Policy Recommendations and Key Quotes | The Common Sense Group

The Mallard is honoured to have been sent an exclusive list of key quotes and arguments by the Common Sense Group, in promotion for their new book.

Common Sense: Conservative Thinking for a Post-Liberal Age

Bishop Michael Nazir Ali: What does Common Sense have to do with our Common Life Together

‘I am hoping the launch of the Common Sense Group in Parliament will be a kairos moment which leads to the affirmation of stable communities and the values and priorities which spring from a common tradition.’ (6)

‘The Church, in particular, should help in the forming of moral consensus on the basis of the Christian Tradition rather than succumbing to libertarian pressure.’ (3)

Rt. Hon. Sir John Hayes CBE MP: Turning the Tide – the Struggle for the Common Good

‘The Conservative party must look to its past, to the tory tradition and Disraelian ideal of “one nation,” if it is to develop a policy platform that can inspire the electorate. Winning the culture war is vital to such a national rebirth.’ (18)

Gareth Bacon MP: What is Wokeism and How Can it be Defeated

‘Changes in the law will almost certainly be required – for example, definitive amendments to the 2010 Equality Act as will new laws guaranteeing freedom of speech. Government funded institutions should be required to promote British values, traditions and history. ‘Woke’ campaigners have long used judicial interpretation as a cover for the suppression of speech and the encouragement of a sense of victimisation and grievance culture. Removing that legal cover and re-stating the importance of democracy and the freedom of speech will be a big step in winning the battle.’ (26)

David Maddox and James Sunderland MP: The conservative Case for Media Reform 

‘Conservatives need to be the Samson of the 21st century, understanding that the two pillars holding up the temple of wokeness are the broadcast media and internet giants.’ (37)

Media policy:

• Break up the BBC

• End the need for impartiality

• Treat social media as publishers and make them pay

• Repeal hate speech laws

• Ensure quality and transparency (38-41)

The Rt. Hon. Sir Edward Leigh MP and Sally-Ann Hart MP: The Judicial Activists Threatening our Democracy

‘In a political act, the justices of the Supreme Court gambled in order to stop Brexit. The Prime Minister called a general election, put the case to the people, and won a strong majority. Parliamentary democracy won and the politicised justices lost, but in order to prevent a repeat the case for legislative reform of the Supreme Court is compelling.’ (46)

Danny Kruger MBE MP: Restoring rights, Reclaiming Liberty

‘A ‘British Bill of Rights’, as proposed by some Conservatives in recent years to replace the HRA, at least has better words in the title. Yet the danger is that unless a Bill of Rights does the same job as the HRA, that is incorporate the ECHR into British law, we will be worse off than before because we will be subject to a court in Strasbourg.’ (50)

Lord Peter Lilley: In Immigration Policy – Numbers Matter

‘We should train British people if possible and only import skills where that is not feasible – and the bar for setting this criterion should be high. Wherever the Migration Advisory Committee find a need for importing specific skills the government should be required to plan action to train up British people in those skills.’ (55)

Chris Loder MP and Tom Hunt MP: Taking Politics Out of Policing

Law & Order Policy:

Hate Crime

• Investigations to be evidence led and not based on complainants’ ‘perceptions’

• Drop the misleading term ‘victim’

• Cease to record non-crime perceived ‘hate incidents’ against peoples’ names altogether

• Hate Crime Operational Guidance in its current form must be jettisoned and the College of Policing must be subject to far greater public scrutiny (82-85)

Public Order

• The Public Order Act 1986 amended to lower the threshold from ‘serious’ to facilitate police control of protests that deteriorate into intimidation and violence

• ‘Public nuisance’ to become a statutory offence and cover any conduct which endangers the life, health, property or comfort of a section of the public, or obstructs them in the exercise of their rights

• More police on the streets (85-87)

Andrew Lewer MBE MP: Blurring the Lines Between State and Independent Education

‘A blurring of the lines between state and independent education provision. A democratisation of access to excellence. A recognition that aspiration exists across all income levels. All these help us provide a bright future for our children. All could – and should – come through support and enthusiasm for what a broader independent sector could provide and thus not at the expense of ‘the squeezed middle.’ (92)

Education Policy:

• Blurring of the lines between state and independent educational provision o Programme of co-funded bursaries (92)

• More boarding school places for ‘looked after’ children (90-91)

Joe Morrisey MP: Importance of Apprenticeships and Technical Education

‘As the economy of the future takes shape, there is more and more scope for jobs based on specialist technical knowledge. A strong programme of technical education will be vital to developing our economy and building in the capacity to engage with other economies across the world. It is essential that we build in this capacity at an early stage, integrating it as a strong pillar of our education system. Both specialist experiential and technical knowledge will be key to building an outward looking global Britain.’ (94)

Nick Fletcher MP: Immigration and the Working Class

‘If we as Conservatives wish to restore trust between the public and our political system, and maintain the 2019 electoral alliance between our party and working class communities, we must do all we can to ensure that mass migration is brought to an end and the working class yet again feel that their Government truly has control.’ (99)

Immigration Policy:

• Immigration cap of 100,000 (98)

Lord Robin Hodgson of Astley Abbotts and Lord John Horam of Grimsargh: Population Growth, Immigration, and “the Levelling Up” Agenda

‘We need a[n immigration] system which keeps Britain open for business, aides the development of domestic skills as part of the levelling up agenda, and brings population growth to a reasonable rate. Really – it is only common sense.’ (106)

Immigration Policy:

• All jobs should be first advertised in the UK

• ‘New Entrant’ route should be suspended until the employment position is much better.

• A cap should be placed on the number of skilled workers allowed into the country’

• Create an Office of Demographic Change as an independent body tasked with undertaking a comprehensive transparent analysis of all aspects of demographic growth (105-106)

Alexander Stafford MP: Social Conservatism – Turning the Red Wall Blue for Years to Come 

‘We, as the Common Sense Group, believe that the Conservative Party has the opportunity to adopt a political philosophy which will keep the North and the Midlands blue for decades to come.’ (107)

‘Once the Brexit transition period is over, the Conservative Party will be at a crossroads.’ ‘By opposing unpatriotic political correctness, conserving British institutions, and reversing the diminution of our country’s stature and history, we can end the culture war and in doing so defend British values and our way of life.’ (111)

‘If we remain true to the voters who put us in power and stand by social conservatism, the Conservative Party will be the cornerstone of the Blue Wall for many years to come.’ (111)

Robin Millar MP/AS: A Common Sense Model for Poverty

‘Of primary importance is addressing the current dependency on the State. To do this, we need to reinvigorate the centuries old social contract between the individual and the State. As part of this contract, the State provides the essential resources for those in need (e.g. benefits for those unable to work, healthcare to all those who are ill, schools etc.), but in return, the individual must use these resources in a positive way and seek to play a useful role in their family, community and workplace […] we are now at another pivotal “postwar” moment – a springboard for this next iteration of our United Kingdom.’ (127)

Fiona Bruce MP and David Burrowes: Family Matters – the Case for Strengthening Families 

‘Family breakdown is an epidemic that is causing widespread misery and impeding the life chances of millions of young people. It is a national emergency which should have the same level of concern and attention as climate change.’ (130)

‘Government needs to champion the family. We must ensure that family is central to the way that Government thinks – in every department in Whitehall.’ (132)

Family Policy:

• Cabinet lead and Office for Family Policy, every department should develop a Family Strategy, clearly setting out what their objectives are in a single Departmental Plan, or at least include family policy in their Departmental Business Plans

• The Family Impact Assessment (aka the ‘Family Test’) needs to be on a statutory footing, to ensure that all domestic policies will be properly examined for their impact on the family

• The Welfare Reform & Work Act 2016 should be amended to mandate the Government to make an annual statement on the progress they are making in strengthening families

• For low income families in receipt of universal credit, we recommend that their entitlement to the MTA should be automatic. Any remainder underspend of MTA could be ring-fenced to upscale relationship support or to extend the successful DWP’s Reducing Parental Conflict programme

• We support the CSJ’s policy recommendation that people who access online tax-free childcare payments could do so through an online ‘Family Hub’ with digital relationship and parenting support included as a pre-condition of receipt (132-136)

Photo created by William Yarwood. All composite images available under Creative Commons.

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