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« John McCain's speech to Conference | Main | Graham Smith: Assessment of BBC coverage (7:35pm news, Oct 1st) »

October 01, 2006


Oberon Houston

Just come out of the main hall. Pretty good speech, and as expected he underlined that we would need to wait for detailed policy. The analogy is that we are building a house and before the bricks go up and it takes shape, we need to lay the foundationd. Most seemed pretty relaxed about that, its the opposition that will try to use this against us with the electorate. He did do a good job of summing up Labour - usually well intended but wholy incapable of implementing an effective policy.


"And then finally, once the reality dawns that the only people to benefit are the lawyers, accountants and consultants of Labour's quango army..."

Let us hope that Cameron's speech implies his intention to dispose of them.


As usual, he bashed the government quite well and is a decent orator. I agree with much of his analysis of Labour incompetence.

"A story of wasted billions", he says of Labour in government.

Well, quite. But having identified these billions, does he plan to give them back to the taxpayer? He does not.

Does he have other uses for these billions? Evidently yes. Will he tell us? He will not.

Yet his rhetoric also suggests that the man in the street is a better spender of cash, in almost all cases, than the state. Yes, Dave! You've got it!...... But the reality is that he's buggered if he's going to hand any of it back.

He seems to see the state as a sickly child, in need of fattening up and 24-hour intensive care, instead of the radical diet and fitness regime it really needs.

This is not a trainer to send your horse to.


You can't "respend" a lot of the "wasted billions". Money spent on paying doctors more to work less is gone. As is other money which has been ploughed into salaries (some deserved, some less so) across the public sector. Sure you might make some of it back with wholesale "efficiency savings" in politically tolerable areas, but experience has shown that that is easier said than done. The Thatcher solution of freezing graduate recruitment is at best a short term shortsighted solution (just think - some of the people lost to the civil service in those early Thatcher years would now be occupying the senior positions in the civil service. Is there a previously unexplored connection here?)
Money wasted on capital PFI projects is gone. Money spent on mismanaged computer projects is gone. etc etc

It is future growth that will allow savings in public expenditure, not past growth already squandered.


From this speech it is pretty obvious that Cameron is a Conservative, albeit different to usual leaders, but nethertheless a conservative. Pointing out where Labour have quickly come out with ill-thought policies, served to highlight there incompetence but to subtly suggest that we should not make the same mistake in an attempt to appease certain groups.


Greg -

Say you spend £50,000 this year and realise by year end that £10,000 of it was wasted. To achieve the same result next year, £40,000 would suffice, unless you planned to repeat this year's mistakes. Do Cameron and Osbourne budget £40,000 with no wastage? No, they go along with existing plans to spend £55,000, then £60,000, etc etc.

Perhaps, in time, the percentage of GDP eaten by the state may fall from the present obscene levels. But their plan is to budget for ever higher billions, regardless of the wastage in the system which can be put right. Ergo, they free up billions which can be spent on worthwhile projects - what are these extra projects? What areas of life are they planning to participate in which hitherto have not been in the state's compass?


And if the £10,000 was spent on increased salaries for "key public servants" you won't be able to cut their pay by £10,000 next year. I didn't say you couldn't respend any of it, but large parts of it you can't.

James Strachan

Listening on television, I thought that this was a very good speech.

I picked up the strong theme that we need to rebuild responsibility. It is not the job of the Government to legislate and bully us into good behaviour - it is our job to behave well and to persuade others to fall in with our example.


Or Og- say you have something that requires £50,000 of investment, but only 40k is spent correctly, then next year you still allocate the 50k but spend it all wisely, so that the next year it will require less investment and less money is required each year thereafter. There is no use in cutting funing for the sake of it; we need to shore up our public finances so that they are cost effective then we can gradually reduce the tax burden


If I read you correctly, Afleitch, you advocate the Labour programme, in it's entirety, but delivered by our efficient chaps instead of their wasteful spendthrifts....... timidity and funk, in other words.

There is every reason to cut funding for the sake of it, if the project it is spent on is not in the national interest. Cameron even mentioned a few of them today, top of the list being ID Cards.


I agree that the graveyard component was the best part of a very good speech- it put the finger right on what I have being trying to explain to myself about our 'government', without success, for years.

DC is a great communicator.

Oberon Houston

In an Indian for grub afterwards the two ladies next to me also had lots to talk about his speech, well not the speech - his hair-doo. Apparently its much better than last year, with a really nice quiff.

Christopher North

With one breath, David Cameron lays in to the excessive bureaucracy and centralisation of public policy. With the next, he chides Conservatives for "banging on about Europe". What does he think is the main source of all this red tape? How can he oppose centralisation in Britain while going along with it in Brussels?

The EU is responsible for something like 80% of our laws. How can any party that aspires to government not have a view about this? How can anyone who believes in the sunlit, optimistic Britain that Cameron says he wants not "bang on" about the system that is eroding Britain's freedom?

Is the real reason that he doesn't want people to talk about Europe that he is trying to tiptoe away quietly from the only hard promise he made during the leadership campaign - to break with the EPP?

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