Should the Conservative Party be apologising for the policies of the 1980s if it is to make electoral advances in the north of England?
I expect this thread to be a bit of a slow burner!
Anyway, Radio 4 are doing a short series debating what the Tories need to do to win back the trust of certain areas in the north.
Recent local election results show that the Tories are beginning to be taken seriously again in the north, but there is a big difference between local elections and general elections.
There seems to be a divergence of opinion in within Conservative ranks. Shadow Schools secretary Michael Gove says:
"We have got to acknowledge that the action that was taken during in 1980s to ameliorate the pain was insufficient. We simply didn't get the extent to which not just the economic future but the dignity, the culture, the society of parts of the north of England was built around those institutions and we were insensitive to that and I think we've got to show in what we say and do that we appreciate that. I think a simple 'sorry', frankly, would be inadequate actually to the scale of what is required".
Whilst on the other hand,William Hague says:
"Should we say sorry for breaking that stranglehold of the state on people's lives that gave them no hope for the future whatsoever? No, we shouldn't say sorry for that."
What do you think?