George Osborne has pledged to lead a Thatcherite generation which will cut taxes, curb benefit cheats and lift education standards.
The Chancellor also said he would draw on the courage of Margaret Thatcher and Ronald Reagan to defeat radical militant Islamism.
He made the comments in a speech to a conference which celebrated the life and ideas of the late Baroness Thatcher.
Mr Osborne’s speech strayed far outside his economic brief and could be seen in Westminster as an attempt to set out his leadership credentials.
The only minister to be named in the speech was his close ally Michael Gove, the Education secretary, who has been in a public spat about creeping Islamism in Birmingham schools with Theresa May, the Home Secretary and a possible successor to David Cameron.
Mr Osborne grabbed the Thatcherite mantle in a bid to convince Conservative doubters that he would do more to cut taxes.
He said: “We believe in liberty, in the power of the economic freedoms of property rights and democracy.
“So this new generation is going to curb spending, cut taxes and trust the instinct of those who work hard and aspire to a better life.”
Mr Osborne said he would use the example of Lady Thatcher to counter rising militant Islamism.
He said: “Against those who say that a militant Islamism is bound to conquer, we say we believe in liberty, we believe that nations that defeated communism can stand tall against any doctrine.
“This new generation is going to show the courage that Margaret Thatcher and Ronald Reagan showed to defend free societies against those who would destroy them.”
Mr Osborne painted the education reforms being pushed through by Mr Gove as a straightforward battle between left and right.
He said: “We have all of us a battle to win on education – to take on left wing socialist ideology in the teaching unions.
“We are going to win it with the basic Conservative idea that there is no reason why children from the poorest backgrounds should not have access to the best teaching and be encouraged to achieve the high standards.
“That when parents and communities are trusted to make their own judgement about how schools are run they naturally want the best for their own children.
“What Michael Gove is doing is part of a global tide of reform, drawing on lessons from Conservative school reforms in Sweden, US, Canada, Singapore and more.”
Mr Osborne also backed the Government’s welfare reforms – although he did not name Iain Duncan Smith, the Work and Pensions secretary, with whom there are tensions about future cuts to the welfare budget.
He said: “We have a battle to win on welfare to take on those who accept a cruel status quo when the most disadvantaged in the land are trapped in a socialist nightmare of 98 per cent tax rates and crushing anti-work incentives.
“And we are going to win with basic Conservative ideas that effort should be rewarded and work should always pay, and low tax rates should deliver fairer societies.”
Mr Osborne – who is co-ordinating the Tories’ general election campaign – said the party would be “tactically astute” going into polling day.
He added: “We have the most professional campaign and media team, just as she [Lady Thatcher] did, but just as she did we must root everything in a strong guiding set of Conservative ideas.”
Mr Osborne also suggested that a greater reliance on fracked oil and gas could help could deal with the problem of climate change.
He said that Lady Thatcher today would “point out how the free market shale gas revolution has cut US carbon emissions by more than any other Government regulation, and has kickstarted a renaissance in American manufacturing too”.
via – http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/politics/georgeosborne/10911459/We-will-use-the-courage-of-Margaret-Thatcher-to-defeat-militant-Islamism-says-George-Osborne.html