I believe in the State.
I believe in a strong State.
I believe in the State’s core purpose: to regulate and arbitrate.
I believe in the State’s power to do good; to bring justice, security and order; to defend and protect its citizens; and to make their lives better.
I believe in the State’s duty to care for the needy; to ensure that the rich help the poor, and that the weak are helped by the strong.
And I believe finally in the State’s nobility as an idea; the inspiring power of the national ideal; the tremendous possibilities unleashed by collective action; and the love and duty owed by citizens to the State.
But the incontinent expansion of the State’s reach degrades its grip. It undermines legitimacy, lowers confidence and breeds disregard. Twelve years of new Labour’s flabby-minded growth in the public sector, and the bloating of its claims on individuals’ lives, have begun to rot the whole idea of something the Left ought to believe in, and the Right do: society, and the public good.
I wish I'd written that
(Overseas folks who want to read it but can't get through on the link, let me know via comments and I'll paste the lot)