Today, the Demos think tank has launched a major new project to explore conservative thinking and policy. An 'Advisory Board' has been created which includes such luminaries as Greg Clarke (Shadow Secretary of State for Energy & Climate Change), Zac Goldsmith (Conservative Candidate for Richmond), Ferdinand Mount (Former Head of the Conservative Policy Unit), David Willetts (Shadow Secretary of State for Innovation, Universities & Skills) plus others including Frank Field MP and Danny Finklestein (Commentator and former Conservative advisor).
The Demos website advises that David Cameron will be speaking at the launch of this 'initiative', as will be Will Hutton (that says it all!). It should, perhaps, be mentioned at this juncture that Demos was believed to have influenced the policies of Tony Blair's government - so Will Hutton should feel 'at home'!
The Progressive Conservatism Project, for that is its name, seeks to achieve social justice, social mobility and an end to poverty through Conservative means. If David Cameron needs a think tank to tell him this, then the Conservative Party need a new Leader!
It seems to me that the Conservative Party, at the moment, is attempting to be 'all things to all men' resulting in the unedifying sight that, really, there is little difference between them or Labour & the Liberal Democrats. The other charge which can be laid at the Conservative's door is that instead of presenting a clear, pro-active vision of change they would rather sit and wait for Labour to lose the forthcoming election. All we have at the moment is bickering by the three main parties over minor points, which serves to cover up the fact that the 'differences' are, in fact, minimal.
It is often said that a vote for UKIP is a 'wasted vote' yet, on the basis that there is little difference between the three main parties, it can also be argued that a vote for the Conservatives is also a 'wasted vote' in that there would seem to be little that will change.
So, if you are going to waste a vote then you may as well vote for UKIP because at least you will be wasting it on a genuine, clear alternative, rather than an illusion of change.
And if sufficient people do that then it will not be a wasted vote - will it?