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.