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December 22, 2005
British Tories Unveil The New Conservatism -- Socialism

It appears that British Tories need a strong dose of Margaret Thatcher more than ever. Their new policy chief, Oliver Letwin, wants the Tories to support redistribution of wealth as a central operating principle of the British Conservatism:

The Tories should support the redistribution of wealth and try to narrow the gap between rich and poor, Oliver Letwin, the party's new policy chief, says today.

In an interview with The Daily Telegraph, he says: "Of course, inequality matters. Of course, it should be an aim to narrow the gap between rich and poor. It is more than a matter of safety nets."

Although he refuses to be drawn on specific proposals, he signals a dramatic break with the past by saying that his party should support the redistribution principle.

"We do redistribute money and we should redistribute money," he says. "But we have to find ways that empower people rather than reducing them to dependency."

One of the chief tenets of Conservatism has always been a respect for private property and a belief in market forces to enable wealth creation for all participants in it. Having the government redistribute capital interferes with the application of that capital in genuinely wealth-building activities that naturally spread that wealth according to the trade of cash for goods and services. When government overly taxes the markets, it most often creates imbalances that depress the mechanisms that create jobs. Those jobs would create a natural transfer of wealth in exchange for the labor and the expertise.

The Brits have decided that surrender works in politics. Let's just hope the Conservatives don't embrace that for for warmaking aganst al-Qaeda.

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Posted by Ed Morrissey at December 22, 2005 11:27 PM

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