"It is the liberal dictatorship," says Widdecombe angrily. "Most of our social ills are down to loss of authority; in schools, by the police, in the home, in organised religion.
"There is a slow descent into anarchy. We are in moral anarchy. In some estates it is already there. To change things, you must start to restore authority to the police."
She says that the force should introduce "proportionality" - not sending six officers to arrest someone for making a politically incorrect comment, but instead targeting muggers.
She believes we live in an age in which the liberal tyranny cows people into silence. "People need to be free to say what we think.
"We must not accept this liberal tyranny which says that if you go against the orthodoxy, you will not only be ostracised but criminalised as well.
"We have to take on the three ugly sisters: the rights culture, the compensation culture and political correctness.
"We now have something we have never before had in this country, but is what the Soviets had - which is, that you can be punished by the law for disagreeing with the prevailing orthodoxy."[...]
One reason that Widdecombe is at ease with herself, whatever her public image, is that she is true to her conscience.
She is at a loss to see how other Catholics, such as Cabinet minister Ruth Kelly and the soon-to-be-converted Tony Blair, can square their actions with their consciences.
"If I had been Ruth, I would have resigned over the Catholic gay adoption issue. And I don't understand Blair's actions and his faith," she says.
"There is no doubt he was a huge Catholic sympathiser. But he never once took a pro-life line on abortion.
"He also voted against exempting Christmas Day and Easter Day from Sunday trading regulations.
"And then his government introduced civil partnerships and forbade Catholic adoption agencies from making their own choices over gay adoption.
"If you are being received as a Catholic, as I was, you have to say that all the Church teaches is revealed truth. It is not a pick and mix religion."
She also accuses Blair of weakening Christianity in this country and thus allowing predatory fundamentalist faiths to enter. "The loss of Christian faith has coincided with the growth of a more predatory faith. We should stop confusing respecting the faith of others with surrendering our own."
I don't think there's a word she says here that I don't agree with, although I would say that if the police are to regain their lost authority, then they will have to work hard for it. The loss of trust in, and respect for, the police is something that has been brought about, not just by the incompetence of politicians, but by the actions of officers themselves, many of whom seem only too keen to side with criminals against the law-abiding public.
Miss Widdecombe's comments about Islam (at least, I assume that her talk of "a more predatory faith" was not an effort to expose the hitherto unknown threat posed by hardline Buddhists!) were also encouraging. Even if she did not go as far as I or many of the readers of this site would go in her condemnation of that religion, it is still nice to hear a politician from one of the big three parties come out with something that goes beyond "Islam is a wonderful Religion of Peace".
Of course, the real problem is that Ann Widdecombe is approaching sixty, and will be standing down from parliament at the next election, whereupon she will no doubt be replaced with some liberal Cameronite yes-man. It seems to me that almost all the members of the political elite who sometimes or often speak words of sense are of Miss Widdecombe's generation, or older (two examples that come to mind are Lord Tebbit (76) and Frank Field (65)), while the younger generations of politicians and commentators are almost all tied up in politically-correct liberalism. As the country continues to meander up a certain creek devoid of a paddle, the political elite looks set to move further and further into a liberal dreamworld.