In a lecture to the Centre for Policy Studies this evening (Thursday 10 May), Jacob Rees-Mogg calls for a return to conviction politics:
“The battle of ideas has to be won. Currently, the Government is doing tremendously important things in terms of reforming welfare, education and other parts of the public service. However, this is done within a context of business as normal and it is not being seen as necessary to persuade people that life has changed… We must change perceptions around equality and fairness”.. “
He identifies some easy savings for government expenditure:
“There are some savings that are easy and should be made as a priority. This includes our contributions to the European Union and our aid to other poorer countries. These are often separated but the reason we pay £12 billion to the EU is as a subsidy to the poorer member states. On top of this we pay out £7.8 billion in overseas aid. This is not the job of government but ought to be a matter of private charity. “
He calls for a revision of environmental and recycling targets:
“Cheap energy will be essential if we are to compete globally. Hydraulic fracturing may be part of the solution but carbon emission targets will not be. Even if the greens are right Britain will make very little difference on her own and I would rather my constituents were warm and prosperous rather than cold and impoverished as we are overtaken by emerging markets who understandably put people before polar bears.”
“For a hundred years we have had essentially Whig measures even when the Tories have been in charge. This will not be enough to deal with the challenges of the next hundred years - so it is time for full-blooded Toryism with confidence in our country and courage in our convictions and a smaller state.”
The full text of the lecture can be downloaded from here.
Jacob Rees-Mogg is MP for North East Somerset. He sits on the Procedure Committee and the European Scrutiny Committee.