« Live budget blog | Main | CCHQ: Seven things not mentioned in the Budget »


I enjoyed that! Good prepared sound bites.

and isn't Ming's earnest approach (good points) boring - no flair.

Cameron sounded angry, nearly hysterical. But what he said was good.

That was Cameron's best performance to date - well prepared and passionate.

Credit where it is due, it was a good speech.

I thought Cameron's response was excellent. Sound bites with bite and an effective attack on Blair and Brown, tinged with a real demonstration of passion. Good Stuff.

didn't sound hysterical to me sounded aggressive but that's OK - good finish. Got in the digs about Labour sleaze when he knew thay had no right of reply so didn't open himself to attack (unlike poor old Ming in PMQs).
Made the key points - liked his reference to page x of Red Book; Chancellor hiding stuff.

Think it shows that Brown won't be a great performer in PMQs.

"This was not a green budget...
The Chancellor hasn't made a serious speech on the environment in 11 years...
In a carbon-conscious world we have a fossil fuel Chancellor - taxing energy, not carbon..."

Anybody fancy opening a book on the chances of Gordon's next publicity stunt having a green theme?

DC had two audiences to reach...
1. His own MPs. They would have been looking for evidence that he can take on GB rhetorically.
My View: they would have been broadly impressed... good one-liners, clear strategy (he is the past/he cannot be the solution because he is implicated in the decision making), calmness under fire, no hostages to fortune, etc.
2. The public at large, who will see at most two clips of Cameron on the 6 or 10 TV news tonight.
My view: A lot depends on which soundbites are chosen and the danger is that they will sound more shrill when seen in isolation in a TV package. The commentary is likely give him credit for confidence and the audience is likely to take away a clear contrast with previous Tory leaders.

Rob L, Glad to see you were up at least in time for DC's speech.

Billions spent, billions wasted, no return... with a record like that he should be Treasurer of the Labour Party...

That is one superb line.

Cameron was good- there's simply no point in engaging with Brown's superspun stream of numbers, and DC was quite right to spell out the real headline numbers for borrowing, investment, productivity etc.

And I loved the bit during Gordo's speech when they all laughed about Gershon. We all now know Gershon is just another bit of PR and Brown looked very uncomfortable when he realised it was now the object of derision. Almost a Ceausescu moment.

Cameron was brilliant. For the second time after the last PMQs he genuinely inspired me.

Maybe I'm wrong but I thought I detected a bit of Punch and Judy creeping back in.

Cameron took a gamble but I think it'll pay off. It'll work wonders on the news, and the papers are likely to re-publish some of those nice soundbites. The comment pages might be a bit prickly but I think the response will go down well in the country on a whole.

The one thing I was shocked about was the level of Labour heckling during the response. Of course, this is the Commons, so we can't expect all to be peaceful, but the wall of sound thrown at Cameron was meant to intimidate and the Speaker definitely noticed it. Just shows us who our opponents are and what we have to fight against at the next election.

As an aside, Brown's "champagne" joke was such blatent flag-wrapping that it sounded cheap, tacky and fell completely flat. If he's that bad at soundbites and rhetoric, we have nothing to fear!

I think with Blair DC thought he might end up as Judy too often (at receiving end) and anyway tactic was to exploit the division between Blair and his party. So consensus on bits where Blair was closest to our positions.

With Brown however DC needs to be more agressive.

Personally I think that the most important part of Brown`s speech was not what he said but what he didn`t say.
The NHS is in total crisis with services being cut and doctors and nurses being sacked but he said absolutely nothing about the health service at all
We should be exploiting this crisis far more than we are. We should highlight the consequences that Labours failure on the NHS that are now becoming apparant and we should quickly come up with new solutions to the problems facing the health service.
I am afriad we also need a far more effective minister as shadow health secretary. Personally I think it would not only make the party far more effective but also show our commitment to finding solutions if Hauge was moved from foreign affairs to health.
By appointing someone with the authority and the skills as Hauge to the job we would be sending a message to the wider electorate that we are really serious about our commitment to the NHS.

Have we entered an alternative universe? Jack Stone is being (slightly) critical of Team Cameron and everyone else is being positive!

Good to see that ConservativeHome's visitors are independent of mind and never slavish to a point of view.

Couldn't we move Fox from Defence to Health, after all he has the background.

Yes editor,it does make a change from Jacks' usual posts but he must remember that Williams name is Hague not Hauge.I've mentioned this to Jack before but he always ignores me!!

I thought Cameron was spot on and the 'Labour Treasurer' joke was a beauty - I was hoping for some good comedy from Cameron and he delivered.

Nothing however can top the comedy of Browns's forecasting which gets ever more surreal

As for health, for the first time I can remember we have real chance to set the agenda on the health service and we should pursue it vigorously with a big hitter who pulls no punches - step forward Dr Fox! Lansley can have defence as he'd look quite good riding a tank a la Hesseltine

Those of us who think we should attack all out on health should be wary - they are falling into the NHS mindset which has helped damage this country for years - which Labour minister said he wanted to know about every bedpan on every ward.

Yes some trusts are in deficit, but quite often it is because they are very badly run and inefficient...and Labour is inching towards the internal market again...

We shouldn't just jeer about the deficits but explain how and why a completely decentralised model would be better than the current mess.

I suppose the public aren't educated in these matters and just think deficit = bad but the more we support this mindset of Nurse John Reid being responsible for every hospital and every doctor the more difficult it will be to get real reform of the health system so people can get the service they deserve.

That said, it's their own damn fault for being so centralising and trying to run everything from Whitehall in the first place that they are now getting it in the neck for every p*sspoor hospital manager screwing up their local finances.

I'd love to join the happy chorus, and I certainly think as a Commons performance it was just fine, but do you really think that we had anything to counter the impression that the public will have tonight of the inevitability of Brown's control for years to come?

In 24 hours no-one other than us politicos will remember that there even was a budget - because everything is rumbling along quite nicely. That's exactly what Brown wants. Unless we can really undermine him, we're going to be in trouble.

So yes, a perfectly good Cameron performance, but no, we're no further forward in having any clue about how to tackle Brown. The idea that there was "Almost a Ceausescu moment" was a bit fanciful of Wat!

By the comments Kingbongo and others are making, am I to assume that they regard setting the agenda on health as more important than setting the agenda on national defence?

am I to assume that they regard setting the agenda on health as more important than setting the agenda on national defence?

no James - we already set the agenda on defence by having a clear policy on renewing our nuclear deterrent and having real terms increases in defence spending - now he's done that the good doctor can savage these socialist wreckers on their own territory, the NHS - we've had to put up with people lying about us and health for years.

Now we can use the truth of Labour's incompetence to show how things could be different, better and under local/ individual control - I don't want our health secretary to know about every bedpan I want him to free services from the dead hand of the state.

"Have we entered an alternative universe? Jack Stone is being (slightly) critical of Team Cameron and everyone else is being positive!"

I won't be convinced until Goldie, James Hellyer and John Hustings submit individual hagiographies to Cameron, R UK/Henry Curteis demands a knighthood for Ken Clarke and a pledge to remain in the EPP, and Jack Stone spells 'has' correctly for the second time.

Join the chorus - your points raise no reason not to. Tomorrow morning will headlines be about Brown routing Cameron?

and despite the billing this wasn't the DC v Brown confrontation to tell us how they would work out against each other - there was no PMQ type interaction.

Remember the media consensus last year. Blair will murder Cameron at PMQs and if he ever gets to face Gordon at a Budget there'll be little left of him to scrape off the floor of the House.

Labours 100 day plan didn't work against Cameron. I expect Cameron to stir trouble for Brown.

Otherwise an excellent performance, the budget underlines one thing... This government refuses to accept the problems with British industry and business competitiveness...

Swashbuckling stuff from Cameron and a delight to watch.

I am little worried that a lot of the media seem to be portraying Cameron's response very negatively.

In answer to you 1AM and a suggestion that will make me very unpopular with some people! I think that one action that could be taken which would save quite a chunk of expenditure in each NHS hospital trust and that would be to abolish nursing agencies! I have friends who are nursing and they get very fed-up with the clock-watching disinterested agency nurses, although I am susre they are not all like this. I was told that they cost three times the salary, that this particular friend got!

When I was nursing we were employed and paid by the individual hospital, and were expected to be loyal to that hospital. Now it seems to me that it is money before loyalty.

Personally I think it would not only make the party far more effective but also show our commitment to finding solutions if Hauge was moved from foreign affairs to health

I agree, I was quite disappointed to see Hague given the foreign affairs brief. I would far rather have seen him given a role spearheading public service reform allowing him to deal with health and education. It would have sent out a clear message that we mean business on public service reform.

Either that or have I'd have put Hague at Education and Fox at Health. Our biggest hitters should be where we are perceived to be weakest. On a slightly less serious note, while we are playing 'Fantasy Shadow Cabinet' Boris as Shadow DPM anyone? Just imagine the fun of watching Boris and Prescott go at it!

A great response by Cameron in one of the most politically-charged budgets in recent times.

Even just looking at the punchlines employed by each side:

Brown referrred to the fact that Cameron was a special advisor in the Treasury some years before he entered parliament.

Brown made some sideways reference to children's footwear in respect of Cameron's willingness to make a departure from some past policies that haven't worked for us.

Cameron referred to Brown as a roadblock to future reform, "an analogue politician in a digital age" and belonging to "the past."

Elections frequently can be boiled down to one party talking about the past and one talking about the future. For the first time in a long time, we are now finally standing up as the party of the future. Bring it on!

DC's performance was great stuff, full of soundbites. It reminded me of William Hague, but we all know that good though that is, it is not enough on its own. We can see that Labour intend to portray him as a flip-flopper, so he needs to be careful that that doesn't stick. He must say what he means and stick to it. For example, he should avoid making promises to end "Punch and Judy" politics, when we all know that it wasn't likely to happen, as we have seen.

As several others have said, he must deliver on his pledge to leave the EPP, whatever happens. No backsliding, everyone is watching and we will notice!

Regarding the suggestion to move some key cabinet posts, I doubt that Hague would want Education or Health, and Fox believed in the previous health policies, so he might not want to change tack.

The headlines seem to be along the following lines.

'Brown delivers budget for schools'


'Cameron says Brown is past it'

One looks like a grown up politician taking on major issues. The other looks a little childish.

If one took this view, we would have opted for Ming to give the speeches. The good news is most people didn't fall asleep during Cameron's speech.

Think back Patsy, we had full board and lodging given to us in nice nurses homes, complete with home sister chasing us off to bed at a reasonable hour,(ALONE) and one late pass a fortnight was it? Uniform was on tap, we were on the wards after a few weeks in prelim training school, and learnt almost by osmosis as well as teaching blocks. I actually pity them now, we were much more secure, signed our contract to our training hospital, and it all ran quite well. I am still in touch with my gang/ pals/ In fact I had to leave atape running on long play today, as I had driven up to Newcastle to have lunch and a gossip. Found the car park of our lunch spot full, as the local GPs were having a forum. We cheeky old birds asked them how it was going, told them all to look up NHS blog Doctor,(thanks sam, laughed till I cried) and were told the advent of the Salmon report was the death knell of the NHS. Agree! I havnt been able to remember that name. Advent of nurse managers (for the uninitiated)So played the tape tonight, thought our DC superb, and fully expect him to carry right on like that.

I enjoyed the performance for spectacle, but it seems to me to have backfired. The 'punch and judy' jibes got trotted out as if that was the sum of Cameron's complaints while the really pertinent soundbites -- such as the mortgaging of the nation -- got pushed to the backburner. Admittedly, I expected as soon as I heard it that the BBC would choose to go with something else, but I still wonder about the strategy. Of course we think Brown's socialist mindset is stuck in the past -- we're Tories! But I wonder whether making that the emphasis was a smart move. Brown's image is already damaged, it's his reputation that needs to be taken apart: Cameron made the points (record tax levels, NHS and council tax dodged, governing by small print, nation in debt) but I don't think he's punched through the bubble. Then again, as much of this is to do with the media as Cameron, and in fairness, budget day always seems a very difficult time for an opposition. It's basically just a big press conference and publicity stunt for the party in power with a couple of sentences squawking from the opposition and LibDems. The news is what's being done differently, not what some other politicians think about it.

I don't quite know how he managed it, but Brown exuded a sense of quiet continuity. I'm afraid I thought DC sounded slightly hysterical.

They'll get a boost from this unfortunately.

Having watched it all now I would agree with Richard Allen,perhaps it's me but I don't like this parliamentary knockabout when serious subjects are being discussed.DCs speech was a mass of soundbites and personal insult, it seems to have been well received in the media but I didn't like it.

malcolm, gareth

The best summation I read of budget was the Times editorial

in that Leader says "Faced with the rough terrain of the Budget response, it was a relief so discover that David Cameron’s oratorical 4x4 has a fifth gear. The snarl is not so pretty, but the torque was impressive"

Brown is a commanding figure, he dominates but his weakness is his ego - we need to expose his vanity and the complexity of his prposals.

It was an enjoyable performance and good to see the opposition acting like an opposition for once, and criticising the government rather than keeping silent or going along with them.

However, as one of my my economist colleagues noted about Cameron's speech, "it was interesting but had zero impact. Without an unlikely major shock to the system, the keys to number 10 are Browns".

In 1979 there was economic collapse, in 1997 people were aching for a change after 18 years of Tory rule, perhaps Iraq could have been the catalyst in 2005 if the Tories had opposed the war, but currently, things are just ticking along nicely.

Cameron's time may come, but I just don't think it will be next time. Perhaps the Tories should be realistic, instead of inflating themselves with false hope, just concentrate on being a values-based effective opposition and ensure this message remains even if the next election is lost.

And you can't criticise Brown for saying one thing but not delivering whilst failing to deliver on pledges to your own party members (EPP).

Not one of you has address the most important issue of the day-who was the bonny good looking lass to Cameron's left?

Ms Villiers I believe

"Ms Villiers"

Thanks, just looked at her profile.

How has she made it to the front bench at such a young age/in her first term....is Cameron shagging her I wonder??..... and if so who can blame him :D

Yes, Annabel, that brings back memories!


is it wise for Vapid Cameroon's handlers to position him with common purpose on the fashionable but fatally flawed global warming green issue - it may get a few votes from the knitted yoghurt and socks and sandals brigade but it does show him to be either gullible, dishonest or a fool.

Next he'll be peddling the nonsense of Wind Farming and interferring with tidal and wave patterns. It is obvious we are dependent on nuclear, whether we lose money hand over fist buying it in from France or INVEST in our own production with British safety standards and British control.

Greg L-W.


good heavens Comstock are you in the RNIB?

One only needs to read a few of her speaches to understand how stunningly stupid she is and when she had to read her briefing from CCHQ verbatim on Question Time it said it all - Not even conversation afterwards of any value.

I understand her her husband was an employee of a German Bank and gave her her briefings as Tory Spokesman in The EU on Finance and The City! Not so much a security risk as since she knew NOTHING about either the city or finance she could betray no secrets but it was like Heath run by The Abwere!

Woops - to clarify he is a Was Husband rather than Was Banker!


"good heavens Comstock are you in the RNIB?"

Ah so that's what this bloomin dog that keeps hanging round my house is for :D

"One only needs to read a few of her speaches to understand how stunningly stupid she is"

Got a front bench job within months of becoming an MP, though, hasn't she? ;)

I do keep telling you. Better minds than mine have worked out.. see post on Gordon/waste that we are in time after next. Gordon has a brief fling like a sparkler, and fizzles out. Even the stock market knows for a fact that life runs in cycles. Why should politics be any different? I ts not the economy stupid, its the outer planet cycles stupid! So the post from Chad was spot on.

Hello all,

I thought David Cameron's response was excellent, especially as the opposition response for Budget speech is very difficult to prepare. Sure it was mostly scripted, with visibile pawprints from Rt.Hon member from Richmond, but Dave certainly gave it a fine performance it so deserved. It was certainly lapped up by the Tory benches, you could even see Eric Forth smirking in behind.

I was really encouraged about cleverness of Camerons strategy. He kept the speech short, 8 minutes in total and sweet with good soundbites for the news. That shows confidence and patience – there’s no need to attack specific policies now when there’s 4 years of parliament still left.

Gordon Brown's performance was exactly what we have to come to expect from him. 1+ hour long self congratulatory rant, how the government has spent billions and billions under him to "invest into public services". I think Gordon Brown is walking to a trap of his own making by pledging more and more money to public sector, thereby inflating people’s expectations of future delivery. This was an effective tactic in Labour's 1st and 2nd term, but now in the 3rd term we have the evidence that this “investment” has been mostly wasted – and without reform, it is highly likely the new injections of money will disappoint as well.

A very powerful and effecive speech by the Conservsative leader hammering home points about Gordon Brown's massive wastage of tax payer's money.

The comments to this entry are closed.



ConHome on Twitter

    follow me on Twitter

    Conservative blogs

    Today's public spending saving

    New on other blogs

    • Receive our daily email
      Enter your details below:

    • Tracker 2
    • Extreme Tracker