David Cameron writing at ConservativeHome:
We also believe in compassion. No party has a monopoly on caring, but I think as Conservatives we should be particularly proud of some of the commitments we have stuck to this past year. We are protecting the NHS from cuts because we know that for so many people it is literally a lifeline. And we have also protected our aid budget because, likewise, for so many people it is a lifeline too. And this party should be proud that because of the decisions we have taken in government, in four years’ time we will not have just paid down the deficit – this country will also have vaccinated more of the world’s poorest children than there are people in the whole of England.
I know that the Tory haters will be in uproar about statements like this but, if nothing else, I think Cameron is absolutely right that no party has a monopoly on caring. Linked with this, it’s scary how many people seem to seriously think that all Tories hate the poor. The arrogance of some people to view an entire political grouping of people in such a prejudiced and blinkered way is shocking.
Do the Tories always get it right of issues of poverty and social justice? No. Of course not. Are there some on the far right who couldn’t give a damn about the poor and only think about themselves? Sure. Just like there are on the left too. But I have no doubt that at the heart of the Tory party is a core of people who believe in compassion and want to create a country that brings opportunity to everyone. (Just to be clear, I believe the same is true at the core of all the leading political parties too.)
What if our political debate started from this place? A place where we believe the best about the majority of peoples motivations rather than tainting the majority on the basis of a few on the fringes? What if instead of hating, we chose to embrace the reality that in most instances our politicians from all parties are sincerely wanting to make the United Kingdom a better place? They - and we - might disagree on both the methods and indeed the desired outcome, but if we could at least recognise the shared motivations, maybe, just maybe, there could be a much great civility to our debate.