Below is a press release issued by the Conservative Party on 17/01/2002.
The Conservative Leader, Iain Duncan Smith, has said that the Party was firmly fixed on public services. He said that while the problems facing the country were changing, the values that underpinned the Party’s solutions were as relevant as ever.
In a speech to business leaders in Birmingham, he said that the Conservatives would renew policies using timeless principles to meet the challenges of our time, contrasting that with the Labour Party who stood for power without purpose, politics without principles and governing without direction.
He accused the Government of having a top-down approach to the public services, thinking that problems can be solved from the top of Government. “My instincts are always to build from the bottom up: to derive policy from the instincts and values of the people we represent, guided by our own values,” he said.
Mr Duncan Smith went on to say that policy renewal was inseparable from effective Opposition. “The way we develop policy will be characterised by leadership and direction, and based firmly on Conservative values,” he said. The Conservatives had always been successful, he argued, when they articulated a clear view of the problems that Britain faces, and found ways to solve them, by empowering people, rather than pushing them around.
While in Birmingham, Mr Duncan Smith paid a visit to a local comprehensive school, to meet with staff and pupils.