Tories Go Relativist

A quote from Tory leader David Cameron in The Daily Telegraph, 24 November 2006

I believe that poverty is an economic waste and moral disgrace. In the past, we used to think of poverty only in absolute terms – meaning straightforward material deprivation, [but in future] we need to think of poverty in relative terms – the fact that some people lack those things which others in society take for granted. So I want this message to go out loud and clear: the Conservative Party recognises, will measure and will act on relative poverty.

The role of government

The role of government is not to make all men equal in money and things, but in opportunity to become his full potential.  To allow a man to make of himself what he will, not to burden him with rules that make no sense and taxes that redistributes what he earns. 

The governments of both Europe and North America have over stepped both reason and are now blind to all but growing government to gargantuan proportions. 

Material poverty is nothing

Material poverty is nothing compared to the social poverty of the underclass.  None of these guys are starving to death on the mean streets.  What they lack is an inspiring culture; the self confidence to improve themselves; a reason to be.

absolute vs. relative

I never think of myself as a conservative unless this subject comes up. To the very core of my being, I see the problem of poverty as being absolute deprivation -- malnutrition, illiteracy, no access to medical care, homelessness. But lefties almost unanimously agree the problem is relative economic deprivation -- hurt feelings, a sense of inequality, a lack of luxury. If those are the main problems we face, haven't we already won the battle against true poverty? What exactly does David Cameron think he gains by taking this position? Does he believe it separates his views from those of his Labour opponents?