Michael Howard has published a list of beliefs on which the Conservatives will fight the next election.
The beliefs are what got me into politics, says Mr Howard
Echoing JFK and Martin Luther King, every pledge starts with the words "I believe".
The Tory leader said they were "distinct" from those which motivated other political parties and offered "positive and fresh thinking".
But Deputy Prime Minister John Prescott said Mr Howard should be judged by his record and not his dreams.
The statement was published in the Times on Friday and will be sent to 100,000 Tory party members who will be urged to forward it to 10 more people.
Mr Howard said he was "ambitious for Britain" and wanted people to understand what had brought him into politics.
"Our policies will be built on coherent principles," he said.
"I want people to
understand the set of beliefs which brought me into politics.
"These beliefs are distinct from those which motivate politicians from other
"I believe they are far more likely to provide the answers to the
challenges we face. They really will make it possible to improve people's
Among the "beliefs" are that it is natural for people to want wealth, health and happiness, that people need protecting from bureaucracy and that parents want a better education for their children than the one they had.
But Mr Prescott poured scorn on Mr Howard's two-page advert, which is estimated to have cost £57,000.
"It's selling a product and he has got to be judged against his record, not his dreams. Howard's way is about dreams and not the past record of nightmares," he told BBC Radio 4's Today programme.
Labour Party chairman Ian McCartney said the statement showed Mr Howard was "stuck in a failed Tory past" and "Thatcherism is safe in his hands".
"Like Mrs Thatcher before him, he clearly still believes that there is no
such thing as society," he said.
Mr Howard's statement in full: