Conservative Diary

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Reaction to Cameron's Spring Forum speech

James Forsyth at The Spectator: "In a cleverly crafted section which will tap into the anti-politics sentiment in the country, he berated Brown for thinking that he was some kind of economic genius. Cameron ran through Brown’s economic record and then declared, ‘that’s not genius, that’s incompetence.’ If Cameron can destroy the image of economic authority that still somehow clings to Brown, the Tory task will be that much easier."

Janet Daley at The Telegraph: "As he has in the past, David Cameron has shown once again that he can do a slap-up performance when he is up against it. The speech today was really very good indeed – compelling, coherent and engagingly delivered. It offered a clear theme – more power over their own lives needs to be devolved to people and communities which will in turn encourage them to accept more responsibility. That theme was illustrated with just enough reference to specific policy – on schools and welfare reform particularly – to make it credible."

Matthew Engel in the FT: "David Cameron reverted to his original party trick of going on to the high wire without a safety net. “I’ve got to do a speech without any notes,” he said. Got to? This is not a novelty act. If he had spent less intellectual energy on memorising the speech, he might have remembered to say something fresh and inspiring."

Cranmer: "David Cameron’s speech was pitched perfectly for postmodernity: there was sufficient conservative meat for the traditional Tories, a few pounds of flesh for the reformist Whigs, a few sinewy morsels for the liberally-inclined and a quite a few marrow-filled bones for those who have never before voted Conservative."

Even big Cameron critic, James Delingpole at The Telegraph was positive (about the performance at least): "Cameron’s speech was a bravura exercise in super-salesmanship.  From this point, for better or worse, I’m putting my money not on a hung parliament but on a workable Tory majority."

Tim Montgomerie


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