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"I want to be a Prime Minister of Britain, I don't want to be a President"

Nice little nod to the Monarchy there!

"Labour have done many good things - Bank of England independence... The minimum wage (which we'll raise when we can)... "

Did Dave really say that????


The Conservatives want to raise the minimum wage?

Next thing we will be encouraging everyone to join a trade union.

Doesn't seem very conservative to me.

We will raise the minimum wage when we can?

We're committed to the failed state-socialist NHS which is the worst health care system of any advance economy (comparable in results to Romania)?

He believes in a low-tax economy but does not dare to announce any tax cuts after 9 years of Gordon Brown?

He believes economics is a zero-sum guns and is unfamiliar with the rather basic concept that certain certain taxes and regulation has effects on economic growth?

And I am supposed to applaud?

this human rights bill stuff fell apart after 24hours last time he mentioned it

Good to see him turning "Hug a Hoodie" back on Blair. Nice. Good bloke nodding vigorously in the background too.

Cameron comes out in favour of marriage - very brave.

The Human Rights act stuff fell apart after 24 hours last time he mentioned it.

"For Britain, the best is yet to come"

So we're going to get an even bigger Empire under Cameron? ;)

Perfectly vacuous. A great example of why there's an evaporating(ed) in the polls and his Party is collapsing in the country as members fail to renew. Thank you and Goodnight, Dave.

"we must do something about Darfur"



Rather touching critique on this speech from Iain Dale. It certainly hit the spot with him.

What was that elephant doing in the conference hall? Quite extraordinary, really huge, blue with yellow stars on it. I'm amazed Cameron didn't comment on it.

This wasn't a message pitched at the people in the hall, but frankly nor should it be. It was written to get messages across via grabs on tonight's news packages, to reassure 'core' public sector voters like nurses (as opposed to taxpayer-funded management consultants) and first-home buyers that they are safe with us.

Very clever speech.

Oh, for goodness' sake. You can't get a new policy on everything into a 60 minute speech. (Ever written one, moaners?)

This was perfectly pitched to do the three two things it had to do - and for which this was his one and only chance.

First - defuse and pre-empt attacks from the left, hitherto led by Blair and now by the likes of Reid and Campbell, and get the Labour and LibDem wobble-vote wobbling a bit more.

Second - to set the direction his leadership is taking and will take. Philosophy precedes policy in a good politician, which Blair is not, with his knee-jerk legislative diarrhoea. People vote with their guts first and their heads second, so get the right feeling established and only then lay the policies on top. The right policies will only swing the vote in the immediate pre-election period and only if the instincts are already tuned in your direction. This speech was about treating the electorate like grown-ups, not about being a bloody Messiah. Blair tried that and now look. This was the opposite.

Third - tell the old guard that he's in charge, times-are-changing whether they like it or not, and he is no sofa-sitting Jabba the Hut autocrat but a Cabinet-government leader with a strong team whom they have to trust - and can.

He did well. Very well.

Geez Dennis, if you want to have a crack at Cameron's speech about not talking about Europe, why not set an example and say something new yourself? It looks like your Berkshire Campaign for an Independent Britain website hasn't been updated for around 3 years! : )

Most unusual and inspiring speech. It gets ever better as I think further about it. What you saw was NOT a Blair clone, but rather a modest, confident and decent person who is clearly not a messianic Blair or a control freak Brown.Rather, a man who wants the privilidge of leading not a mad crusade but a decent government.a seriously grown-up speech.

A very good speech - well beyond my (high) expectations. David's support of the family was a wonderful balancing act: supporting traditional marriage but remembering lesbians and gays form families too. Supporting America but not being slavish in that support. Gone are the days when we saw everything in black and white or you're with us or against us terms. The vast majority of people can see shades of grey – that’s the middle ground of British politics. We've returned to it and the British public will reward us. One important reminder from David Cameron was for those who harp after the policies of much of the 80’s and 90’s will be disappointed. Society has change – and so have we Conservatives. There's no turning back now.

That is why we will abolish the Human Rights Act and put a new British Bill of Rights in its place."

Ha ! Ha ! Ha !

It will have to contain exactly the same clauses.........it must be in conformity with the European Convention and the European Charter - it is subject to the European Court on Human Rights in Strasbourg AND The European Court of Justice in Luxembourg

Enjoy yourself Dave - this pledge will not be honoured because it is meaningless

If there were faces in the hall looking unhappy when he referred to same sex relationships, as Iain comments, it might have been because DC implied that civil partnerships were marriages by starting the para with marriages and then saying it's the same. If he had said "it's the same for civil partnerships between..." it would have been much better. But sadly I suspect it was deliberate.

But more importantly, I don't quite get why it's any business of the State whether or not adults, if they don't have children, are in stable relationships. Are we saying that promiscuity, or just singledom, should be against State policy? It's a short step to making fornication and adultery illegal. Surely the justification for civil partnerships is to extend tax, next of kin etc privileges, not to promote stable relationships? This is nothing to do with the argument in favour of stable families, which is because they are better for bringing up children. Are we saying we are against gays (or heteros) whose (childless) lifestyles may not embrace a lifetime (or even perhaps temporary) exclusive commitment?

I fear in the anxiety to be inclusive that he has got two things horribly confused; and in the process excluded a much larger and more varied group than he has included.

Generally of course, the speech may have been fine.

The vast majority of people can see shades of grey – that’s the middle ground of British politics.

That's the phrase I've been seeking for months. Sums it up perfectly. Thanks Justin.

Never been updated, Alexander, because it was decided not to pursue it.

But that has nothing to do with Cameron speaking for an hour, finding the time to mention that we should not slavishly follow the US, but not finding the time to say a single word about the EU. Not a single word that I heard, anyway.

Sorry, it wasn't Iain Dale commenting on here was it, but presumably Tim. All you web-bloggers look the same to me...

Given a General Election is likely to be a few years off, I thought it was a good, workman like speech rather than an excellent speech, but he's laid down a good foundation to build upon. The audience response was interesting and predictable particularly in relation to same sex "marriages" as somebody has already mentioned, maybe indicates that the audience remains very much the "old faithful".

This was entirely a touchy-feelly speech utterly devoid of hard content. It did the only thing Cameron can do - emote. Prodicus (1557) grumbles "You can't get a new policy on everything into a 60 minute speech". It wouldn't be too much to expect to get SOME policy on SOMETHING in such a speech. Nothing to hang a campaign on at all.

So we will go on - whoever's elected - with a high-tax, high-regulation economy, health and education still in a shambles, continued appeasement towards all criminal and potentially terrorist organizations. It will continue to flounder in its foreign and defence policies. And we will continue - and increasingly so - to be ruled by Brussels at (thanks to Blair) a vastly increased expense - in the region of doubling over the next 7 years. THAT's why he won't allow tax cuts to be mentioned.
Welcome to "NO CHOICE BRITAIN"and since there's no choice it would be better to let Labour take the blame.

Christina, change the tune will you, love? Or change your posting name, nobody reads your rants since you became a one trick pony.

Tell me this, in theory if we see a bounce in the polls next week and better election results in 2007 and beyond will that mean you are wrong?

I am a low-tax, anti-EU, pro-British Tory, but I trust the likes of Cameron to get us back into power with speeches like this aimed at the wider public more than I do the likes of Edward Leigh or John Redwood.

I’m sorry Christina, what speech were you watching?

We have to be policy free, its the sensible way to let the voter know that the party is thinking long and hard about what needs to be done. Cameron has set the most amazing framework for a wide-ranging Conservative government. I like the simple 'social responsibility' from which everything will derive.

Wonderful speech from Cameron, he’s got this demeanour that seems calm, yet convinced. Certainly not a Blair clone, I think he shrugged off much of his critics today and done so head-on. Tough guy.

"What was that elephant doing in the conference hall? Quite extraordinary, really huge, blue with yellow stars on it. I'm amazed Cameron didn't comment on it."

Probably so the media couldn't trot out another "Tories obsessed with Europe" or "Tories extremist on Europe" line.

I think it was a perfect speech for the purpose it was intended for. Without mentioning too many specific policies, Cameron talked about a very wide range of policy areas, and he gave a very strong impression of where he would take us in each of them. A very firm foundation on the general theme of social responsibility, as was the intention for this conference.

The emphasis on the NHS is a little irking for me, but I can thoroughly understand it for political reasons. The NHS is embedded in to our national psyche; every mention of healthcare comes with those three letters attached. If the message gets through to all those floating voters, that we will not ruin the NHS the first chance we get, then they may well side with us.

"One important reminder from David Cameron was for those who harp after the policies of much of the 80’s and 90’s will be disappointed. Society has change – and so have we Conservatives. There's no turning back now."

Which policies? I got the impression that Cameron is sympathetic to tax cuts (albeit after we get into power) and supporting marriage - just two traditional right-wing stances. And his call for a British Bill of Rights, providing he can implement it, should go down well with the traditionalists. Then there was building more prisons. No mention of Europe but we know he's a eurosceptic. One of the reasons I have tended to support Cameron is I don't think he's as Wet as some might think, even if I don't approve of particular strategies.

Reagan Fan - "I am a low-tax, anti-EU, pro-British Tory, but I trust the likes of Cameron to get us back into power"

You're in for a dreadful shock then! Of course the polls are likely to bounce back but only at best to the pre-conference season levels I would imagine and nothing under a 10% lead will produce a Not-The-Conservative-Party victory.

G-Man Wild. The speech I refer to is the one Cameron made - a mish-mash of feel-good aspirations without any real content.

No point in backing the Not-The-Conservative-Party

I don't think all of us who bristle at civil partnerships being called "marriages" need be "old faithfuls" particularly if it is combined, as in my comments above, with a desire for the State (or politicians in their public capacities) to be non-judgemental (when children aren't involved) between the virtues of committed relationships and looser arrangements/lifestyles.

I feel it's rather old-fashioned (and perhaps patronising) for married heterosexuals to think that gay relationships are the same as straight ones and only to be celebrated if there is "commitment". The civil partnership law actually reflects this in one important respect in that adultery is not a grounds for "divorce".

But maybe I've been caught up in London metrosexual attitudes. However, I do confess to long having been "faithful" to the Party, even if not to being "old".

by starting the para with marriages and then saying it's the same. If he had said "it's the same for civil partnerships between..." it would have been much better. But sadly I suspect it was deliberate

Since Brown changed the ONS marriage certificate to read "Single" in place of "Spinster" or "Bachelor", and the consanguinity rules were applied to Civil Partnerships it is hard to see the distinction.

Maybe brother and sister should be allowed to form civil partnerships, but no they must lose their homes to the Inheritance Tax Expropriator who charges 3% interest from the date of death on IHT liability

Nick Assinder has given a lukewarm response to the speech. So it must have been good!


Committed monogamous relationships, gay or straight, are indeed better for the country as a whole.

The British/American gay blogger, Andrew Sullivan, points this out when he explains how the Religious Right in America derides gay men as being addicted to disease-prone promiscuity on the one hand, whilst on the other denying them the legal rights which would lead many away from that lifestyle with approval from a wider community. The costs of dealing with sexual health issues generated by promiscuous lifestyles (not to mention the emotional issues) and fragmented populations does indeed suggest the state has a role in promoting marital union, gay straight, childless or otherwise.

Christina @ 17.03, I often agree with some of your more acerbic comments but if you really believe the following, I cannot believe that you listened carefully to what DC had to say:
"So we will go on - whoever's elected - with a high-tax, high-regulation economy, health and education still in a shambles, continued appeasement towards all criminal and potentially terrorist organizations".
DC went to great pains to say that his government would maintain the present level of funding for the NHS but allow the professionals to manage it, he promised more prison space to accommodate criminals, to put back border guards, to introduce setting and streaming in schools, eventually to produce policies to support: the family, the armed forces, the environment etc.
I, too, want to hear a promise for lower taxation and action on Europe but now I am prepared to wait a bit longer for the detail.

Richard @ 17:25 - "Probably so the media couldn't trot out another "Tories obsessed with Europe" or "Tories extremist on Europe" line." So instead we have Hague's "In Europe but not run by Europe" line, which didn't wash eight years ago when he first used it, and even less so now.

TomTom to try and link Incest with Homosexuality is exactly the attitude we glady have now spoke out against in no tangled terms!

"Nick Assinder has given a lukewarm response to the speech. So it must have been good!"

BBC loved it too it would seem from the 6pm bulletin!

Christina, my dear, how does the following quote suggest Cameron is pro-appeasement of terrorists?

"There are some who still believe that the threat we face today is no different from ones that we have faced before, such as the IRA. They are profoundly mistaken.

"We are dealing with people who are prepared to do anything, kill any number, and use suicide attacks to further their aims.

"Defeating them will be a battle of hearts and minds, as well as force.

"But this threat cannot be negotiated away or appeased - it has to be confronted and overcome."


Yeah, right Christina, the spirit of Chamberlain lives on - NOT!

Reagan Fan - Nothing new there - he's just endorsing his clone Blair

David Belchamber 0- Surely a brave realistivc politician would have admitted that you can't any longer tinker with the failing NHS let alone chuck even more money at it. He's done a "chicken-out" to get the headlines

Here’s a comment was on the Green Moron's speech - a nice little quote from Eurealist :

The smart way to keep people passive and obedient is to strictly limit the spectrum of acceptable opinion, but allow very lively debate within that spectrum – even encourage the more critical and dissident views. That gives people the sense that there's free thinking going on, while all the time the presuppositions of the system are being reinforced by the limits put on the range of the debate.
Noam Chomsky

Sort of sums up the Tory condition really.

"TomTom to try and link Incest with Homosexuality is exactly the attitude we glady have now spoke out against in no tangled terms!"

I think he meant it's unfair that a brother and sister living together (non-incestuously) shouldn't be allowed the same rights as those in a civil partnership.

Great speech. Great ending.

The party broadcast was poor though. Presentationally, it looked tacky, Cameron looked over at his notes too much (can't they get a teleprompter?). In terms of content, the opening was rather weak. I get the idea behind it, but just praising Labour without any serious hint toward the criticisms he's spelt out elsewhere seems like a bad move. Still, hopefully it'll do well with the floating voters.

The point about marriage and civil partnerships is that stable and committed relationships on average benefit their participants irrespective of whether or not they have children. Even childless married people are generally healthier, richer, less likely to commit crimes, less likely to fall victim to mental health problems etc than single people. I don't doubt that time will show that the same applies to civil partnerships. And as more families experience civil partnerships (my Daily Mail-reading, EU-loathing grandmother can't wait for ours), the idea that they are some kind of threat to marriage will wither away, the same way that no one now thinks that inter-racial or inter-faith marriages (such as that of Michael and Sandra Howard) threaten the stability of society.

But Richard a civil partnership is more often than not a partnership that also includes a sexual relationship between them, that is not the case of siblings who live together. Any attempts to link or 'equalise' the two is simply not practical. Having said that I believe there should be seperate legal provision for siblings and relatives in situations that have been outlined before.

It was brave of Cameron to support all stable relationships, gay and straight as it is inherently better for both the couple and society as a whole. I say that as a Conservative and someone who is in a long term and stable relationship with my own partner.

Exactly the kind of trite hot air we would have expected from Cameron. We'll give him a C+ for trying.

As Channel 4 News rightly commented
"Neither his rhetoric nor his delivery matched that of Tony Blair" yet "at times he seemed almost in awe of Blair's achievements"

Too true. There's something truly pathetic about the way Cameron apes Blair. Seems he has no ideas of his own.

Apart from Boris's ridiculous antics and the superb tax and EU fringe meetings this appears to have been one of the most dismally dull conferences in living memory.

I had no trouble finding a hotel room for just one night. I can remember (under Maggie) when you couldn't get one for love or money.

Well done Mr. Cameron. Something about the speech, the balance, changed from about party to about the country. A speech fit for a prime minister. As the BBC said, the bandwagon is now rolling...

The speech read much better than it came over IMO. Until the end, David Cameron sounded like a company Chairman delivering the Annual Report at the AGM.

On my blog just a day ago I wrote this:

"It is our society that needs fixing, not our economy. It is not 1979."

36hrs later, David Cameron said this:

"When our Party was last in power, our task was to restore economic responsibility....The task for us today is different...Our fundamental aim is to roll forward the frontiers of society."

I have always agreed with David Cameron, but I had no idea he agreed with me.

"As the BBC said, the bandwagon is now rolling..."

Not exactly what BBC Radio 4 said, I'm afraid.

They described it as "a speech which was warmly rather than enthusiastically received"

Faint praise indeed. Actually, even IDS got a bigger ovation than Cameron.

There was nothing in the whole speech that sounded sincere, and the faces of the audience showed that they knew they were the extras in a very dull Carry On film.

The VIPs (Hague, Davies, etc.) were hilarious trying to look enthused and impressed.

ITV: "a huge leap forward".

Some encouraging things in the speech, particularly on law & order (cancelling early release schemes and a legal framework that assists in fighting terrorism) and terrorism etc ("But this threat cannot be negotiated away or appeased - it has to be confronted and defeated." ) It is these two issues, perhaps particularly the latter, that have concerned me most about DC. Maybe others concerned too, and perhaps he realises this. Let’s hope he proves to be more a Churchill than a Chamberlain!

A couple of other things I would pick out for comment:

"And that means building more houses and flats for young people." I'm sure there are plenty of homes in lower end of market already. The problem is so many of them are bought to rent out, and it is this that causes the shortage of cheaper homes, pushes up prices and denies young people the opportunity to get on the property ladder. So by building more, could we end up only building more homes for people to buy to rent? Anyone have any ideas to solve the problem (I can only think of un-Tory ideas!) other than building more homes on more green fields, sports fields and people's back gardens?

Re the comments on civil partnerships, and the Ed’s response: Oh dear. I thought the state/political parties/governments weren't supposed to make moral judgements! By giving marriage-like status/privileges to gay couples, are we making the moral judgement that there is no moral difference between gay and heterosexual marriage? Should we be pragmatic rather than moral in this and support heterosexual marriage because, we keep being told, it is the most important institution for a healthy society, and studies show children brought up by married couples statistically stand the best chance. I'm not a psychologist but it seems obvious that the family with both Mum and Dad must be meant in the studies due to differing roles of each in a child's development? This doesn’t mean not respecting and helping those in other arrangements, but just what is best to encourage in order to build a better society.

But, "Everyone in this hall, everyone watching at home, knows that we will only tackle crime...if we tackle family breakdown...if we tackle drug addiction...if we mend broken lives.” Excellent stuff!

Monday Clubber - ur on a loser! Channel 4 - as u state - obviously were offended by Cameron's speech because it was soo good!

After seeing all news bulletins which Cam' was headline, channel4 put it to story 6th after the news break in fact, and then some. Then they had it for about 5mins. The fact you mention CH4 news in ur arguement only shows that you are grasping at straws!

Cam's speech was amazing, far reaching and he will be our next prime minister!

Following up Philip's comments on "gay marriage" etc, not only is the State (and/or our leader) postulating moral equivalence between marriage and civil partnership but, to me as perniciously, implying that all those outside those institutions have morally inferior lifestyles. Is this the new, new Right?

IF it were true that the monogonous commit less crime, there might be an argument although if there is a correlation I don't know how you would tell the direction of causality, i.e. they may be disadvantages or a disclination to being married if you are a criminal rather than the other way round.

But a lot of the other stuff about people being happier etc, that's for people to find out for themselves not for the State to tell them, and clearly depends on the individual anyway. There are many miserable marrieds and even more covertly unfaithful marrieds (both parties to which may be very happy, but it's not necessarily a moral ideal).

After fairly varied experience at different stages in my life in the marriage/relationship stakes, which tells me that there can be good and bad types of marriages/commitments/more or less open relationships etc (the same all no doubt applying homosexually as well as heterosexually), I shy away from anyone who has absolutist views on this. Apart from those who base their view on religious teaching or faith, a perfectly legitimate basis but one specifically excluded by DC, I suggest that the only people who believe there are easy answers of a general application to this dilemma of the human condition are very superficial, maybe influenced by having happened to have formed a very happy committed partnership themselves. But why should the faithful partnered assume that their own condition or choice is best for everyone else, and for society, any more than straights should sound off that it is better for everyone to be straight rather than gay? It's just substituting one dogma for another, is not what Governments should be about and, although I agree with neither, if you're going to have dogma here, I find traditional religious teaching rather less objectionable. There's nothing worse than a secular religion.

But I suppose the speech may have just been mood music, and a clever sound bite simultaneously appealing to traditionalists and certain gays, and I shouldn't get so concerned. Maybe it would be better to write a proper novel about all of this than running the risk of writing one here (which lacks even the characterisation and human interest)!

I am writing this in Sydney at a time when most of you will be asleep, but the Times site has a link to the Populus website where you can give feedback on highlights of Cameron's speech.

Once you have given feedback, you can then see the results from what others thought of what DC said.

Cameron's comments on the NHS, and support for Bank of England indpendence, got the biggest endorsements. It may be those highlights will change as UK readers wake up in the morning and turn on their computers, but I doubt the findings will change substantially.

The sharp and sustained rise in positive support once DC started to talk about defending the NHS means I think he is on a tactical winner. He will also find it easier to connect with (younger?) first home buyers, and potential first home buyers, if he reassures them both on 'sound money' / interest rates, and housing affordability. Credibility on interest rates and housing affordability are vital if the Party is to regain a reputation for economic competence, in my opinion.

I think these Populus findings do suggest that DC's speech was pretty clever politics.

TomTom to try and link Incest with Homosexuality is exactly the attitude we glady have now spoke out against in no tangled terms!

Posted by: G-MaN Wild | October 04, 2006 at 18:25

Read Richard's comment at 18.43 before you make yourself look quite st stupid. Then look at the case before the ECHR of two elderly sisters who will have their home expropriated if one dies

"Monday Clubber - ur on a loser! Channel 4 - as u state - obviously were offended by Cameron's speech because it was soo good!"

Well of course changetowin Channel 4 - unlike BBC TV - do not have on their payroll the former Chairman of the Tory Reform Group desperately spinning for his man while simultaneously attempting to appear impartial.

Fortunately, BBC Radio 4 do not suffer from this disability. As their commentator stated, "It was not the rapturously received speech for which Mr Cameron might have wished"

Indeed it was not.

As Cameron flung in his now-obligatory tribute to homosexuals and - most pernicious of all - notice of his intention to build on Britain's precious Green Belt, most representatives sat on their hands.

They'll be getting used to that over the months to come.

Although Cameron has said more houses need to be built he has consistently argued that the decisons of where should be made locally and that the Regional Assemblies , that currently have planning powers, should be abolished.

Found it quite ironic how Cameron used the Killers 'All these things that i've done' as his intro/outro music. can anyone name on more than one hand 'all the things that cameron has done' as tory leader?

It's been a while since I've posted on here, but I wanted to say how very much I enjoyed the Conference for the two days I spent there (Tuesday and Wednesday). Sorry I didn't get a chance to come to the Conservative Home stand and say hi to Tim and Sam - maybe another time! I did however meet Patsy and Annabel and very much enjoyed spending a little time with them - ladies I'm sorry it wasn't more!
I thought there was much food for thought and in general it was the most positive Conference I have been to for years. David Cameron's speech yesterday (Wednesday) set an excellent mood for the months of hard work to come and was very upbeat. I disagree that there should have been more policy announcements - we can and should bide our time on the fine details and there was enough to go on for the time being. If I had one criticism it was that he laid too much emphasis on marriage - it is all very well when you have a strong and good marriage as he and Sam clearly do - but many of us have been divorced and have a rather less rosy view. But having said that, I can see the point he was making that strong families are important and I think all Conservatives agree on that.

If Cameron cares about families why does he praise lesbians?

We can do without them in the party.

Oh God,another troll!(See above).This person is so thick they can't even rember their own name!

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