"If ye love wealth better than liberty, the tranquility of servitude better than the animating contest of freedom, go home from us in peace. We ask not your counsels or your arms. Crouch down and lick the hands which feed you. May your chains set lightly upon you, and may posterity forget that you were our countrymen."

Thursday, 8 October 2009

Cameron's Speech To Conference

If I had to sum up Cameron's speech this afternoon in just one picture, it would be this:

The mood in the hall was very upbeat, as you'd expect, with standing room only and some of the audience (eg Ken Clarke) seemed to have enjoyed a heavy lunch followed by a glass or two of Port and a cigar, and who could blame them? The contrast between this week and last was tear-jerking: last week was a poor, sad event energised only by vitriol and abuse while this week has been proactive and policy-packed.

Cameron touched all the bases in his speech and essentially wooed us with a picture of a future Britain under a Conservative government: safe, commonsensical, with integrity & dignity, admired in the world. He also sold himself and his leadership qualities and showed a genuine anger at Labour policies:
This is my DNA: family, community, country. These are the things I care about. They are what made me. They are what I'm in public service to protect, promote and defend. And I believe they are what we need in Britain today more than ever.
... ...
On Monday, when we announced our plan to get Britain working you know what Labour called it? "Callous."

Excuse me? Who made the poorest poorer? Who left youth unemployment higher? Who made inequality greater? No, not the wicked Tories. You, Labour: you're the ones that did this to our society. So don't you dare lecture us about poverty. You have failed and it falls to us, the modern Conservative party to fight for the poorest who you have let down.

... ...
But if there is one political institution that needs decentralisation, transparency, and accountability, it is the EU.

For the past few decades, something strange has been happening on the left of British politics. People who think of themselves as progressives have fallen in love with an institution that no one elects, no one can remove, and that hasn't signed off its accounts for over a decade. Indeed even to question these things is, apparently, completely beyond the pale. Well, here is a progressive reform plan for Europe.

Let's work together on the things where the EU can really help, like combating climate change, fighting global poverty and spreading free and fair trade. But let's return to democratic and accountable politics the powers the EU shouldn't have.

... ...
To be British is to be sceptical of authority and the powers-that-be.

That's why ID cards, 42 days and Labour's surveillance state are so utterly unacceptable and why we will sweep the whole rotten edifice away.

There was no mention of Carswell & Hannan's Grand Repeal Act but perhaps that will come later.   All in all, it was a fine speech and he directed several parts of it direct to camera (good for soundbites on the news channels).  There was a great deal in it for which the electorate will hold him accountable if/when elected.  The country has been smacked around the head since 1997 - let no one forget that Blair was already unpopular when Brown took over - and now needs some serious psychotherapy in certain quarters (mentioning no names but let's start with the public sector, including the Civil Service).

A few years ago I'd have been jumping up and down, applauding a speech like this but we've been tricked and cheated so much that it's hard to trust - in fact I don't think I'll ever trust a politician again: question, question, question.  Until I see the small print and the action to match the words I'm going to keep my hat handy:

Full text of speech here

PS How could I forget the nauseating sight of Bono making a speech on video? It was so horrible my memory blanked it out. Bad move, Dave.


  1. woman on a raftOctober 08, 2009

    Good review.

    He asserts he is in public service, but is politics public service? It's a noble phrase but the activity doesn't seem selfless.

  2. Thanks WoaR.
    No, never entirely selfless, nothing is but politics has more avenues for self-enrichment than most. He *seems* genuine but that isn't enough - he has to be seen to be sincere and that means action. We'll just have to be patient for another eight months.


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