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Last Updated: Thursday, 8 June 2006, 00:22 GMT 01:22 UK
Cameron outlines new 'equality'
David Cameron
Mr Cameron promised the party would "trust" civil servants
David Cameron has outlined his desire for equality and redistributive taxation to show how he plans to shake up the Tory party.

He declared "the war is over" between Conservatives and public sector workers and said his foreign policy would include "liberal internationalism".

He restated his less punitive approach to drug policy in a wide-ranging interview with the New Statesman.

And he confessed to liking the music of socialist protest singer Billy Bragg.

Peace at last?

Earlier this week the Tory leader urged his party to stop making "knee-jerk" attacks on public service workers.

I don't think making the top 1% richest poorer makes the 10% poorest richer
David Cameron

He told the New Statesman: "The war is over. There have been two wars. There's been a war of words about waste and bureaucracy from the right, which sometimes has given an impression that we don't value public service, when we do.

"And there has been a real war of initiatives and a blizzard of instructions over the past nine years (from the Labour government) which in so many ways hasn't delivered the sort of improvements that people want to see.

"What is required is neither of those two things, but actually trusting the professionals... and localising and devolving public services.

"The good thing about it is it's profoundly Conservative."

He added: "The Conservative Party under my leadership is going to be genuinely committed to trusting public servants... so we can deliver what we really want, which is a quality of service for everyone and equality of service for everyone."

Super-rich safe?

Mr Cameron defended his policy director Oliver Letwin who was criticised last year for saying that redistribution should be the aim of Tory tax policy.

"He was saying something that was blindingly obvious: any party that accepts some sort of progressive tax system is in favour of redistribution - that's a very sensible thing to say."

But he said that while he wanted greater equality and redistribution, that did not mean penalising the super-rich.

"My view is that the greatest concern we should have is not the gap between David Beckham's wages on the one hand, and someone on benefits on the other," he said.

"I don't think making the top 1% richest poorer makes the 10% poorest richer."

Political music

He said the Tory approach to foreign policy would combine his party's "practical, slightly sceptical questioning" of international affairs with "a good dose of liberal internationalism".

He side-stepped questions about whether Tony Blair lied over Iraq, by saying: "I don't think he gave a wholly truthful picture."

He said "tough sounding measures" on drugs did not work and there should be more emphasis on treating addicts.

He also revealed that Kirsty MacColl's version of Bragg's A New England almost made it on to his list of eight favourite records for his recent appearance on BBC Radio 4's Desert Island Discs.

Defending his choice, he added: "The idea that you can't like the music of people who don't agree with you politically would kind of limit your musical choices a bit."


SEE ALSO:
Tories 'to support public sector'
06 Jun 06 |  UK Politics
PM warns on public service trust
06 Jun 06 |  UK Politics
Tories 'lead on public services'
24 May 06 |  UK Politics
Why the warm words on public servants?
06 Jun 06 |  UK Politics


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