Wednesday, October 01, 2008

The Speech

I heard most of David Cameron's conference speech today, reclining in the car. I have just read the text of it. In my opinion it was a very good speech indeed. It was the speech of a man who demonstrated that he has the ability to lead Britain as it's Prime Minister. We already knew that he had energy, charm and an inherent ability to engage with people. We now know the Conservative leader has the moral fibre to put our country back on track, after the promiscuous and opportunistic years of Tony Blair and Gordon Brown, two men who I believe history will judge to have been amongst Britain's worst ever Prime Ministers.

There was much in the speech that I liked, and very little which I didn't. But what I liked most was his refusal to promise tax and spending changes that his audience would like to have heard. David Cameron refused to promise that which he did not know he would be able to deliver. He knows that he may take over a country in the mother of all messes. He accepted the constraints that this prospect imposes upon him.

"If we win, we will inherit a huge deficit and an economy in a real mess. We will need to do difficult and unpopular things for the long term good of the country."

"So I will be asking all of my shadow ministers to review all over again every spending programme......even that will not be enough"

This man gets it. I don't expect a great surge in the opinion polls tomorrow. I do not think that was his objective. The shambles that is the world's banking crisis will keep a strong focus on Gordon Brown. But it will look different in a few week's time. In my opinion, we witnessed today a decisive step in the development of a man who could well prove to be one of Britain's greatest ever Prime Ministers.


Anonymous said...

dear dear me, such a shame, the independent streak i found in you is being lost under the blue blanket.
it was a poor speech for someone preparin for government,

Glyn Davies said...

anon - I've heard it said that there is an 'independent' streak - in the sense that I tend to say what I think. I hope that I still do. And what I think is that I strongly disagree with your assessment of David Cameron's speech. In my opinion, it was an outstanding speech.

Gary Price said...

Glyn, I think this is the first year I have ever listened to the speeches of the 3 main party leaders, I must say that out of them I enjoyed DC's the most. I think what mage it was the fact that they had various PPC speak before the main speech, what a shame they hadn't asked you or Suzy. All the best.

Frank H Little said...

So he's going along with Gordon Brown's attack on the lower-income taxpayers, then?

Che Grav-ara said...

Glyn I have to say I thought it was quite poor. weak on policy and a bit lost. Like Gary this is the first year I listened to at least part of all three. I couldn't stomach much of Nick Cleggs (was awful) but Brown's whilst not being the great speech the media made it out to be was better than Cameron's i thought. I saw a man slightly off balance yesterday.

Glyn Davies said...

Gary - Agreed. Party couldn't have asked me to speak, because I was not there. Mind you I would have been if I'd have been offered that slot. I'm told John Bell, our Clwyd South candidate made a very impressive speech as one of the warm-up acts.

Frank - You'll have to give me more. Don't get your point here.

che - You're not the only one to think this. I can only say that i thought Cameron's speech was outstanding - best I've heard him make. He sounded exactly the sort of Conservative I want him to be. Of course there are great policy areas which didn't feature, but this week was not the time. In particular I don't want to lose our commitment to the environment, or our commitment to making a success of devolution - but this week was about demonstrating that David Cameron is the man to take over as Prime Minister. In my opinion he did that. Also, there is a danger in outlining policy in such uncertain times - Clegg's speech commiting to tax cuts looks rather ridiculous two weeks later. Its just a matter of opinion che.

Sarah Millington said...


I enjoyed DC's speech, I didn't get to watch it all on TV since it was an hour plus in length but I have now read it in full.

In particular the comments I liked were:
*We are going to stop sending young men to war without the equipment they need, we're going to stop treating our soldiers like second class citizens…
…we will do all it takes to keep our country safe and we will do all it takes to protect the heroes who risk everything for us.

*I believe in low taxes - and today, working people are crying out for relief.

*I know it's your money.
I know you want some of it back.
And I want to give it to you.
It's one of the reasons I'm doing this job.

I did consider attending conference with Suzy but decided against it on this occasion, maybe next time.

I agree with Gary in that it is a pity Suzy wasn't able to make a speech, I've heard her talk in public and she is good!

She is definitely the person for the big job in B & R!!

Che Grav-ara said...

Agreed in hinsight Cleggs speech and its policies look terrible. To be fair they did when he gave it.

Maybe I'm being over critical. Last year when there was the potential of a snap election there were even rumours of replacing cameron. His conference performance then was great. Still policy free (there has to come a time!) but delivery and idea was excellent. Possibly saved him his job certainly saved him a snap election.

This year was quite poor i though. Still poor in terms of policy but there were other issues. He spent too much time defending the novice jibe which only showed that it has touched a nerve.

As you say though its a matter of opinion.

Glyn Davies said...

Sarah - There were lots of good bits - and I agree that Suzy is a very good speaker. I once proposed a motion at the Conservative Conference - and it was quite an experience.

Che - last year he made a great speech for a leader of the opposition. This year he made a great speech for a Prime Minister in waiting. This year he was more traditionally Conservative, an dspoke in the more serious style that I prefer. All my opinion of course.