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"It's always better to be in government than out of office - unable to influence the course of our country."

Hold on, it was only a while ago that you were lauding 'government by proxy' as one of Cameron's key successes.

The fact is, Team Cameron (like Sven with the England team) has fumbled a golden opportunity. Next time it will be harder still.

"the elimination of third world diseases "

The elimination of third world diseases Labour have introduce back into the UK would be beginning. For under Labour we are now the Tuberculosis capital of Europe, and Hiv/Aids infections are exponentially rising, which is going to be a massive cost to the NHS.

He's left himself wide open - but I fear Cameron won't notice!

There's 24 hour drinking -- and super casinos -- and not building prisons -- improving schools and hospitals (it's only six months since he boasted of how he'd done that!) -- housing incrteases ? (when the market is stagnating and 900,000 rented houses are not meeting their mortgage costs?) -- taking paperwork from the police (who gave it to them, then?) . And he's going to clean hospitals, is he? Pull the other one!

HE has caused the continuing catastrophe of Foot & Mouth (Millions of sheep being stranded to die on hill farms - MILIIONS!)

As Gimson in the Telegraph points out he keeps telling us that he's getting on with the job but fails to tell us anything about where he's aiming for.

And he's riding high in the polls with THATrecord and Cameron just wants to mimic him !! Get stuck in instead please,

"It's always better to be in government than out of office"

An ounce of practice is worth a ton of theory-Lord Hailsham.

We seem to have forgotten that in our quest for ideological purity.

I totally agree with the comments in your final paragraph. It would be a disaster if Labour win yet again and we will only have ourselves to blame- the overt disunity and disloyalty recently has been appalling- you can bet the media- helped by the Labour spin machine- will be out to highlight this at next week's conference. The tragedy of another defeat is that we are in danger of losing some of our new bright and forward looking MPs- we will be just left with a rump of the old "dinasaur" guard- Heaven help us.

Now is the time surely for every Conservative to get behind the leadership and believe we can win.

How is any of this "reversing Thatcherism"? Thatcher massively increased welfare dependency, kept the public sector the same size while merely shifting it from useful things like coal and steel to administrative red tape, subjected that sector (fully forty per cent of the economy) to unprecedented levels of central government 'dirigisme' such as simply would not habe been tolerated in any comparable country, and signed the Single European Act.

Pavlov's dogs will be barking away when they read this, but which of these things did she not do?

I, along with I imagine at the very least several others, will look at the quickest way out of the UK and EU if/when Brown wins an election.

I only wish it was easily financially viable.

We can only hope that the Conservatives as a party pick up and shut up - enough of the internal fighting, both with activists and MPs. If we don't beat Brown there will be NO chance of returning to 'traditional' Conservative values.

It's Cameron or bust as far as I'm concerned.


All the more reason for this message to be conveyed to our invisible, lightweight Shadow Cabinet then (and Party Chairman).

Time to stay out of the merchant banks, off the ski slopes, and out of the boardrooms, and start selling our message.

In my seat we have a 5,000 MAJORITY and I tell you-we are heading for a certain defeat.

Wholeheartedly agree with your final paragraph. I'm still 100% behind DC and we must all unite together to defeat Labour. Simple as.

With regards Brown not mentioning DC in his speech, Mr Cameron doesn't have to mention Brown in his.

What we want is some beef from Cameron on what he'd do to improve the state of the country, what a Conservative government would do for people, emphasising the contrast between Conservatives and "the government".

The words 'Labour' and 'Brown' need never cross his lips.

All true Ed. I've had concerns about the Cameron project but we MUST pull together if an election is called imminently. Amazing as it may sound sometimes, we are all on the same side!

Here, Here. I'm in total agreement. When almost everyone is on benefits or working for the government, there will be no opposition.

It doesn't say who authored the above piece, but the cautionary note is a studied appraisal of Gordon Brown the man and the portents that follow in his wake. Our strategists would be well advised to take the messages seriously.

I watched the entire speech, it was cunningly crafted, cleverly delivered and full of vote winning sound-bites for the evening TV news and morning press.

Reading the Sun poll on the EU Referendum, the only way out of that conundrum for Brown,(assuming the Dutch ratify in their Parliament) seems an early election with no referendum commitment.

In any event only an early election can now minimise the length of a Brown term of Government by offering a second chance in 4/5 years time with a different opposition, UNLESS the Conservative Party, absent an Autumn poll rapidly move to avoid extinction by replacing their entire top team.

Yes it is more statist and they have already reversed some of Thatcherism.

But we have to attack him on the areas that are important to voters.

These are the IPSOS/MORI answers of the most important issues facing Britain today.

Crime/law & order/violence/ vandalism/anti-social (yob) behaviour 55
Race relations/immigration/immigrants 35
National Health Service/Hospitals/ Health care 26
Defence/foreign affairs/international terrorism 25
Education/schools 19
Economy/economic situation 9
Housing 9
Morality/individual behaviour 9
Pollution/environment 8
Drug abuse 8
Unemployment/factory closure/lack of industry 7
Poverty/inequality 6
Taxation 6
Pensions/social security/benefits 5
Public services in general 4
Inflation/prices 3
Common Market/EU/Europe/EURO/Constitution 3


Are we spending enough of our time talking about crime? Or immigration?
We are probably speaking the right amount on the NHS but not enough (Liam/William) on the army/overseas.

As for the environment, that is way down the list of voters concerns, about level with tax. We probably talk about it too much.

Leave tax stuff to the TPA to free up our media time for the above. Same with the EU, just use the space that the Mail/Times/Telegraph make available.

Completely agree with your editorial although I have huge doubts that Brown will be able to follow through on any of the promises he made today.I'm assuming though that for him it won't matter,he'll have won the election before the electorate realises this.

Absolutely right!

From New Labour to New Socialism!

I was beginning to think that David Cameron had no targets to aim at. Now I am totally afraid of Brown's UK. David has so many open goals as a result of this speech. I only hope that he takes the opportunity to score some really telling goals to bring home the dangers of this socialist in charge of our country.

What did he mean by "and we will in our manifesto commit to introduce the principle of elections for the second chamber."

If the next manifesto is not to be written for a couple of years, why mention this now, rather than just getting on with it.

I think we have to agree (judging from most of the comments here) that the next election could be our last chance to protect democracy in this country.

I don't want to leave, but I can't see myself standing by while my home degenerates into a communist state.

Unite and attack.

"By not referring to the opposition he looked like he was above party politics."

One gesture in a speech that most people will have forgotten tomorrow and we are supposed to assume that he is above party politics??
Tim, don't fall into the trap of believing the Brownite myth!!
"He's a formidable political opponent. Much more formidable than many of us thought."

Brown is the same politician he was last week, three months ago and as chancellor for 10 years. He is a deeply flawed character who uses spin and manipulation to deceive.
He does not possess either courage or conviction, and his overriding personal ambition will be his legacy.
That speech was the culmination of nearly 2 years of Cameron setting the political agenda, no more, no less.
Brown is trying to destabilise the Conservative party and push it back to the days of the 2005 GE, the tactic is as old as the New Labour project. Only when the Conservatives break the groundhog cycle of political suicide will it stop working.
This was Brown's big day at his party conference, this speech only means something *if* it derails the Conservatives lead on the political agenda and forces them back to the old ground.

On a parochial note, I thought you folk might be interested in the number of rebuttals that CCHQ have emailed to the press since GB sat down.

As of 17.35, the answer is none.

One press release from Osborne's office. That's the sum total that the lobby has had.

This is a bit hysterical, Tim.

"Now is the time surely for every Conservative to get behind the leadership and believe we can win."

But we can't win and we all know it!

It is not the responsibility of grassroots to 'unite' ourselves. It is the responsibilty of the party leadership to unite us, the conservative party is not bitterly devided because we like being devided or because we strive for ideological purity, it is because david cameron is so devisive. Let us not forget that the right of the tory party didn't start the fight with team cameron, david cameron has always wanted his fight with the right and his clause 4 moment.

Brown has just announced a set of expensive policies that completely fail to address the intrenched problems in crime, the environment, education and the health service. So much for gender equality, with more maternity leave but no more paternity leave.

This speech was a gift to Cameron - all style, no substance. Let's take him down.

"It's Cameron or bust as far as I'm concerned."

I think you mean 'and/or'.

Well I've got my sleeves rolled up. I don't want us to sleepwalk into a statist, debt ridden surveillance state. I've seen Cameron at his wort and, on reflection I'd rather have that than Gordon at his high spending, high taxing anti personal liberty 'best'.

He is building state dependent Britain

Oh for a major party to lead by example and oppose the extension to state funding of political parties.

When our politicians insist on being kept in financial easy street by the state, why should the public see anything wrong with it?

So what did Cameron do? He proposed the extension to state funding!

Gordon Brown's great statement-of-intent was tax credits. A system that has tried to do away with the concept of working and living independently of the state and replaced it with a half work/half benefits system whereby even those who are working are eating out of the hand of the state. The tax credits culture underlined Gordon Brown's statist philosophy. If Gordon Brown wins a mandate he will try to expand the state and state dependency even further.

Gordon Brown is a top-down politican firmly anchored into the concept of statism. Those who think he has even the slightest Conservative values have not understood the man or his mission.

I hope all the talk of elections will unite the party behind David Cameron. If not Brown is certain to go to the polls.

Whoever wrote this piece has presented a concise and accurate summary of the situation.

As Roy Hattersley said in the Working Lunch coverage on BBC2, it was a speech that addressed the country, not the Labour conference.

Predictably, it was full of sound-bites that will dominate the TV news and wider media for days to come. Unfortunately, if recent history repeats itself, there will be precious little analysis, questioning or countering of those sound-bites, and the great British public will swallow the lot, hook line and sinker.

Whatever else it does, the forthcoming conference must be used to expose this Labour spin for what it is.

And if anyone stands up to speak about Grammar Schools they should be taken out the back and shot.

Well, perhaps not... But anyone so inclined should at least think again and consider the effects on the country of another Conservative loss at the next election.

Old CRD 17:31

Good point! That looks like a real giveaway - or maybe it was a carefully crafted 'slip' just to keep the speculation going.

"By not referring to the opposition he looked like he was above party politics....The blue background was in many ways trivial but its intention was to confuse voters - particularly conservative voters."

In Brown World there is no opposition. He's completely obliterated it, just like his hero and idol, Joseph Stalin did to all his opponents. It is a one-party state - no opposition allowed.

If Tory voters really are confused just because he has a blue board behind him, there really is no hope ;-)

Who cares what Brown says ? He's lied, lied, and lied again. He's no answers. This is, infact, an easy speech for Cameron to absolutely tear to shreds in his speech to the forthcoming Tory conference. The problem is: he's going to flunk it, sure as the sun will rise in the morning.

"all style, no substance. Let's take him down."

Letters From A Tory, exactly right. All the time Brown was speaking I kept asking myself what his core message was and there just wasn't one. Gordon Brown has invented a little phrase "Getting on with the job" and thats it. Getting on with wrecking the country more like. David Cameron needs to roast Brown next week for this shallow speech.

"As Roy Hattersley said in the Working Lunch coverage on BBC2, it was a speech that addressed the country, not the Labour conference. "

Then why aren't the Conservatives out there challenging the points of the speech. It is critical that they get out there and put an alternative spin on the speech before Labour and the BBC embed it as a truth. Yet as someone points out, CCHQ is silent.

"What really caught the eye was his setting himself the target of full employment. It wasn't the first time he'd used the words. He had committed the Labour Party to the pursuit of full employment in his conference speech two years ago." BBC NEWS Setember 2th 1999

"And we will continue to intensify the reform of the new deal, remove every barrier, show we can have flexibility and fairness together to advance to a Britain of full employment in our generation." BBC NEWS September 24th 2007

I think the editors final para is spot on. First Tony Blair turned his MPs into Labour Lemmings, now Gordon has his sights on the rest of us. He is turning Britain into an Oligarchic one-party nation populated by dependent rodents, subordinate to their leaders and devoid of responsibilities [such as children]that the State has, in it's omnipresence, taken over in our best interests... Wake up everyone! This is a call to arms for all of us who value true freedom and democracy!

I am sorry but there is an alternative to Cameron. Unless he gets his act together ("heir to Blair" and taxing supermarket car parks come readily to mind) emigration will become an even more attractive option. The latest local government by-elections are good for Labour mainly because Conservative voters are sitting on their hands. I have never been more distrustful of the Government and never more dispondent about the Opposition - and that is saying something.

I am sure that DC and our shadow front bench team will now surge into action enthusiastically reminding everyone, on an hourly basis, in detail, wall to wall, just how many similar promises we have heard from Labour since '97, and how many have been broken.

Just to name 2 - "Education, education, education" was a promise in (2006?); has education got better? "Tough on crime, tough on the causes of crime" was used by Tony Blair in his first speech as Shadow Home Secretary to the 1992 Labour Party Conference - 15 years ago - is there anyone out there who doesn't think that crime has got substantially worse in the last 10 years?

Yet it has been Gordon Brown himself who has been holding the purse strings and managing the domestic agenda since '97.

The truth is, Labour were excellent as an opposition party, but they never made the change from opposition to Government after '97. Instead they continued, very effectively it must be said, to say what should be done, but never made the leap of understanding that it was they who now had to actually execute on their own promises.

As evidence of the fact that they remain an excellent party of opposition, just look back over the last 10 years at how effectively they have managed to criticise others (usually civil servants and other government employees) as their own promises continually failed to materialise, or policies went wrong. Even today we still hear Labour politicians blaming some Labour shortcoming on a Conservative government's actions, despite having been in power for the last 10 years.

Despite all of this, the fact is that promises such as cleaning hospitals and bringing back matrons will find a welcome in the hearts of wavering conservative voters, many of whom will associate all the failures of the last 10 years with Blair and, despite the evidence, see Brown as a solid, sincere new broom who cares.

This will change the moment that DC and friends do their job and shine a light into Labour's darkness, point out the lies and half truths, list the broken promises and failed policies, and begin to explain what they themselves are going to deliver which chimes with the desires and needs of the electorate.

I have every confidence....

The comments here are absolutely hysterical. Going on about how Brown's a communist and how he's destroying Thatcherism - it's all nonsense which is distracting from the real attacks we should be making.

When we do attack Brown, can we please stick to the points rather than throwing hysterical tantrums which just make us look silly and petty in the eyes of the electorate.

Brown isn't a communist or a Stalinist but he is socialist / social-democratic and why shouldn't he be? He is a Labour politician after all. At least Labour actually has a leader which stands by their beliefs and convictions, unlike ours.

You all moan about how Brown's increasing spending and intervention, but to be frank, in the two years Cameron has been head of our party, he's been just as bad. Green taxes, banning plasma TV's, banning chocolate oranges being sold at tills, state funding of parties, renouncing Thatcherism etc. So we have a cheek to attack Brown when our own leader pretty much agrees with everything Labour does.

Did you notice how proud he was as he announced that we the worlds FIFTH largest economy, and they applauded.
Is it me!

Many of the previous comments show that the bulk of Conservative supporters are not so much divided upon published policies ( though, with the paucity of these, they may well be uncertain) as upon the competence and dedication Cameron and his inner circle. Here there is real division` between those who fear rocking a basically unstable boat will merely reinforce an impending disaster and those who believe that, without a mutiny which might, just, produce a leader who could save it, there may be even fewer survivors of that disaster.

George Osborne has done a great job in lambasting Gordon Brown for his reheated policies. Mr Osborne has pointed out that Brown has promised full employment at three of the last five Labour conferences. However in the course of that time unemployment has continued to rise.

Dick Wishart, no its not just you, for I too noted, with surprise, the ranks of the Labour party applauding us dropping another notch on the economic league table.

I also noted Labour applauding all the Coversvative policies he is now adopting, policies they had previously rubbished..

Matrons in Wards.
MRSA campaign.
Personalised public services.
Border Police force.
Points system immigration system.
Pensions linked to earnings.

and so on, unfortunately the Conservative HQ is silent on all this allowing him to poach the policies without so much as a whimper.

We aren't getting much from our £500,000 media specialists.

Brown's speech reduced Neil Kinnock to tears.


Davidson 19.22
Get your facts right!
1. Any green taxes to be offset by tax reductions.
2.Zac proposed not to ban plasmas but to make them more efficient.
3.No banning of choc oranges.
4.DC has not proposed state funding of parties.
5.Has not renounced Thatcher (did not laud her).
Why don't you attack Stalinist Gordon? Are you UKIP? I don't agree with everything the party proposes but I try to get my facts right and make a positive contribution.

"Did you notice how proud he was as he announced that we the worlds FIFTH largest economy, and they applauded.
Is it me!"

Tractor production has risen by 400 units per month, Steel bearings production has doubled within the period of the five year plan.

In celebration of this fact, Chocolate rations are going to be increased by 30 grammes per week.

In answer to your question, Dick; it's not just you - there's at least twenty million of us.

The comments here are absolutely hysterical. Going on about how Brown's a communist and how he's destroying Thatcherism

It is beginning to sound like the ravings in the bunker, isnb't it?

Anyway, I thought Dave wanted to reverse Thatcherism, so what's the problem?

"Brown's speech reduced Neil Kinnock to tears"

michael mcgough, so it seems the sated Eurofatcat has feelings after all. To my mind Neil Kinnock represents the quintessential example of a former fiery socialist of conviction who becomes corrupted by the lavish self-serving bourgeois lifestyle. Don't get me wrong, I've nothing against the real Bourgeoise, however I think its sad to see donkey jackets like Kinnock donning a tuxedo. Ah well, thats the common rich for you!

Stephen Tolkinghorne, I think Labour are now only interested in a 1984-style power for powers sake. They have no vision of what they want to do with power beyond enlarging the state and consolidating that power. They talk of a ten-year-plan but don't even have ten new policies to drive that plan. Gordon Brown has reached the stage where he is literally chasing his own tail.

"4.DC has not proposed state funding of parties."

What was Andrew Tyrie up to then?

"Going on about how Brown's a communist and how he's destroying Thatcherism"

You mean to say that isn't true?

Is this the same Brown we're thinking of?

"Did you notice how proud he was as he announced that we the worlds FIFTH largest economy, and they applauded."

It was fourth until recently!

"1. Any green taxes to be offset by tax reductions."

Alternatively he could just reduce taxes and not introduce any others.

"2.Zac proposed not to ban plasmas but to make them more efficient."

Still more interfering nannystatism.


While many of us have our gripes with Project Cameron, it can hardly be worse than 5-10 years of Brown. If Brown smashes the Tories at the next election we can probably expect a shift to the left including such things as a higher top tax rate. If that happens my only hope is that London and the South East will secede!

Forget all the spin and ask Brown, Cameron, Campbell et al to respond to the outrage we voters feel at the way MPs pursue their own interests above that of the country and the British people, as brilliantly presented by Peter Oborne in tonight's Channel 4 Dispatches programme. If any of them is genuinely prepared to rectify this, then they may just begin to deserve consideration as being suitable to govern this country.

If that happens my only hope is that London and the South East will secede!

Indeed. We could become the 51st state of America!

Better that than a satellite of a European SuperState....

Um, Perdix 20:18, here is the link to the Conservatives.com site where Cameron officially proposed the extension to state funding of political parties in March 2006:


Cameron said: "..and it offers a clear bargain to the electorate: in exchange for a little more state funding,"

We seem to be sleepwalking to disaster in this country. Whilst I do not rate Cameron particularly highly he is the only hope we have to rid ourselves of the increasingly sinister Brown.

Interesting to hear Neil Kinnock's comments about grinding the Conservative party into the dust. Judging by the level of vitriol in Kinnock's voice I think its reasonable to assume that the former socialist firebrand feels usurped by history.

Still, thats the way it goes. One time you are primed to become one of the worlds great statesmen, another time you are reduced to aiming profanities against Conservatives at a fringe meeting. Such is the stuff of life. Such is the consequence of opportunity lost. Would someone kindly remember to turn off that lightbulb.

"Brown's speech reduced Neil Kinnock to tears"

He's probably crying with laughter at how stupid and gullible the main-stream media are going to be in reporting how Brown is somehow something other than a clueless berk, who's riding the borrowing bubble for all it's worth.

Nothing more distasteful than the girning, twisted faces of the morally corrupt, congratulating themselves upon their own greed and good fortune - all gained at the great expense of their desperate and pathetically trusting electorate.

Perhaps we could ask Martha Andreasen about Kinnock's great love of the common man and his desire for fairness and playing with a straight bat.

Remind me again, how many members of his family has the ginger whinger gotten cushy jobs for in Brussels ?

Brown and Kinnock are one of kind - perhaps we should re-name them Napoleon and Squealer.

Didn't watch Newsnight (knew it would be one big Labour love-in), so didn't see Kinnock's comments.

Such school-boy vitriol is bound to backfire at some point. At the moment Labour look like they're taking a electoral victory for granted (the Ginger One should know about that after 1992...).

This can translate into taking the electorate for granted. Not a good idea, that.

Brown's speech today - as mentioned by Unite's union leader - was old Labour Socialism.

It's old Labour by the backdoor: Tony lulls everyone into apathy for 10 years, then Red Gordon sinks his unreformed fangs into the exposed neck of Britain.

That's why Kinnock had a tear rolling down his face.

He's going to see Brown deliver all the mad-hat and slightly scary leftie authoratarainism that Thatcher/Major prevented him from doing at 1987/1992.

God help us...

Having watched GB speech and now just seen Luntz run his Newsnight focus group and it's not good for GB, the audience strongly linked GB with his previous 10 years as Chancellor, so he can't detract from being held responsble for present situation or lay the problems at our door. Most of the group see Cameron as the future, BUT it was his lack of government experience that appears to bother voters more.. surely suggests that we should play the TEAM card, emphasising the Shadow team's government experience,,, seem to recall something similar being said about New Labour pre-1997, I don't think it is too bad and on the basis of the focus group I have just seen GB would need to be checked in somewhere with padded cushions to risk it all now...

Perdix 20.18:

Perhaps it is you who should get their facts right.

Cameron HAS backed state funding of parties. And he has renounced Thatcherism in many ways such as "There is such a thing as society...", renouncing her policy for support for Apartheid South Africa, renouncing Section 28 etc. Now I think Cameron was right to do all those things, but he has made it as clear as possible that he wants to distance himself from Thatcher. He wouldn't be seen dead meeting her in public or praising her. And he seems to be more in favour of state intervention than Labour is these days. That pretty much flies in the face of what Thatcher stood for.

And for the record he did argue that shops shouldn't sell chocolate at tills, which in my opinion, is none of his business.

And plasma TV screens are for the chop if the report is anything to go by, along with our old friend the standby button.

So you were completely wrong on all counts there Perdix.

Having watched GB speech and now just seen Luntz run his Newsnight focus group and it's not good for GB

I saw that and thought it showed just how flawed is the concept of 'focus groups'

Views were expressed, in the main, by confident and opinionated people who are in no way typical of the general public. A high proportion of the members of the group seemed to be of that ilk while the quieter members would be likely to be swayed by their statements.

Most of the group see Cameron as the future

The questions were tendentious. 'Which of the two do you see as "The Future"?' produced a result in favour of Cameron, but that should perhaps be interpreted purely as acknowledging the image that Cameron has sought to promote rather than implying that they saw Cameron as their future.

The general tenor of responses favoured Brown, but the presenter spun the 'result' as 'a plague on both your houses'.

There's no revelation in that.

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