I think one of the most interesting aspects of the proposals launched by Iain Duncan-Smith yesterday is that it has united the left and the right of the Tory Party, while putting us in direct antithesis to Labour.
The right wing, which has always defended the institution of the family finds good allies in the left wing of the party, which has always sought to alleviate the suffering of the poorest and most deprived. Even the pure economic liberal, who would normally hesitate before recommending state intervention on anything, must be bowled over by the cost to the economy of this breakdown in society.
Making this the centre of our new agenda is a brilliant move by David Cameron. It puts the whole party in line behind him and helps sharpen the steel for the attack on Labour.
For this is an issue where we are clearly at odds with Labour. For all that they talk about the centrality of the family, no government in history has done more to weaken it. A poor family with a child is now considerably better off if the father and mother do not live together. And this is no long standing feature. Labour tax policies are directly responsible for it.
Discouraging a family unit from staying together benefits nobody and has done untold harm to a generation. This new direction gives all of us an extra reason to make sure this Parliament is Labour’s last.
Julian Brazier MP