Monday, 27 July 2009

Conservative Social Action sets the tone of things to come!

I'm off to Srebrenica in a few hours to join Baroness Warsi and William Hague in delivering real benefits to a town that has seen so much hurt.

Myles is now just 12 days old and I already know I will miss him and Mum immensely. But opportunities to make a difference don't come along often and it is with Elaine's support that I join Project Maja to deliver real benefits to a community dealing with so much distress.

Some will say the Conservative Party has never really changed and this is a publicity stunt to pretend you have changed, but the truth is Conservatives have always believed in giving people the opportunity to help themselves. That is exactly what we will be doing in Bosnia. We are helping school children, a family and a community to rebuild their lives.

The Conservative Party is also actively involved in Rawanda where Conservatives are helping to train nurses and teachers and in Sierra Leone where we are trying to improve the justice system, human rights and the role of women in society.

Giving people the opportunity to help themselves has always been at the core of Conservative beliefs.

Perhaps what we haven’t been so good at in the past is projecting that image but this is not about a publicity stunt.

Conservatives supported Nato’s intervention in the Balkans in the mid- nineties and we have always supported the rebuilding programme. What we will be doing is a small attempt to help but it is also about not forgetting what happened in Bosnia.

In Srebrenica it is just over a decade since 8,000 innocent civilians, many of them children, were brutally murdered by paramilitary units commanded by alleged war criminal General Ratko Mladic. And yet it seems a lot longer. Iraq and Afghanistan are at the forefront of people’s minds at the moment but we must never forget what happened here.

I could go on and on about why we need to remember the past so as to not make the same mistakes again and to talk about Conservatives Social Action at home in the UK - and I probably will soon. The fact is that Project Maja will make a difference to those it touches and everyone involved will be richer for their time in Srebrenica.

1 comment:

SHAZIA said...

COULDN'T AGREE MORE- FANTASTIC PROJECT AMAZING TO MEET YOU RICHARD- LOOK FORWARD TO SEEING YOU SOON! SHAZ