Today I delivered a speech at the AECR conference in Turkey. The aim is to help spread the Conservative/centre-right democratic message across the world.
Despite what some on the left claim, it is not about trying to impose values on others, it is about sharing the ideas and lessons we have learnt in the hope that some of it may help to transform lives and even countries.
As we all know, many areas in the Middle East and across the world today are sadly under threat from extremist and hard line ideologies. Yet a centre-right approach has been shown to not only help maintain law and order (an argument often used by hard line leaders) but also to allow people to flourish in an environment which offers them freedom of thought and the choice to decide their own lives.
Our own view of British or European Conservative democracy may be very different to people in other countries but I often find when I travel that people are actually very similar. We want the same things just in slightly different ways. By sharing the lessons we've learnt, they can pick and choose the things that work for them.
It's easy to forget that for many people 'democracy' is a new and unfamiliar thing and as the history books will tell you, the path to democracy is not easy, just look at the Arab Spring. But, I believe that the promotion of `liberal economic ideals` helps with many of these problems.
Some on the left might say market economics are just there to make traders some money but I disagree. Relaxing rules and encouraging business has a tremendous way of lifting people out of oppression and poverty.
Centre-right policies offer a method of reducing corruption too.
I was interviewed last week by Al Jazeera online about the conference and my thoughts. If you would like to read more click on the link below.