Wednesday, October 06, 2010

A Powerful, Meaty Speech

I listened to David Cameron's speech while driving back to London. And I am afraid this will have to be quick as I need to get to LBC to prepare for tonight's programme.

I wasn't expecting this speech to be especially memorable. In a sense it didn't need to be. It wasn't one of those make or break conference speeches. But a speech which invokes the collective spirits of Lord Kitchener, Margaret Thatcher, Winston Churchill and JFK deserves to be remembered.

It was a speech which bore all the hallmarks of the Big Society. A speech which laid out in simple, stark terms, the financial situation facing the country. It was a speech which explained where the blame for that lies and how we can get ourselves out of this mess. Wll it be heard? I wonder how many people were watching, because if it was a large audience it will have had an impact. If not, people will just get the soundbites from the news bulletins later.

I thought the Big Sciety passages were especially powerful. It was a real call to arms, for people to make a contribution in the full recognition that the state can't do everything. Nor should it. Time will tell what the response will be.

This was a better speech than I was expecting, and a more meaty speech. Yes, there were the ritual attacks of Labour, but it was a speech which made you think. And that's unusual in a party conference leader's speech.

I'm now wondering which aspect of it to concentrate on on my phone in tonight. What would you suggest?


Duncan said...

How about focusing on what he didn't say: that this coalition governs at the whim of News International; that politicians and police alike are cowed by the threat of career-ending press muscle; and that he is complicit in reinforcing and extending that power.

The Tories and News International are the real coalition.

Anonymous said...

Great speech, and I think it came from the heart. Good to hear that Lady Thatcher will celebrate her birthday at No. 10.

The Purpleline said...

Iain, it was a good inspiring speech, I do feel he should have bashed Labour on their abuse of the National Lottery a great social big society move made by John Major, who is overlooked far too often these days.

The Lottery was a perfect example of the Big society, putting in an investment that may pay off big time but contributed to important arts and other areas people on low incomes would never dream about helping.

I also believe the name check for Balls was an attempt to ensure his chances of getting the shadow chancellorship were lifted, a great battering ram to hit Labour over the head every time he opens his mouth.

no longer anonymous said...

Personally I found it rather dull. It seemed disjointed and a rehash of stuff said before.

That said the ending was good. Let's see how the media interprets it...

Lauchlan McLean said...

Which part of the speech had to be approved by Brussels as the EC now controls how this country is run.
( Clegg is still a pensioner of the EC)

monkey for sale said...

I’m in a quandary now. Should I set up a business or should I commit myself to voluntary/charity work?

Ask your Listeners Ian what I should do , please.

Anonymous said...

@Duncan. You are hallucinating.

Unsworth said...

Has the speech improved stamina - or will it all be forgotten by the weekend?

What is necessary is sustained effort over many many months. Are they up to it? Is the Coalition sufficiently strong to withstand the inevitable buffeting?

wild said...

I agree with Duncan, the first thing any future Labour government should do is abolish the free press. Why should people have the freedom to choose which newspaper to read? Especially if it makes people like Rupert Murdoch rich.

Ideally every person ought to be taxed in order to pay for a State broadcaster. This State broadcaster could then educate people to have the correct views.

I see that once Duncan realised that the last Labour government was one of the most fiscally responsible, morally inspiring, and intellectually able governments in our history, he decided to join the Labour Party.

If only the Labour Party could win every election. We can only imagine what would happen to the country then. I personally have no objection to a one Party State.

Is it too idealistic to imagine every Tory in the country being put to death? At the very least every private school in the country ought to be abolished.

I disagree with Duncan however when he says that the current government is simply a puppet of Rupert Murdoch. He fails to appreciate that it is simply a puppet of the Jews.

HampsteadOwl said...

I think it is telling, and damaging, that the professional commentators, even those sympathetic to the Tories like Ben Brogan, are leading on the shambles of the child benefit announcement and not on Cameron's speech. Like 99% of its kind, it will be forgotten by next week, never mind next month or next year.

When you finish up with your party chairman having (not very competently) to rebut the charge that it was a "car-crash conference", you know that you've fouled up.

Any chance we can stop being told now how effortlessly at home David Cameron is with power, or how George Osborne bestrides the political canvas. This performance has taken us straight back to the horrors of their lousy election campaign.

Unknown said...

Anyone seen Will Straw's fisking of the speech? He's made a colossal mistake with some of his numbers, striking a bit of a blow to "evidence-based blogging"...

Anonymous said...

Did you and the Guardianistas listen to the same speech?

Read their thread; one long drizzle of cold water.

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CC Baxter said...

Hmm, don't recall the left getting in a tizzy when Murdoch supported Labour from '97 to 2009.

Duncan, got an old blog article where you complain about the alliance between Murdoch and Labour you can link to? Can you answer why you don't mention it in the article you link to, if you are so concerned about things that people didn't say.

Snotrocket said...

Well, I managed to watch the entire speech. Oh sure, it was Cameronesque: not quite the oratory we would have cheered for. But there were really good moments: Balls saying there should not be winners. That went down very well in the hall and here at home.
Then there was the way Cameron emphasised that the BLAME was labour's. And he had the nous to keep coming back to that. No wonder Red Ed's mates didn't like that.
We need to keep pressing the point that the reason we're in this mess is, above all, the incredibly, stupefyingly, incompetent management of the UK's economy for the last 13 years, given that the Labour party took office with oneof the healthiest treasuries in modern times.
Instead of speaking up against Cameron's speech, Labour, and it trolls, should hang their heads in shame.

Mirtha Tidville said...

HampsteadOwl is right..There is nothing to get excited about..Big society????,,,oh please just another slogan to drop into the bin...As for the Tories Chairman,,now there is the triumph of style over substance...aka locally as `Lady Muck..

Victor, NW Kent said...

It did not please the Guardianistas nor the Kippers. I say to them if you want a speech with which you have 100% agreement go make one yourself. Hyde Park corner is free.

Unsworth said...

@ Mathew

"Anyone seen Will Straw's fisking of the speech?"

Er, nope.

Pete said...


I'm glad DC spoke at length about the Big Society - it's a really simple concept which I think some people are wilfully refusing to understand. Hopefully the words-of-one-syllable approach will remedy this.

Glyn H said...

What Phil at 7.50 says about stupefying incompetence is OK so far as it goes; except that is what Brown set out to do. He wanted to impose his view of what a socialist state should be, complete with the compliant and state dependant voters to keep the regime in power. And despite his grossly inadequate personality to fulfil the role if PM in our democratic society he very nearly succeded. With distorted constituencies and a huge abuse of postal votes he got 258 seats. As big an electoral con as has been seen since rotten boroughs were abolished in in early 19th Century.

Unknown said...

Can we agree to never use the phrase 'The Cuts' or 'Coalition cuts' which is totally misleading. These are cuts to Labours one trillion pound national debt and so should always be referred to as the 'The Labour-Debt cuts'. The sooner this comes into common parlance the better.

Mostly Ordinary said...

I'll probably get branded as a selfish bastard, but frankly I don't care.

I left a school with no qualifications, at 20 I decided I needed some and after ten years of self funded part time education I got myself a masters degree. I built a successful career, got married and had children. I work in the community in my spare time, my wife stays at home and supports the kids and does charity work. I'm not special, lots of people have done this type of thing.

However; if you earn between 40k and 80k a year we're all about to get royally screwed.

Because Dave has decided we (those that earn between 40k and 80k) have the broadest shoulders and to my surprise I'm apparently rich.

Although I'm not sure when David and George have lived on less than 80k a year?

Paying back the the deficit have become the new green tax. A phrase used to defend all ills.

I listened to your LBC show last night when Chris Grayling admitted they couldn't be bothered to make the child benefits system fair because it was too complex.

A clear signal that the path of least resistance is the one they'll be taking in the tax system.

I'm so unhappy with this Government's direction, my family standard of living has gone down year on year in the last ten years. I'm no better off earning 70k a year than when my wife and I together earned 50k.

I don't want huge tax cuts but I would like to see the improvements in the tax system, for example transferring taxes allowances, extended up to a 80kish limit. That would at least acknowledge the already substantial contribution people like me make.

The Tories use to be the Party of trying to let people keep as much of their money as possible. No longer it seems.

Matt said...

@ Duncan

And like it was Labour and News International?

Do you actually think about what you write? Ever?

Tapestry said...

To get Britain back to work we will have to halve the minimum wage (MW).

We are hopelessly uncompetitive with the MW at $9.50 an hour, compared to the USA's $7, which was jacked up from $5 in 2007, and has caused widespread unemployment there.

US workers produce 50% more than British per hour worked. Our rate should be about $4.50 if we want to get the 6 million idle hands back to work in Britain.

If tax is removed for lower paid workers, people on GBP 3.50 an hour could take home GBP 140 a week, and be able to find starter jobs and contribute to their household.

In the US, tipped Labour has MW of $2 an hour. Britain could do the same and get millions back to work.

If we want to get people off welfare we have to set minimum pay rates which enable people to get jobs more easily.

It's obvious.

This will not be easy to sell to the public and the media, but should be part of IDS' programme of helping people to help themselves, and getting free of state dependency.

Grand_Inquisitor said...

I watched the whole speech.

Big Society?? I was underwhelmed.

Why so? Because in this great rush to allow us to do things our own way, the fact that He has to 'bend the knee' to the EU (ie the French and the Germans) was carefully omitted. So we can't do our own things in our own way at all.

"Cameron, get us out of the tentacles of the EU first" and then we might believe you are serious.

Jason Crabtree said...

Re- Tapestry's proposal for a minimum wage of £3.50 an hour:

Brilliant idea - and as we're all meant to struggle together in the nation's interest, I suggest that all MPs initiate the scheme by taking part in a pilot study for the lifetime of the current parliament. £3.50 an hour for the next five years would be a great help in reducing the budget deficit (assuming that expenses could be kept under control).

Max Atkinson said...

I wonder if anyone else among your readers and/or callers on your phone-in last night noticed that the audience delayed their applause at two crucial points in the speech. My interpretation was that Tory activists are not as enthusiastic about the coalition government as the leadership is - but you can judge for yourself from the short video clips at - where there are also videos showing exactly the same muted responses by LibDems during conference speeches by Clegg and Cable...

Malcolm said...

Cameron's speech passed me by, I'm afraid. For me, the conference was dominated by the stupidly, STUPIDLY, incompetantly handled announcement on child benefits.

The matter is still running now: "Voted Tory and livid about losing your child benefit? Well, they DON'T CARE" in the Daily Mail today!