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A big, unequal society

David Cameron talks pleasantly about lowering inequality. But his ideas are a mess

By Philip Collins   January 2010

David Cameron could claim to be a Conservative, pure and simple. Often he adopts other titles, like liberal or progressive Conservative. But recently he has unwittingly adopted a new label: the confused social democrat. Cameron’s November 2009 Hugo Young lecture established inequality as a standard by which Conservatives wants to be judged—specifically the gap between the incomes of the poorest and middle England, not just the very poorest and the rich.

The lecture acted, in part, to correct the cartoonish depiction of the state that featured in Cameron’s address to the Conservative party conference in October 2009. He finally acknowledged…

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