030 report. Thanks are also due to the Webb Memorial Trust for supporting today’s event and for the work that you do to put poverty on the public policy map. Putting the issue on the general election agenda is a shared endeavour between all of you and the Commission on Social Mobility and Child Poverty that I chair. With…
WEDNESDAY 26th NOVEMBER 2014 Speech to Bright Blue: True Modernisation In some Conservative circles modernisation has followed the path of “human rights” and “health and safety”: perfectly sensible concepts which have been distorted over time so that they are now boo words. In the minds of some, Tory modernisers are obsessed by gay marriage and wind farms to the exclusion of the interests of most people. As it happens, I am in favour of gay marriage and well-sited wind farms, but they are not at the centre of political debate. The need to modernise Conservatism, not just as a one-off…
MONDAY 7th July 2014 Speech to Bright Blue Conference 2014: Aspiration Nation It’s great to be here, and I want to begin by thanking Bright Blue for hosting this conference.The central message from today is that we win elections when we’re being optimistic about Britain.It’s there in our history - from Harold Macmillan’s ‘you’ve never had it so good’, to Margaret Thatcher’s revolutionary zeal for a property-owning democracy.When we’re telling a story about a Britain on the rise, about a Britain where our children can aspire to more than their parents, that is when we take the public with us.I…
TUESDAY 19th NOVEMBER 2013 Speech to Bright Blue: Which party should a liberal vote for in 2015? Three years ago shortly after the formation of the coalition I called for an electoral pact between the Conservative Party and Liberal Democrats at the next election. I now see that this was misguided. By 2010 I had spent more than 10 years campaigning for the Conservative Party to become socially and economically more liberal. I had hoped that we would win a majority as a modern, compassionate Conservative Party. But when we didn't, I saw the coalition and an electoral pact in…
WEDNESDAY 12th DECEMBER 2012 Speech to Bright Blue: What will Modern Conservatism mean in 2015? Some of the most resonant phrases which encapsulate deep truths come from obvious sources: the Bible, Shakespeare or the great novelists. Others come from less elevated sources. I have always admired the anonymous advertising copywriter who devised the phrase “Traditional Values in a Modern Setting” for one phase of the Daily Telegraph’s Evolution. Conservatism is about preserving the best traditional values: love of country, family and place. The desire to enable each individual to make the best of his or her talents, while giving that…