"There has never been such an opportunity for the Tories to win the hearts and minds of the voters, and to do the right thing for Britain, since Mrs Thatcher's great campaign in 1979."
He is right. These times demand clear and courageous leadership. The Tories must avoid the temptation to be merchants of doom, but instead mix their critique of the government's parlous management of the economy with a sense of optimism about the future. "We can get through this, and this is how we are going to do it," should be the message. Cameron shouldn't use flowery language, but instead come across as the man with a plan. Above all, the country is seeking reassuarance that its rulers know what they are doing. They are not getting that from Labour, but they are seeking it from the Conservatives.
Today George Osborne should start his speech by exposing the flaws in Labour's approach and the effects of the measures announced in the PBR. But then we want to hear some positive stuff which will tell us more about the direction the Conservatives are going in. He needs to meld together the recent policy announcements into one coherent strategy.
PS It seems I was right and that Yvette Cooper will be opening for the Government. Will Darling and Brown be sitting beside her?
UPDATE: There seems to have been a change of heart. The Treasury is now saying Darling will open the debate at 1.15 and Cooper will wind up. She's good at that...