Social Justice

Article excerpt

Byline: James Morrison, THE WASHINGTON TIMES

SOCIAL JUSTICE

When Iain Duncan Smith talks to a conservative audience about social justice, he says he can see their eyes roll.

What is this rubbish? he asked, posing the question that some conservatives at the Heritage Foundation were probably thinking Monday, as they listened to the former chairman of Britain's Conservative Party.

Social justice is an abomination to most conservatives, said Mr. Duncan Smith, now chairman of an independent think tank, the Center for Social Justice, in London.

Conservatives consider social justice as left-wing buzzwords for more spending on poverty programs that fail, for redistributing wealth for socialist goals or for excusing illegal conduct in pursuit of the root causes of crime.

However, for Mr. Duncan Smith, social justice is one of the keys for a conservative revival in Britain. He sees social justice as a way to encourage personal responsibility, mend broken families or battle drug addition and alcoholism.

We abandoned social justice to the left, and they've ripped the hell out of my country, Mr. Duncan Smith said.

Along with a conservative approach to social justice, he said conventional issues such as lower taxes and effective government spending have poised the Conservative Party to retake power at the next parliamentary election, due by June 2010.

The prospects of a Conservative government grows by the day, he said, citing public opinion polls that favor the party, nicknamed the Tories, by 12 percent to 20 percent.

We will take over the leadership of a country facing not only economic crisis but also a civic breakdown of fundamental British society.

The Labor Party, led by Prime Minister Gordon Brown, is facing its worst approval ratings since taking power under the charismatic Tony Blair in 1997. …