Colin James’s paper to the Victoria University political studies department and Stout Centre conference on “The Bolger Years”, 28 April 2007
I owe the title to Margaret Clark’s quotation from the Bible last night (though of course I am quoting not from the Bible but from Keats’ biblical allusion in Ode to a Nightingale). My reference and Margaret’s recognise that to those of “the Bolger years” the Christian cultural heritage — I emphasise cultural heritage — was a widely understood shorthand and, of course, Jim and Joan Bolger are practising Catholics. I realised a decade or more ago that I could not expect biblical allusions in my columns to be generally understood. Under-40s, not having been taught in school that dimension of our cultural heritage, have no automatic link to a value-system which in large part identified this society for most of its post-1840 history. The loss of that cultural identifier meshes with Wyatt Creech’s point yesterday that already the 1990s have the ring of ancient history.
I disagree with the word “ancient”. But “alien” is not too far distant. In the debt-ballasted comfort of the late-2000s decade both major parties hug the middle and shudder at the notion of radical or even bold or even imaginative policy. It is alien territory to today’s buttoned-down John Keys and Bill Englishes. And their golden mean is alien territory for Ruth Richardson, who started out a liberal but starred as a radical. Moreover, unlike Keats’ biblical Ruth, it was not in her nature to be often “in tears”. She was the pocket rocket of politics.
Jim Bolger is not, was not, never has been and never will be a radical. As Jane Clifton recalled last night, he was nicknamed Spud and spuds are as boring as a vegetable can be. (I should know. Unlike Warren Cooper, I knew millions of potatoes: from the age of 10 I made money planting, hoeing, picking up and grading potatoes, mostly Jersey Bennes, in Outram.) I was sceptical of that ridiculed Spud at first as leader and as Prime Minister and he returned the compliment. But I grew to respect him. Too many senior public servants recounted to me his impressive skills as a summer-up, mediator and arbitrator of contentious and complex issues in often tense cabinet debates for their comments to be routine sycophancy. Their assertions were the more convincing because the issues were big, the stakes high, the arguments intense and the times turbulent. So I came to realise the public servants were telling me about a significant Prime Minister. I came also to appreciate that Jim Bolger was genuine in his search for a durable new basis for consensus. Late in his prime ministership he sought a way to express his centrist ambitions by talking of social capital. But it was too late. In a different time he would have been judged differently.
The die was cast for the early years of Jim Bolger’s government at a caucus meeting in late 1989 while still in opposition at which Ruth Richardson won commitment to vote for the fourth Labour government’s Reserve Bank Bill. That decision was both a symbolic and a substantive acceptance of the prevailing market-based and monetarist economic prescription and also a symbolic and substantive shift of mentality in a party noted for moderate management of an inherited status quo, not the implementation of radical ideas. The Richardson ascendancy which that caucus vote legitimated decisively finessed (though did not bury) the residual populism of the Muldoon era, of which the most visible and audible exponent was Winston Peters. It also muted for the time being the party’s conservatives and moderate liberals.
By then once-liberal Ruth Richardson had transited from market-liberal, favouring private enterprise and individual liberty, to economic libertarian, committed ideologically to free markets, small government, far greater choice of provider of “social” goods and individual self-reliance and enterprise. She had become radical. The intellectual underpinnings, transmitted from the Chicago and Virginia schools of economic thought via the Treasury, had a powerful logic which gave her conviction and certainty against which those making more nuanced arguments spun their wheels. Moreover, other countries such as ours were heading down the same policy route. These were times made for radicals.
And, crucially for Jim Bolger’s government, Ruth Richardson became Minister of Finance on 2 November 1990 at the very time when economic libertarians were turning their sights on social policy. Richardson did, too. That extension of focus, endorsed by Bolger, framed the early years of his government.
Ruth Richardson won an early battle in the cabinet to convert Labour Minister Sir William Birch’s modest proposals for labour market deregulation into a root-and-branch deregulation, legislated in 1991, which de-recognised unions and re-individualised the employment nexus. Aided by a fiscal crisis and a gathering recession which gave cabinet moderates a compelling practical reason for drastic measures, she produced a minibudget on 19 December 1990 which cut benefits by an average of 10% and tightened eligibility criteria, instituted heavy spending cuts across the board and put the top one-third of income-earners on notice that they would be expected to pay most of their social services costs. Having thus locked the cabinet into a smaller-government mentality, she wrote a Budget on 30 July 1991 which aimed to carry through the spending cuts.
The Budget was very wide-ranging; the documents issued to stunned journalists in the “lockup” which preceded its formal delivery in Parliament, filled a carton. In it Ruth Richardson announced, amongst a plethora of smaller-government initiatives: a freeze on national superannuation levels until 1993 and a gradual lift in the qualifying age to 65, plus a tough income means-test; higher rents for state house tenants, partly offset by a new accommodation allowance, and privatisation of state-assisted mortgages and sale of state houses; a radical restructuring of the health system to separate funding from provision of services, with hospitals to operate as companies, part-charging patients for in-hospital and outpatient services, and eventually (though this proved impractical) with a defined list of the core treatments the state would fund; a voluntary “Kiwi Card” for beneficiaries and the low-paid to have access to cheaper doctors visits and prescriptions; new levies and tighter eligibility and payouts under the accident compensation scheme which was renamed an “insurance” scheme. (1)
For the cabinet moderates this was principally about bringing a runaway fiscal deficit into balance and in any case was more or less consistent with National party principles of self-reliance and private enterprise. Jim Bolger had on 19 December echoed the ambition to “redesign the welfare state” and had set up a cabinet committee to do that. But for Ruth Richardson it was much more. Her welfare state redesign was intended to produce a profound change of attitudes and behaviour, to generate an “enterprise culture”. In an interview shortly after the minibudget, she called it an “ethical document” as well as “economic” one. (2) In another interview after the Budget she agreed she was on a moral mission. (3)
But changing behaviour is a slow business. And party principles are habitually honoured more in rhetoric than in reality — spoken of but not made into hard policy if they put votes at risk. Moreover, the Budget broke a major 1990 election promise to remove the previous government’s deeply unpopular surtax on pensioner’s earned income by instead replacing it with a much harsher income test and abatement. It also in effect broke another promise, to remove tertiary student course fees imposed by the previous government (one pamphlet said all fees), by replacing them with a variable subsidy on university-imposed fees and tightly means-testing the student allowance. It broke other promises and did many things which had not been promised or clearly foreshadowed. To the vast majority of New Zealanders the Budget did not jell with the promise of a “decent society”, certainly not in the short term which is where voters live. There was widespread uproar, from which the National party did not recover during Jim Bolger’s term of office. The 1991 Budget in effect delegitimised National.
It didn’t help that Ruth Richardson called it the “Mother of all budgets”, thereby infelicitously evoking Saddam Hussein’s phrase for the 1991 Gulf War which Hussein lost. The eerie parallel with Saddam’s humiliation was evoked in a precipitous plunge in National’s opinion poll ratings (to 24% in August-September). There were fractious parliamentary sittings and there was serious tension in the National party caucus and cabinet. The party conference in early August which followed the weekend after the Budget seethed with division, older delegates tending to be critical of the Budget and younger delegates tending to be delighted and congratulatory. (Significantly, Ruth Richardson was just 40 at the time and represented a new political generation; the Social Welfare Minister, Jenny Shipley, who drove through the welfare cuts, was also 40.) Two backbench MPs, Gilbert Myles and Hamish MacIntyre, resigned from the party over the Budget. Winston Peters was sacked from the cabinet in early October for disputing the cabinet line and was denied reselection as a candidate a year later; his response was to form the New Zealand First party which scooped up large numbers of older people who had previously voted National. A number of other MPs were also openly critical. By October Jim Bolger, stated by Ruth Richardson on 6 August to have been “a prime mover in the reform”, (4) was himself recoiling: some of the Budget’s bolder or harsher measures, were watered down, most notably the pension policy (which nevertheless retained and increased the hated surtax). (5) By the time of the 1992 Budget, the list of U-turns and partial recantations had become embarrassingly long. Some of the Richardson reforms proved, as Wyatt Creech said yesterday, either practically or politically impractical to implement.
Broken promises and out-of-character radicalism (plus recession) cut 13% out of National’s vote share in the 1993 election and reduced it to its lowest vote share since its founding in 1936. That plunge would have lost National the 1993 election if the Labour party had not also been in a severely weakened state as a result of its own out-of-character embrace of the free market while in government from 1984 to 1990 and the consequential rise of the Alliance as an alternative left grouping promoting traditional Labour policies of a regulated and protected economy. (6) The plunge in its vote in 1993 deprived the Bolger government of its electoral legitimacy, despite the fact that it stayed in office. National’s vote share fell in each of the next three elections to a level in 2002 which was the lowest of any major party for 100 years. Dismay at the two big parties’ use of their single-party parliamentary majorities between 1984 and 1992 to effect reforms unmandated by election manifestos and at odds with their past behaviour was also the deciding factor in the referendum in 1993 which introduced proportional representation.
Jim Bolger did not reappoint Ruth Richardson as Finance Minister after the 1993 election. Symbolically, he turned to his old mate, Sir William Birch, who thereby regained the influence he had lost during the Richardson ascendancy. Ruth Richardson retired to the back benches and stayed in Parliament only long enough to see through into law her groundbreaking Fiscal Responsibility Act in July 1994. Over time she drifted away from her party. Her ideological sympathies lay, and lie, with the ACT party, founded by Sir Roger Douglas and Derek Quigley (an ahead-of-his-time free-market National minister from 1978-82) to champion the completion of the liberalisation of the economy and social policy. Her most recent direct influence on National was as an occasional adviser to the 2003-06 leader, Don Brash, whose personal political preferences in economic matters were close to hers.
Peters, meanwhile, had his populist revenge. The New Zealand First party he formed in 1993, drawing in part on disaffected National party activists and supporters, won enough seats in the first proportional representation election in 1996 to deliver him the deputy prime ministership and the finance minister’s portfolio (with the additional title of Treasurer) in the coalition government Jim Bolger formed after the 1996 election. This kept National in office but at the cost of revivifying as an influential adjunct to the National party the 1980s economic and social nationalist tendency which the Richardson ascendancy had earlier finessed within the party. That cost was too much for some: a campaign developed in the National caucus to reassert “the National blue” over the “coalition grey” which killed Jim Bolger’s prime ministership on 8 December 1997. His usurper, Jenny Shipley, broke up the coalition in August 1998 when she sacked Winston Peters after a split in the cabinet over the privatisation of Wellington airport. New Zealand First split and Shipley was able to see out her term. She described her approach oxymoronically as “radical conservative”, cut pensions, introduced state house market rents and deregulated accident compensation. But this was not Ruth Richardson reincarnate. Notably, Wyatt Creech, a prime mover in Jenny Shipley’s ousting of Jim Bolger and Deputy Prime Minister after Peters was sacked, had frequently been at odds with Richardson, who spoke scathingly of him in private. Moreover, close to the end of the Shipley government the first clear break with the market philosophy was evident in Max Bradford’s “bright futures” programme which had modest recourse to government assistance to business.
This saga of splits and lurches (Shipley was replaced by Bill English, a self-styled “modern conservative”, in October 2001 and he in turn by radical-liberal Brash two years later) depicts a party dragging its ideological and operational anchors. Only with the formation of a John Key-Bill English leadership team in November 2006 could the party be said to be fully back on its historical course, presenting something akin to the mix of liberal and conservative tendencies which typified it during its domination of politics from 1949 to 1972 but which had been obscured for 30 years since Sir Robert took it down a populist cul de sac.
Sir Robert Muldoon’s leadership from 1974-84 was anathema to both liberals and conservatives. Over time those people either left the party or lapsed into impotent silence. Muldoon was avowedly populist, predicating his policies on what he divined the “ordinary bloke” needed, wanted or would tolerate. But “ordinary-blokism” foundered under the impact of two powerful new forces. The first was a structural shift in the world economy which disadvantaged New Zealand’s exports and rendered impractical the maintenance of the guaranteed job which had been the goal of economic policy since 1938. The second was a powerful international intellectual challenge to the Keynesianism which had dominated “western” economic management policy since the second world war, a challenge which was given added credence by the 1970s stagflation which mired “western” economies. By the early 1980s Muldoon’s myopic micro-management of the economy by fiat had driven it up a blind alley from which he could not reverse. Liberals within the party had called for “more-market” policies since the early 1970s and were by the late 1970s a loud chorus, in which Ruth Richardson was a significant voice. When they were not heeded, many sought release in the New Zealand party in 1983-84, then backed Labour when it began deregulating the economy after 1984. Some liberals, including Ruth Richardson, slipped over the line from liberal to libertarian, from moderate to radical.
I have now touched on what I think are the four main strands in National attitudes over the past 70 years (which I have described elsewhere (7) ):
* conservative, in the small-c sense of conserving the status quo, valuing the individual and the family and accepting at most moderate change but rejecting reactionary policies;
* liberal, in the small-l sense of comfort with, and even advocacy of, change, valuing (qualified) individual liberty, including in moral matters, preferring markets and private enterprise to bureaucratic intervention and government involvement in commerce and preferring smaller to larger government but also acknowledging a need for a safety net and state-sponsored opportunity for individual advancement through education;
* populist, in the sense of responding to majority resistance to social and economic pressures, with at times a reactionary tinge; and
* radical or libertarian, bold and even daring in style, celebrating individual liberty above social and collective activity, urging much lower taxes and government spending, much more choice of providers of and/or privatisation of educational and health services and much more individual responsibility for funding or insuring for those services and for income assistance.
All four strands have been present in the National party at all times, changing in the policy detail, size and influence as circumstances change. A conservative in 2007 doesn’t express the same views as a conservative in 1957 — there are different things to conserve and different changes to constrain. A liberal has different matters to reform in social and moral life and in the economy in 2007 compared with 1957. Populist preoccupations arise according to social and economic pressures, so Winston Peters ran on different platforms from Sir Robert Muldoon, though some were similar. What was radical in economic and moral policy in 1984 is in many ways mainstream now.
But what is clear from National’s history is that the conservative and liberal strands are central and the populist and radical strands are outliers. Only when a powerful or charismatic personality emerges or times are unsettled have the outliers come centre-stage as they did between 1974 and 1992: the populist ascendancy ended with Sir Robert Muldoon’s defeat in 1984; the radical ascendancy was coterminous with Ruth Richardson’s period of greatest influence.
To talk of four tendencies is not to suggest individuals can all be pigeonholed in one or other. John Banks combined populist social attitudes with libertarian economic ones, for example. The four strands do not amount to factions, even if sometimes, as in the late 1980s and early 1990s, the tendencies become more distinctly visible.
Nevertheless, the essence of a healthy, mainstream, natural-party-of-government National party is a constructive tension between its conservative and liberal strands, its conserving and liberalising tendencies which hold it close to the political centre and give it a “one-of-usness” critical to representative democratic rule. While this tension is in equilibrium or close to equilibrium, as it was through most of the Sir Sidney Holland and Sir Keith Holyoake periods, National’s ability to govern in tune with broad public opinion while also gently shaping that opinion and thereby maintain a big enough voting base to stay in government is enhanced. When the equilibrium has been unsettled, as in the early 1970s and the late 1980s, the outlier tendencies can gain traction.
Jim Bolger’s misfortune was to try to run a government when his party was off-balance in that way. He combined elements of the conservative and the liberal, with, I think, a conservative leaning. In settled social and prosperous economic times, he might have developed into a Holyoake-type Prime Minister presiding over a cabinet dominated by conservatives and liberals in constructive tension and with the other tendencies either absent or muted. Instead, he had a cabinet that contained not just conservatives and liberals but also vocal and influential populists and libertarians — and that at a time of economic and social turmoil bequeathed to him by a radical Labour government. It was too much to manage and it broke up his government.
Instead, the restoration of Holyoake-style government came with the Labour party at the helm. While Labour in government since 1999 has pushed through some substantial liberalising social-moral reforms, notably civil unions and prostitution reform, it has also moderated economic policy and increased redistribution and so reduced the economic and social tension which destabilised politics for two decades from the late 1970s. Helen Clark is the cautious, Presbyterian daughter of a conservative farmer; her university-acquired leftism is an overlay in her political character, not its bedrock.
And Clark’s governments have governed in prosperous times. While this prosperity has been debt-fuelled to a dangerous degree and is therefore vulnerable to shocks which could generate economic and social turmoil which might easily destabilise governments, for the moment there has been no place, except on the fringes, for radical and reactionary policies.
In addition, the intellectual climate has changed. The primacy of the Chicago and Hayekian and Virginia schools of economic thought has been challenged by more nuanced economic thinking and undermined by the rise of inequality under globalisation. There was supposed to be an iron rule that “all boats rise”, so those at the bottom would benefit in due course. But some don’t, both within countries and between them and markets don’t fix that. There is not so much space for economic libertarians now in public discourse and therefore also in National. John Key might have been an instinctive economic libertarian 15 years ago. He is better classified as liberal now. And in any case temperamentally he is not a radical.
So was Ruth Richardson just a mistake, an aberration, a diversion, a siding, a less-said-the-better episode in National’s history?
Her championing of the Reserve Bank Act and the Public Finance Act while in opposition and then in government was critical to beating the scourge of inflation and to achieving efficiencies in government activities. Her 1991 Budget deepened the recession in the short term but laid a long-term basis for strong surplus Budgets from 1994 onwards, underpinned by her Fiscal Responsibility Act. Her social assistance policy created hardship and spawned a complex and arguably counterproductive raft of special assistance payments but it also kickstarted a shift from purely rights-based social security and welfare to one predicated on the principle that work is better if practicable, which is now mainstream policy. Her insistence on thoroughgoing labour market deregulation encouraged firms to substitute cheap labour for capital investment, which was the opposite of the high-wage economy objective, but it also laid the basis for the big drop in unemployment over the past 10 years. Labour market deregulation also delivered significant labour mobility gains which added materially and importantly to the economy’s flexibility and eventual ability to ride out the combination of drought and Asian crisis in the late 1990s with little pain, which would have been unthinkable 10 years earlier. Overall her policies, added to those of Sir Roger Douglas and the fourth Labour government, generated a big improvement in productivity growth which is now accepted generally as the only sure eventual route to a high-wage economy.
Was this policy shift bound to happen anyway? After all, Australia has eventually got round to deregulating its labour market. I think not — and thought not at the time. At a Mont Pelerin Society conference on 28 November 1989 I said it was “naive” to link Ruth Richardson and Sir Roger Douglas. “First, the National Party is incrementalist; radicals find the going hard there. Second, the National Party’s principal policy impetus is corporatist; market liberals have been for 50 years in a minority and are so now, though the minority is bigger and has most of the brighter people and many others can now dare to indulge them or fellow-travel with them because of the changes Douglas has wrought.” I did expect the “market liberals” (alias radicals or economic libertarians) to “be able to hold the line for the most part and to add some significant increments, for example, voluntary unionism.” But, paying heed to National criticism of the harshness of Labour’s economic reforms, I also expected some rebalancing between the pursuit of efficiency and the pursuit of equity.(8)
I was wrong. “Holding the line” was not a Ruth Richardson preoccupation. She aimed to restart the reform blitzkrieg and proved able to do so — only briefly but long enough to weld the National party to the new economic project and in effect rule out any realistic prospect of reversal. The Clark governments have modified the project at the margins but the core principle, that markets allocate resources better than administrators, that private operators are for the most part more efficient than public agencies and that free trade is preferable to managed trade, is substantially intact. Indeed, in many ways, notably in its negligible tariff protection and in its tax system, New Zealand remains an outlier after seven and a-half years of governments led by an avowedly social democratic party. The Richardson ascendancy is an important chapter in the transition from the managed economy to the market economy.
It is also a chapter in another transition. The obverse of the economic gains was the destruction of social capital, the stretching of the income and wealth bands in a society that had in the 1950s and 1960s been among the most egalitarian. This phenomenon, of course, was not unique to New Zealand; the increase in inequality has been well documented in other societies of our sort which deregulated their economies and is also in part the product of other social changes, including demographic changes. But in this country in the 1980s inegalitarianism came particularly swiftly and with particular intensity and Ruth Richardson jammed her foot on the accelerator. Large numbers had their standard and quality of living indecently reduced; those who did not saw around them indicators of a decay in social cohesion in, for example, rising crime. It is small wonder that Jim Bolger picked up Robert Putnam’s theme of social capital late in his prime ministership. By then the social capital had been degraded by economic change. It has not yet been rebuilt.
That, too, is part of the legacy of the Richardson ascendancy.
The political legacy is also mixed. Had National heeded the electorate’s clear wish in 1990 for an end to economic reform, it would almost certainly have escaped the ignominy of a 13% plunge in vote share in 1993 and might well have formed more confident and more widely supported governments thereafter. Jim Bolger had the makings of a Prime Minister of such governments.
Moreover, the MMP referendum in 1993 would almost certainly have failed, wherein lies an irony: those (including Ruth Richardson) who want to “finish the job” Sir Roger Douglas started complain that MMP makes finishing the job very nearly impossible. Few bold initiatives can survive the constant number crunching with small parties which MMP requires.
But even without MMP the radical drive would have petered out. ACT, the party set up to “finish the job”, has two MPs. Revolutions don’t go on forever and attempts to prolong or restart them are doomed, as Mao Tse-tung proved. Politics, except in extraordinary times, is the art of the possible, as Sir John Marshall, the archetypal National liberal-conservative, was fond of saying — by which he meant electorally possible.
And the electorate judges politicians by short-term outcomes, not longsighted ideas. Ruth Richardson was an ideas politician. And she allowed too little intellectual doubt. She confounded one TINA (“there is no alternative”), that there was an undoubted need to deregulate and rely more on the market, with another, that there is only one true set of policies, which is demonstrably untrue. She applied a lawyer’s logic to abstract economic rules and then advocated them with the intensity of a courtroom lawyer who allows no doubt about his or her case. She knew best. Actually, the electorate knows best.
But Ruth Richardson did what she did for what she saw as a greater good. She applied principle when it was sure to cause pain, which took at the very least bone-headed determination but also considerable courage. There were threats to her person. There are not many politicians with spines and carapaces like hers and every now and one comes in handy, if for no other reason than to sharpen the debate. Jim Bolger fired Ruth Richardson after his sorry electoral experiences in 1993. But had he not hired her in the first place, the economic gains and the fiscal improvement which paid off after his sacking might well have been compromised. I think Jim Bolger instinctively felt that and that is part of the reason why we got Ruth Richardson. (8) The irony is that Helen Clark was the beneficiary.
But let’s end on a Richardsonian note of longer-sightedness. Until the 1970s government spending, including assistance to industry and farming, of which there is very little now, was around a quarter of GDP, 10 percentage points below current levels. East Asian nations get by on less than that and some are richer than we are. Perhaps those nations will increase spending up to our level as they close in our standard of living. More likely, they will keep government spending well below ours, as Japan has done. If so, Ruth Richardson’s drive for smaller government may turn out to have been a pointer to the sorts of hard decisions that await her successors as policymakers down the track. The alien corn might turn out to have been the present.
1. The full range of measures is conveniently laid out in Boston, Jonathan and Paul Dalziel, The Decent Society (Oxford, Auckland, 1992), though readers need to factor in that this collection of essays was written as a left-based criticism of them. A very brief summary is on pp10-13.
2. James, Colin, “Captain Richardson and her Starship Enterprise”, National Business Review, 16 January 1991, pp9-11.
3. James, Colin, “Helping us to help ourselves”, National Business Review magazine, 9 August 1991, pp10-13.
4. James, Colin, column in National Business Review, 9 August 1991: ‘But she got Jim Bolger on board. It is his Budget, his abatement scheme. As she said on Tuesday, “the social policy reviews were spearheaded by the Prime Minister’s [cabinet] committee on the reform of social assistance. The Prime Minister was much more than a chairman of the board. He was a prime mover in the reform.” ‘ The column also described a ‘generation gap evident at the party conference. The younger the delegate, the more likely that delegate was to be in favour of the Budget. There was not only seethe at the conference; there was a fair lashing of delight and congratulation… Ruth Richardson and Shipley, together the driving force behind the pension abatement, are both 40. Richardson spent most of the 1980s deeply frustrated at the older generation’s resistance to policy innovation.’
5. Market rents for state houses were eventually applied in the National government’s third term. Accident compensation was also fully deregulated and mostly privatised in 1999. Both moves were ill-thought-through and were quickly removed by the Labour-Alliance government after 1999. It is notable that National has now dropped market rents as a policy and is now proposing only limited permissive deregulation of accident compensation.
6. Whereby hangs a what-if tale: if Jim Anderton had not left in the Labour party 1989 to form New Labour, then the Alliance, and had won the leadership after 1990 in reaction to the free-market reforms, the Labour party he led might well have won the 1993 election.
7. James, Colin, “National” in Miller, Raymond, New Zealand Government and Politics 4ed (Oxford, Melbourne, 2006), pp369-72. I note in passing that a fifth, moral-conservative, tendency based on a conservative reading of Christian values may be developing but the evidence for this is at best inconclusive.
8. Archived Word document in my files.
9. The more front-of-mind part of the reason was a deal after Richardson fought and lost a contest for deputy leader.