November 29, 2007
HEROIC CONSERVATIVES OF A FEATHER...:
Cameron in talks with Bush as Tories aim to restore historic ties (Nigel Morris, 30 November 2007, Independent)
David Cameron held talks with George Bush at the White House last night in a move to rebuild the Tories' historic ties to the Republican Party.
Making the first visit to Washington by a Conservative leader for six years, he discussed the international situation with the President during a 30-minute meeting. The talks covered the Middle East peace process, Afghanistan, Iran, global warming and free trade. Aides said the two men also swapped light-hearted anecdotes about cycling.
The meeting was a coup for the Tory leader's team who are keen to boost the party's image across the Atlantic. They believe that Tony Blair's departure has given them a crucial opportunity to repair the damage caused by former Tory leader Michael Howard's criticism of the conduct of the Iraq war.
Important as being the pro-American/anti-EU party is, they also need to steal back the Third Way.
David vs. Goliath (Liz Mair, November 29, 2007, The American)
Welfare reform is becoming a hot topic in Great Britain, where Conservative Party leader David Cameron is calling for a radical shakeup of the benefit system. Why the sudden fuss? For one thing, welfare rolls have barely contracted under a decade of Labour government. Despite the party’s pledges to get people off the dole and into work, since 1997 the number of benefit recipients has shrunk by just 300,000. Worse, according to the free-market Adam Smith Institute, more than 3 million Britons have been on welfare for over a year. Benefit dependency remains particularly widespread in Britain’s big cities. According to the Spectator magazine, one out of five people in Birmingham claims benefits; in Glasgow, Liverpool, and Manchester, that number rises to one in four.Posted by Orrin Judd at November 29, 2007 8:20 PM
According to Britain’s Treasury, millions of jobs have been created in the last decade, too—but more than 80 percent of them have been filled by foreign workers. It appears that many Britons now favor welfare over work. With as many as 51 separate benefits now available, there are plenty of options allowing them to stay on the dole.
Cameron and his new breed of Tories want to change this. In his speech to the annual party conference in Bournemouth this year, the Conservative leader said that Britain should look at reforms that have “worked elsewhere in the world.” Specifically, he is looking to Wisconsin, where ex-Governor Tommy Thompson implemented radical and aggressive reforms that ultimately cut benefit rolls by around 90 percent.