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"This week in Bournemouth Mr Davis delivered a workmanlike speech but his message on prisons will have most helped the Tory leader with the right of the party."

That's probably a fair description of his portfolio speech but I would say his earlier speech on party change on Sunday was probably the speech of the week.

Chairman Mao-ude is doing an excellent job in one respect. He is taking all the negative flak that might have been laid at David Cameron's door and providing dissatisfied party members with an effective scapegoat - especially those, like me, who stood for six hours plus in a queue waiting for our pass.

Therefore, a bad score for Mao-ude does not neccessarily reflect the job he is really doing.

"Expect Mr Lansley to get more and more profile over the coming months"

I wondered where he has been in recent months...it's not that NHS problems all started last week...I thought he should have got a higher profile in the past months.

No marks for Alan Duncan?

To the man in the street most of these people, apart from Hague and possibly Davis, are entirely invisible and unknown.

Sadly, the kind of Tory who still bothers to attend conference is so wrapped up in esoteric party matters that this sad truth is unlikely to penetrate.

Monday Clubber -

Very true, the general public are more likely to be following the escapades of Boris Johnson and Ann Widdecombe.

I do wonder at the continued high ratings for Davis, his speeches were poor (not his strong point in any case) but there has been so much to attack labour over with the fiascos over imigration and so on that his lack of visibility has been puzzling.

Davis is not a good speechmaker! For me the Conference highlights came in the Defence and Foreign Affairs debates. Liam Fox and William Hague shone but I think Timothy Kirkhope is underestimated as a speaker. He has a great sense of humour. The contribution from the lady from Burma was incredibly moving and drew attention admirably to the plight of her country.
Liam Fox also spoke brilliantly in the Conservative Friends of Israel fringe meeting.

So everybodys' ratings are down since January. Does that mean that no-one's been shining particularly?

The shadow cabinet needs a shake up. Out with Howard's men and in with some fresh faces.

Not convinced the shadow cabinet should be changed as posts above also saying the public don't know most of them. It would be best to let them work hard to establish that higher profile. I did like the way Cameron referred to each member of his team in his speech on Wednesday. It is important to look like a Govt in waiting,


Liam Fox and William Hague shone but I think Timothy Kirkhope is underestimated as a speaker.
William Hague seems to have had the highest profile for some time, he was on the radio a number of times - I expect now he is probably the best known person in the Shadow Cabinet.

I think Osbourne had a poor week. It is correct to say he gave some hope to those who want tax cuts eventually (isn't that everyone?), but he only found himself under the spotlight because of his inflammatory remarks just before Conference. About his role as Chancellor all he appears to have to say is that keeping expenses under control is a difficult task. Sorry, but that's not good enough.

Osborne has an uneviable task. The running of the economy has been Labours trump card. I do worry though about how Osborne will be able to balance all these pressures, without dropping all the balls. Out of the entire Shadow Cabinet, Osborne is the one with the most to prove.

I agree with you James! What we've got to keep pointing out though is that Labour were gifted with a healthy economy when they came to power. I agree that Osborne has the most to prove but I am sure he is capable.

I was only at the Conference on Tuesday and Wednesday but have been catching up with some of the bits I didn't see on BBC Parliament over the last couple of days. Adding to what I said earlier on this thread, I think William Hague is probably one of the few (if not the only) real orator we have in the Party at the moment - his first speech was absolutely superb and to my mind even better than the one he made on Foreign Affairs.

James @ 13.15:
"Osborne has an uneviable task. The running of the economy has been Labours trump card".

True but Brown was dealt a very good hand by Ken Clarke, he did a sensible thing in giving the Bank control base rate and he followed prudent conservative spending plans for a year or two.
After that, he reverted to type. Surely Osborne has sufficient ammunition (much of it listed by ConHome) to show up the chancellor as Gordon Waste-a-Lot, lacking in financial judgment (the sale of much of our gold reserves), a typical tax and spend Labour chancellor, lacking in managerial competence (tax credits etc), lacking transparency (the introduction of many of his taxes by stealth) and a major contributor to the collapse of many pension funds.
What more does Osborne need?

I think Osbourne had a poor week.
I rather think he has been improving steadily from a position in which he had been very much out of his depth to being not so much out of his depth, by the time of the next General Election he might even seem almost plausible as Chancellor of the Exchequer - I'm sure he was probably as surpised as most other people when Michael Howard promoted him to the position, he'll probably find it easier against Alastair Darling or Ed Balls than against Gordon Brown and who knows? in about 20 years time he might even be Prime Minister.

Isn't it about time you addded in some of the new people to the shadow cabinet? What about Alan Duncan for instance, surely he deserves some consideration? then there is Hugo Swire, who not only had Prescott on the ropes over the ranch visit and has kept up the pressure on casinos, but also landed some punches on the BBC.

I did like the way Cameron referred to each member of his team in his speech on Wednesday. It is important to look like a Govt in waiting

Agreed, Matt - those little name-checks to the members of the Shadow Cabinet was nice, and was woven in to the speech well, so as to occur quite naturally.

It's good to see DC show off the way he's building a team ("I want to be the PM of this country, not the president"). Not least, it contrasts favourably with Brown's alleged inability to be a team player.

Apologies - muddled tenses in the above post. Gah! I'm sure you got the gist of it...

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