« We've paid the taxes - where has the money gone? | Main | The Tory improvement is historically modest... but probably firmer »


"What a contrast with Gordon Brown.
His idea of social action is dinner with Kylie Minogue."

Doesn't sound like a bad place to start!

[we're]...developing the serious ideas to improve our health service by putting power in the hands of patients and professionals.

In the final analysis, power can only rest in one place - the patient or the professional (or the bureaucrat).

The Gerry Robinson series on BBC2 showed that it is some of the top professionals in the NHS which are the main cause of a productivity rate half that in the private sector through poor management structures resulting from centralised government control having replaced competition between providers. If Cameron doesn't recognise that in opposition, he won't be able to deliver the goods (or more particularly, services) in power, and all his words will be turned and used against him.

"In this Party we admire...Wilberforce who freed the slaves"

Actually, Moira Stuart's programme on Wilberforce on Friday made it clear that, although it was Wilberforce who took the bill through Parliament to abolish the slave trade, slavery itself was not abolished in our colonies for several decades after that.

One of Moira's criticisms in this programme was the misrepresentation (whether deliberate or accidental) of the true position.

One line in the Cameron speech: "It's easy to do the softer things like
ride your bike, visit glaciers and rebuild your house to make it green."

Forget about "visit glaciers" - that doesn't help at all, rather the opposite.

"Ride your bike" - if it's so "easy" to ride your bike, why did Cameron have
to have a car following up behind him? It's not necessarily "easy" at all, in
fact for many people and for many journeys it's totally impractical. It's also potentially lethal - not so long ago a friend of my daughter was knocked off
her bike and killed by a bus in Oxford.

"Rebuild your house" - ridiculous notion, unless you either have very deep pockets or both the time and the skill to do it yourself.

If these are the kind of things which Cameron classes as "easy", God help
us all if he ever gets on to imposing the less "easy" things.

"David Cameron has used his Spring Forum address to show that he is not a politician who'll say anything to get elected but will make the tough decisions in Britain's interests"


So his comments during the leadership election regarding our MEPs were not just said to get him elected? Not just to give the impression to the Party that he would be tough on Europe? After all, he certainly had the guts to keep that promise didn't he?

Green taxes are NOT a vote winner. The man is just jumping on the latest fad and following 'Ozone Man' Gore.

I still think he is a better alternative to Brown, but to claim he is 'tough' and acting in Britain's interests is laughable.

OK Arthurian Legend - how about if we said Wilberforce who paved the way for the freeing of the slaves?! Talk about splitting hairs....!!!!

It seems from the comments made so far on this thread that David Cameron is "damned if he does and damned if he doesn't" - that he can't win with certain people whatever he says!!
Personally I thought it was a good sensible speech setting out his vision and our mission statement for the time leading up to the next Election. On the environment and aviation he was answering his critics and stating why tough decisions need to be made.

A bit more positivity here would be very welcome.

A bit more common sense and realism from Cameron would also be welcome.

Tough on decisions and tough on the causes of decisions

I have quickly glanced through that speech. There was nothing on cutting taxes, deregulation or even reforming the EU.

I had to laugh at the comment on more women candidates - achieved with compulsion. Target seats were compelled to choose from the A list or, in exceptional circumstances, a local candidate.

Blue Labour spin!

Well said Sally. I was beginning to think that most of the comments were coming from Gordon Brown and the names against the postings were pseudonyms used by GB himself or one of his stooges. I considered it to be a good speach, well written and well presented. I have no doubt it will give the majority of Tory members hope for a future Conservative Government after the next general election. It certainly did me.

I think Denis needs to turn on his sense of humour....

Denis Cooper 13.39. Why do you only comment when you have something negative to say? Do you ever have any constructive ideas? Do you really belong on another blog?

"In this Party we admire...Wilberforce who freed the slaves"

Sanctimonious bandwagon-jumping tosh.

Is he seriously suggesting that members of other mainstream parties are in favour of slavery and that they don't admire Wilberforce?

If it weren't for the fact that Wilberforce is "hot" this year I don't suppose Cameron would even have bothered to mention him.

He'd probably have been praising Polly Toynbee instead.

Actually, Sally, imagine you were a slave on a Jamaican plantation in 1807 who was told that "slavery had been abolished". Imagine that you were then to find out that you were still going to be a slave for another 31 years until 1838 (when the slaves in Jamaica were finally emancipated). The difference is a bit more than hair-splitting!

The speech did contain some good bits, and the overall impression was positive - especially for those are are not practiced at (or do not like) looking too much at the subtle details. But, the devil is always in the detail with politicians - and for all the good stuff, there are some details which I am still far from convinced Cameron has mastered.

I considered it to be a good speach

So it may have been, Chris. Shame it was a third-rate speech though. Is your middle name Jack by any chance?

Anybody who seriously believes that "The Tories abolished slavery" knows absolutely nothing whatever about the politics of two centuries ago.

In an age when political individualism was still alive and well, most of the key players both for and against slavery were thoroughgoing Whigs.

The slaveowners (many the descendants of Puritan emigrants) were Whigs with Whiggish supporters in England. On the other hand almost all the abolitionists were radical Whigs. The apparent paradox is less surprising when you consider the pernicious grip that "progressive" Whiggery has had upon England since the Revolution.

General "Bloody Ban" Tarleton, an ultra liberal Whig despite his reputation for military cruelty, was a convinced slaver. Unsurprising, perhaps, as his family's wealth was founded on the trade. The nation's hero Admiral Lord Nelson railed against "The damnable doctrines of Wilberforce and his hypocritical allies."

As an evangelical Christian Wilberforce was an unusual Tory anyway. It's true he enjoyed the support of Pitt on slavery, but was Pitt a Tory? He always insisted he was a "Pittite" Whig so should we feel that we know better?

The fact is that the links between the modern Conservative Party and the eighteenth century Tories are so utterly tenuous that they are probably best disregarded altogether.

I thought it was good speech. We are tackling Labour on their turf. Who would have thought a few years ago, the Conservatives would be challenging Labour on the NHS?

As far as William Wilberforce is concerned; he did something and got that bill passed through parliament. If you have done something with a similar magnitude Arthurian Legend, then please tell us.

If you have done something with a similar magnitude Arthurian Legend, then please tell us.

Well Andrew, since Cameron first invoked the name of Wilberforce, it is to Cameron rather than AL that you should issue your challenge.

All this historical grandstanding puts me in mind of that pathetic political nonentity in the US who attempted to latch onto the legend of JFK during a TV debate. "I knew Jack Kennedy" his opponent replied. "You're no Jack Kennedy".

And Cameron is certainly no Wilberforce.

Andrew, I was not criticising Wilberforce for having got the bill through - I was pointing out Cameron's error in confusing the ablition of the slave trade with the abolition of slavery itself. Honestly!

You're right. It was an absolute howler.

Is that what they teach them at Eton? Seems Daddy didn't get his moneysworth.

(More likely the whole spiel was written by Douglas Smith or one of Cameron's other handbag carriers)

In fact, Andrew, I see that you've made the same error as Cameron in your post on Tuesday 15th March 2007!:

"This is a nice little story from Hull about a young choir recording a CD celebrating the 200th anniversary of the abolition of slavery. We in Hull are - naturally - very proud of our William Wilberforce connection."

Alex: your jibes at David Cameron's "daddy" and "other handbag carriers" are as unedifying as they are unfunny. Please contribute something substantial or post elsewhere.

Actually Sally Roberts Cameron's comments on the Environment and aviation didn't answer his critics in any substantive way whatsoever and completely failed to make any case for these so called "tough decisions" to be made, they were mainly just nefarious soundbites.He is simply bandwagon jumping and onto a bandwagon with currently one wheel fallen off and the other three becoming ever more rickety.

Obviously in the same way that you accuse others of damning him whatever he says it is becoming obvious that for some people Cameron can make a speech containing anything whatsoever, no matter how ill thogh through, unconservative or stupid it may be, and they will still lie adoringly at his feet occasionally sighing with misplaced blind adoration.

The Cameron Daddy jibe is spot on. Daddy found a painting in the attic and sold it for a cool million. Daddy could pay up tens of thousands for Eton yet the taxpayer picks up the bill for Ivan's treatment on the NHS!

I agree with Spot the Parasite and Alex Forsyth.

Under Maggie our party became classless and open to all talent.

Now its retreating to the bad old days of rich and aristocratic people buying privilege and a Cabinet full of Old Etonians.

These were the people who tried to trash Maggie and succeeded. They are back with a vengeance.

"I think Denis needs to turn on his sense of humour...." Why? After nearly a decade of idiotic Labour government I'd like to be able to look forward to a less idiotic government, not one which is equally idiotic in slightly different ways.

I also have to laugh at Father Tim defending Douglas Smith, Dave's speech writer.

Dougie Smith was thrown out of Strathclyde UIniversity after failing his second year eaxams. He was vnotorious for his "Powellite£ views on race (to put it mildly) in the Federation of Conservative Students.

After his days in FCS, Smith was bound over, following a spell on remand in Brixton nick, after admitting threatening to kill a fellow conservative (whose girlfriend Smith was obsessed with).

More recently, Smith received a lot of press coverage for his Fever Parties company that organised expensive sex orgies for rich Sloans etc.

Perhaps our esteemed editor can comment on how, with his loudly proclaimed Christian faith, he can defend this Cameron "handbag carrier".

I think "Daddy" and "other handbag carriers" is rather good.

I've just read this stuff about the Fever party organiser. I always thought it pretty tacky the Conservatives employing a person like this. Swingers parties are fairly loathsome affairs, where the women tend to not be firing on all cylinders, classic victims etc. Such behaviour not much different to dogging, stalking etc. If this man Smith is the face of DC's new Conservatives and is writing Dc's speeches, then the party is beginning to look very distasteful indeed.

I'm sorry to go on about this, but there has to be something very odd about a person who organised swinger's parties. The sort of people attracted to these parties tend to be sex addicts - no jokeing please, this is serious. Sex addicts are often addicted to other things as well, from shopping, to, well, whatever. I think there could be some fairly dubious stuff here that the Tory party hierarchy might not want unearthed. Just going on a hunch, but swinger's parties are not jsut good clean fun. There is a deeply sinister side to this sort of behaviour. Nothing larky about it at all.

Your comments to Alex seem to have upset some people - must be troll sunday.

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