In 2010 a new generation of Conservatives came to office led by David Cameron. We face a range of urgent and serious challenges - domestic and international, economic, social and political - every bit as daunting as the last Conservative generation led to office by Margaret Thatcher in 1979.
But the society, economy and politics of today is profoundly different from that of the 1980s, almost 40 years ago. A new generation of us will have to do what successful Conservatives have always done: navigate the issues of the day with a combination of deeply shared Conservative values, and an openness to be comfortable with the world as we find it.
The 2020 Group was set up by Greg Barker MP and George Freeman MP in 2011 to provide a Parliamentary forum for Conservative MPs from the progressive centre ground to flesh out ideas to tackle the problems of our day. By drawing on the previous career experiences and insights of newly elected MPs, and focusing on the longer term social and economic changes and challenges confronting us rather than the traditional 'silos' of Whitehall portfolios, the group developed a number of policy 'themes' and ideas which were powerfully represented in the 2015 Manifesto.
Our central theme is a belief that two of the most urgent problems facing our country – the need to unleash more enterprise and innovation across our economy for competitiveness and productivity, and the need to tackle entrenched welfarism and social inequality - are fundamentally linked. We will never unleash an Enterprise Economy without greater Social Mobility, nor tackle the social and economic barriers holding back so many from enjoying the fruits of enterprise without a more entrepreneurial economy. As modern Conservatives we are optimistic about the power of technology and enterprise to create new opportunities to tackle these issues, and reject many of the stale dogmas of both old left and right in the search for solutions for our generation.
2020 members have developed a series of bold ideas across the Opportunity Society / Innovation Economy theme: from reform of early years support to new mothers to the financing of elderly social care, from a new approach to Public Sector enterprise to bond finance for infrastructure, and from digital democracy to public sector citizen empowerment.
Re-elected with a Conservative majority in 2015, we are continuing to explore and develop a series of themes to ensure this Conservative generation remains as fresh and contemporary in 2020 as we were in 2010, and as committed to new thinking in the radical centre ground to define a One Nation Conservatism for the 21st Century.
We hold regular discussion meetings with 2020 MPs, Ministers and leaders from outside Westminster. We are not and do not seek to be a Think Tank and do not publish material. All our meetings are private.
For more information and to contact the Group, please email firstname.lastname@example.org
George Freeman MP, Steering Group Chair.