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Commenting on the Prime Minister’s vision for a “shared society”, director of the liberal conservative think tank and pressure group, Ryan Shorthouse said:

“Conservatism is often wrongly associated with excessive individualism – just letting people and businesses get on with it. The Prime Minister joins a movement of modernisers that have, since the 1990s, pushed for the Conservative Party to show that conservatism is and should be about human interdependency not just independence, and that conservatives believe a good life is also about social responsibility, not just individual success.

“The Prime Minister’s vision is politically and morally right. Liberal democracies, where people have freedom, will inevitably enable great differences to emerge between people – for example, in income levels and ethnicity. So the key is to develop ideas and institutions which not only enable people to be free and flourish, the focus of liberals, but which can enhance understanding and interaction between people from different social backgrounds, the focus of conservatives.

“Politicians can exaggerate the negative intentions and impact of the policies of their opponents or, in the case of government ministers, their predecessors. Whilst the Prime Minister is right that there are too many people in this country who suffer or struggle in silence, and the state can and should do more to support them, it is also the case that the majority of people have been served well by living in a liberal democracy and the policies of successive governments in recent decades. It is important to say this because there are opponents of liberal democracy on the Left and Right who pretend otherwise and are gaining support across the Western world.”


Notes to editors:

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