Wednesday, October 04, 2017

Prime Minister’s Conference Speech.

Listened to the Prime Minister’s speech on the radio this morning. In the past, my voice has embarrassed me by ‘cracking up’, but never as spectacularly as Theresa May’s voice cracked up today. It was a big achievement on her part to fight her way through to the end. Luckily, I was not concerned about style, presentation or any such things. BBC Wales had invited me on at 5.00pm to discuss the speech on Good Morning Wales. I wanted to know what she actually said!  

I thought it a very good speech. In my opinion, it was an unusually radical, progressive speech. It was very much a Theresa May speech, quite prepared to lead a Government intervening where she sees market failure. And it was good that she apologised to party members for the disappointing General Election results. She had, properly, refused to respond to the self important media demands that she apologise before today. She did it in the right and proper place.

The commitment to more housing was very welcome. In particular she made special mention of Councils being given a role in delivering housing. Personally I would like to have heard more about ensuring planning authorities start helping the private sector deliver new housing instead of making it more difficult. But I do sense today’s speech is going to give a green light where previously it’s been red for No.

We also had an announcement of a review of the Mental Health Act. Probably about 20 yrs overdue. And very significantly, the Prime Minister made it clear she’s had enough of energy companies ‘ripping off’ customers. For long enough, they have had warnings that Govt would act if they didn’t set their house in order. They refused, driven by greed, and Theresa May has acted. We will see the Government Bill next week.

It wasn’t all about state intervention though. The Prime Minister spoke at length of a commitment to the role of the private sector, and to the capitalism which has risen living standards of many millions of people across the world. Mrs Theresa May is a true Conservative, one that knows the value of an economy based on capitalist principles, but willing to step in to correct market failures.

One last word of congratulation to Good Evening Wales. My interview did not include anything about the obnoxious publicity seeker which others (like Radio 5 which I listened) seemed more interested in helping gain the publicity he wanted. It was a proper interview about serious subjects.

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