1997 Onwards -
Below is the text of Sir John Major’s article for Reformer Magazine, published in October 2005.
SIR JOHN MAJOR:
For a while in the 1990s it seemed as if the Conservative Party might split. Such an outcome was always my nightmare as Prime Minister when the factions fighting over Europe created such bitter divisions: the dissenters utterly ignored the wider issues that have always united Conservatives and, as a result, we presented an unattractive spectacle to the electorate. That time -
Brighter times lie ahead. The new intake has talent. The leadership contenders are contributing thoughtful policy ideas for the future. The Party seems finally to understand how far it drifted from mainstream opinion. These are the pre-
Of course, the Party must continue to change. It always has done -
As I read the policy ambitions of the putative Leaders I am broadly confident that whoever wins will be able to devise an attractive policy agenda -
Our representation in the Commons is still too narrowly based: it does not yet reflect the infinite variety of our national composition. We should try and make it do so. Similarly, the new Shadow Cabinet will need to include talent from all shades of opinion in the Party -
It is vital, too, that our tone of voice should be more generous, more inclusive, more willing to recognise disparate points of view even if we disagree with them. The arrogant assumption there is only one way, one view and it is ours, is deeply unattractive and a real vote loser.
Finally, I hope our new Leader will set out a menu of the really difficult long-
An exciting time lies ahead for our Party: I wish our new Leader every success.