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"It’s the family."

So who should decide the best educational structures for the children? Er, David Cameron.

What if the family wants a grammar school for their kids Mr C? They know best after all...

For all this talk of the family why won't Cameron let families decide which school their child goes to by backing vouchers?

Why dosen't he want families to keep more of their money by cutting tax?

Why does he want to make it harder for working class families to go on holiday by introducing green taxes?

Families are being terrorised on sink estates, yet Cameron does not call for more prisons, more police and longer sentences.

It's time he proposed policies which sided with families.

To apply the speech to your own obsessions is to miss the point.

This is the speech of a leader who knows where he's going and why he wants to win.

Great stuff and I'm reassured that the modernising march to the centreground continues.

Cameron has been leader of the Conservatives for quite some time. To be honest knowing where he is going and why he wants to win should have been sorted ages ago, Cameron lost valuable time by insulting party members and doing absurd stunts. I don't think a party leader should be praised for knowing why they want to win, i'd be very worried if they didn't know.

Sounds like a good speech . . . wish he'd talk about immigration a bit more though.

A fine speech of the type Cameron makes so well. He's obviously trying to bind the wounds of the party.Will the party let him?

We must Malcolm, we must.

"What if the family wants a grammar school for their kids Mr C? They know best after all..."

Well, that's not up to the family, is it. That's what makes a grammar school a grammr school.

Good speech. Family and social responsibility, you don't get more core Conservative than that!

Great speech

To me Conservatives should be about being socially liberal and economically liberal. However Cameron is not delivering this on either front much. I like his talk about gay rights etc but where's the arguments for free trade, low taxes, breaking down the NHS monopoly, education vouchers? Why does he bang on about social responsibilty? We arn't communatarians.

He seems to be paternalistic on economic issues and on many social issues. He looks like something out of the 1950s.

Did anybody film it? Text is so Web 1.0.

I will trade an old video of Michael Howard I once took* (currently rated at 2/5 on YouTube thanks to the Gramscian infiltration of New Media *hrmph*)


I thought it was a good speech that delivers a lot of the 'of and' theory as the Ed says. DC shouldn't have to repeat a list each and every speech so that people can tick of their particular interest. It strikes me there are people who are posting on this website who would still complain regardless of what is said. Everyone must remember his,and those of us who are activists, job is to convince non Tory voters to vote for us if we want to form a Govt. This speech helps and there should be enough for all of us to support.

"those on the right who say I shouldn’t talk about the NHS, the environment or well-being. "

Who's ever said that? Of course he should talk about those things. It's just that he should talk about other stuff as well.

Talk about the EU? That's modern Conservatism, alright. Actually do something, like leaving the EPP, as promised? Forget about it.

Its all just Clintonite positioning. Lets wait for a 100days programme and see what it means in practice. I will admit its a good deal less unsettling than the last six months have been. It must be something of a record to go a whole speech without insulting someone in his Party.

But as one of the *old* candidates its going to take a good deal more than this to make me think the trashing of what was left of my political career was worth it. (It all comes down to the A list - the most psychologically inept political manoeuvre in history). What makes it the more galling is that he is now being praised for reluctantly adopting under duress a political position he could have occupied with goodwill for free a year ago. Yet another example of the supreme unimportance of being right in politics.

I love the "This is a false choice and I will not make it". I think we should all memorise that, as I think it is applicable to almost any question asked by John Humphries or the Today team. Too often, the media frames political debate with false choices. Time to put our feet down on the Anti False Choice Front. Most political choices are too complicated to be "either or". DC recognises that. He understands the complexities in the issues he looks at. He does not over simplify. The debates in the party are often still quite a few steps behind - stuck in the false "either or" mentality.

a solid speech which really came alive during the 'imagine a world in which...' section. Less wonking on about social responsibility in the abstract please, and more practical examples of the difference a conservative approach would mean to people.

i also thought the bit of triangulation against both right and left and on the side of the people was clever.

nice venue too, shame it was so hot inside...

"Forget about those on the left who say I shouldn’t talk about Europe, crime or lower taxes..."

But, dear David, it was you who said that you wouldn't be 'banging on' about these issues. Yet another U-turn and yet more feeble weakness from Cameron. He's panicking, and it's showing.

Too late Davie, too late !

I have just read through the speech quickly - a huge improvement on recent efforts. It seems that Cameron recognises that it is time for a change - back to traditional Conservatism.

There was only a token mention of gay rights. There was no mention of global warming or green taxes in his comments on the environment. Zac and Gummer will be worried.

It looks like Coulson rather than Hilton is running the show now. Taxi for Steve!

More waffle and nothing new. Even the 'lurch to the right' element is wearing thin.

It's plain he is losing his audience. All they are talking about on World at One is that Swedish guy who resigned days ago and Cameron's excuses for same.

We've heard quite enough about gay rights to last us at least a decade. Having read about those two 'gay carers' ysterday I think its time to ring down the curtain on that particular sideshow.

Michael Ancram speaks for the quiet majority.

A bedrock speech that nails down all the policy reviews, the strategy and the way Cameron thinks. 'And' politics that really can put Brown on the backfoot.

Best of all, not difficult to communicate to the public.

In short, a superb speech.

In short, a superb speech.

You were there were you Mike?

I know you're a bit new to all this, but you surely don't believe these people write their own speeches, do you?

@Traditional Tory

Your Post contains just the sort of view that has kept us out of power for 10 years. The "quiet majority" you speak of must be the non voting majority too (although all polling evidence suggests the opposite).

Your views just do not attract sufficient support to get us anywhere near the 41-42% we need to win an Election.

People like you remind me of Polly Toynbee-who knashes her teeth in frustration when the 'little people' (i.e. the electorate) get in the way of ideological purity.

Can now talk about the EU? - I thought he had already ruled this out as 'banging on'.

We have been kept out of power for 10 years because of people like Maude and Portillo undermining our efforts.

We will win if we focus on radical public sector reform of education, the NHS and law and order. We will win if we appear in touch, we do this not by making it harder for working class people to fly on planes due to green taxes but by letting them keep all of their money rather than taxing them. For example all those on the min wage should not pay tax.

Give the cynicism a break Traditional Tory, this is exciting stuff.

Does Conservatism have to stress old-style polarisations, i.e., left-or-right, or left-right-third way, or whatever? Anachronistic compartmentalised thinking; yes, I agree with those posters who are turned off or nonplussed by the "either-or" approach.

Can it not be simply articulated in terms such as "the most sensible solution", according to the issue in question? The whole world would suddenly become a brighter place!

Strictly speaking, given that the left and right spectrum was created as a spectrum from radicals to establishment, given that Labour IS the establishment, wouldnt that make us automatically left wing and in fact attempting to move further to the right?

As a single parent I should like to say that I agree that a two-parent family is the best environment to raise a child. I was fortunate in having a responsible child that worked hard and he is now off to university. However not all parents are so lucky and many have to deal with problematic children. Having two parents on the scene serves to re-inforce modes of behaviour in the child. Very often in homes where there is no father figure all too easily teenage boys can just 'Take Over' and set their own agenda. I fully support David Cameron's calls to strengethen families through marriage.

Erm, think about it Think About It. The family should set one up and get parents to pay for it rather than expecting the tax payer to foot the bill?

Excellent speech. Just what's needed. We'll build an election-winning coalition yet.

If David Cameron truly believes that modernisation versus traditional Conservatism is a false choice, why has he spent his entire time as leader telling everyone who will listen how 'his' party needs to change, modernise and transform itself?

Like virtually all of his problems, Dave got himself into this one, and saying that he didn't, or that it isn't a problem, isn't going to get him out of it, either.

'Right to buy was mentioned a couple of times so that aspect of the Dorrell report is likely to be party policy'.

Disappointed to hear that. The idea that the taxpayer should foot the bill by giving away vast sums of money in property to people just because they weren't bad council tenants is absurd. Also it won't have positive consequences, the people who terrorise council estates won't be attratced to a 10% stake in their property. If they want money they steal.

Just keep Right to Buy as it is, rather than giving away the public's investments to people who should be glad the state even provides them with homes.

It seems that David Cameron is really trying to address the deep seated problems in this country while Gordon Brown is just concentrating on political mischief. With modern radical ideas like these I have joined the Conservative Party but then I see views in here that disappoint me especially on peoples sexuality!!

I would encourage DC to follow the path he is. He seems to be combing the best of the traditional conservative views with modern thinking and that is why I will support him rather than tear apart every speech he makes...why don't you concentrate your energies on attacking Gordon Brown?

"To apply the speech to your own obsessions is to miss the point."
Au contraire mr north east. The speech was ABOUT this site's "obsessions" and therefore an amazing vindication of them.

I hope the BBC will give this excellent speech the coverage it deserves. I liked the way David Cameron was able to deliver a very broad sweep of ideas covering many different aspects of policy. The Conservative party really has a wide-reaching radical plan for government unlike Labour which is burnt-out and devoid of ideas.

To be honest knowing where he is going and why he wants to win should have been sorted ages ago
IDS was on the ball, had firm principles, a clear direction and set about trying to achieve it, much as John Smith had - the 2 had a lot in common in terms of approach to things, on some issues very different solutions, but you could be sure that the ideas they came up with were formulated with regard to sorting out problems not short term populism.

The replacement of IDS with Michael Howard would have been comparable with John Smith being replaced by Neil Kinnock. Michael Howard immediately set about abandoning clear positions and returning to more like the sort of headline approach without much actual content that William Hague had suffered as a result of in the run in to the 2001 General Election.

David Cameron with the urging on of George Osborne has presented himself as a sort of New Improved I Can't believe it's not Blair at a time when the public are thinking that they've had Tony Blair and it's time for something a bit different.

Given the extent that Labour support had collapsed in 2003 and 2004 both the Conservatives and Liberal Democrats should have managed to do far better than they did, under IDS I rather think it was building up to being much closer, Charles Kennedy too really was just riding a wave.

Labour in 2005 was far more vulnerable to losing their majority and being reduced to having to govern as a minority, it just needed clear alternative agendas by other parties enthusing their own supporters to a greater extent, after the General Election the Conservative Party spent a long time on a debate about what it stood for when a new leader early on who set about developing a new framework of policies and setting about taking a vigorous line in parliament much from the start as the Conservative opposition did during the 1945-51 Labour governments could have seen a more dramatic revival with the Conservatives perhaps on course for a return to government.

The Liberal Democrats under Charles Kennedy equally stagnated, Labour were given a free ride until the New Year of 2006; to some extent the Liberal Democrats have managed to halt what was an apparently fatal decline, although Menzies Campbell clearly has lost a lot of his energy and dynamism he has been far more hard working than Charles Kennedy who seemed to spend more time playing at being a sort of MP version of Keith Chegwin.

David Cameron having won the leadership could have come out with a clear set of policies, obviously there have to be policy alterations for things that have been done by government or happened separately from anything government was doing; instead though he came out with a stance on many things that it was a matter of waiting for a policy review. This just rightly or wrongly gives the impression that the current Conservative leadership has no substance to it, that it has difficulty taking decisions without there being some kind of report commissioned on a subject first. But even the leadership's response to it's Policy Reviews reporting back has been sort of half hearted, many have reported and yet there is little more sense of what David Cameron and George Osborne are trying to achieve, indeed many of their policies so far seem to have been to commit themselves to the same sort of straitjacket that Tony Blair and Gordon Brown have been building up for Labour over the past 10 years.

Cameron can be accused of alot but he can't be accused of having a radical plan for government! For exampe on the vitally important issue of public spending what does Cameron propose? 'We'll match Labour'. That's hardly radical. On the NHS? 'Let's keep it as it is'. On schools? 'We like Labour's city academies'. How can we fight global warming? 'Let's make it harder for poor people to go on holiday'.

Where is the radicalism? Where is the plan?

I hold my hand up and admit that Dave drove me out of the Conservative Party and I shall not open my chequebook or vote Conservative whilst he is leader. This said, eben I feel a twinge of sympathy for him this week. His whole project is disintegrating at an eye-watering rate and he's upsetting the left and right of the paty (and political spectrum) with equal skill.

One observation. Take a line and stick to it. A lot of my friends - some Tory and some not - are bewildered by the lurch to the right or left dependent upon the week. It makes Cameron just like an opportunist with no firm principles. My advice: take a stand and stick to it. We, the voters, will then be able genuinely to assess your platform and we'll decide wthere you and the Conservatives have a future or not. At the moment, you're pleasing no-one apart from a few who believe in 'modernising' whatever that means.

Well the lynch-pin for me, as I dither about whether I dare risk voting for someone who broke his specific promise over the EPP, just as Brown is - apparently - about to break HIS promise over a referendum, will be the EU.

To include the NHS which is a core issue if ever there was one with the false climate change scam is barmy. He's fallen for it and we'll all suffer (already bread and meat are set to double in price due to these confidence tricksters)

But he could redeem himself AND outsmart Brown. If Brown refuses a referendum, then he will have to take a bit of flak in the short-term but, once the treaty is ratified, the media will pack up their bags and move on to another issue, while Cameron - who doesn't care what happens to our country - will happily leave well enough alone.

There is, however, one thing that could galvanise the whole debate. That would be a commitment from Cameron that, if the treaty is ratified without a referendum, he would – on election to government – immediately call a referendum and, if there is a "no", to abrogate the treaty.

It's got to be spelt out though - soon.

Yet Another Anon, I don't think I've ever heard a bad word against John Smith. Its interesting to wonder about how the future might have been very different if John Smith had lived. When Tony Blair became prime minister and made his acceptance speech outside of number ten I expected him to mention John Smith but alas he didn't.


I took the trouble to open the .pdf and read it.

Surprise, surprise I'm old enough to read.

Well, Tim & Sam, it seems like he's doing things your way now. It had better work...

Andrew - if it dosen't work it's probably because the public will see Cameron as an opportunist who flip flops. In my view he has lost credibility and is a liability.

I thought Cameron stood for "Nanny know best"?

If you can now talk abou the EU, I assume he'll now be letting MPs sign BOO? Hallelujah!

Andrew Lilico:Well, Tim & Sam, it seems like he's doing things your way now. It had better work...

Previously the ultra-Roons were suggesting ConHome should be shut down for aiding the enemy, and the Headbangers were praising it as a vital flame of freedom. Presumably, we will now see a total reversal in stance? (but no change in the contributions?)

Well said David Cameron.
He needs a lot of support if this party's members are serious about seeing Brown lose at the next election. We've got to show that we are capable of moving with the times - we've done it before and we can do it again.

I guess that what Tim and Sam need to consider is whether they prefer to say "We are the masters now" or "We are the masters at the moment and shall be for some considerable time". ;-)

Modernisation is all well and good if fundamental principles are maintained, it is important to remember though that government is about keeping undesirable elements out of power and about making a difference and not a sort of political equivalent of The Miss World Contest.

The BBC 6 O'Clock News didn't mention anything about the speech.

AGAIN they used pictures of a Cameron speech and spoke of "Tory in-fighting" over it, without even once mentioning what the pictures showed.

Then Git Harry (is that his name?) tossed us a caption showing Mercer and the other two goons under the New Labour banner, and the latest goon turning from blue to red, as if he were undergoing a major political journey.

Then more pictures of Gordon Brown touring schools and making kids smile...

It's enough to make you vomit.

It's lazy, gutter journalism and obnoxious journalism at that. New Labour propaganda.

The Brown Broadcasting Corporation is living on borrowed time. Nationalise the whole f-in lot.

Overall I felt this speech rang true a lot more than the one in Tooting that had a similar aim.

You ask about BBC coverage Tony Makara, I haven't been watching the box today but the BBC online story rather misses the point in its headline: "Tory critics pose 'false choice'".

The BBC & co are as guilty as anyone for propagating the false dichotomy between soft virtues and Thatcher's "vigorous virtues"!

As far as this voter is concerned Cameron who has broken a promise is no better than Brown who is about to break his. Therefore why should I vote for one crook rather than another?

Cameron can redeem that failure precisely by doing what I set out in mine @ 1558. It's up to him.

See above for my thoughts on the BBC coverage!

They also took Cameron's quote and left off the 'false choice' part, so it came out as merely "Cameron denies being under fire from the left and right."

Well done CCHQ, it's been a long time since you've managed so much trolling on CH on a single thread. Now can you please get all of your nice young chaps and chappesses back to work doing something concrete about our continuing failure to get ahead of Brown in the polls and the worrying alienation of Conservative voters please.

Cameron can redeem that failure precisely by doing what I set out in mine...

Hilarious. ConHome is crammed with people who feel they could make a better Conservative party leader and who bear their crosses through statements like these.

No offence 'Christina', but I hardly think Cameron is reading your post and taking notes.

Haven't listened to the speech - not time as yet, but well said Trad Tory 1325 that Michael Ancram speaks for the quiet majority. But apart from the 'gay rights' bit, it does seem that there is plenty of good in what DC said, and that would mean a Conservative government led by DC is worth fighting for.

Mr Angry et all,

Its people like you and the rest of the trolls who are the problem. Lay off CCHQ, they are doing a cracking job. Just because you go get a bit drunk once a year at an Association garden party in some awful county doesn't mean you have the right to slag of the Party left right and centre. I am amazed someone so backward looking can even use a computer.

This speech is exactly what we need. You people don't know a good thing when it kicks you in the arse. Cameron is pressing all the right buttons with this speech. It really lives up to his "fire in the belly" on newsnight the other day.

What would you rather oldies? another five years of opposistion?

You people really hack me off.

There is absolutely no doubt that the BBC carries an anti-Cameron, anti-Conservative bias. Anyone who doubts this should pay special attention to the pictures that they use. So many of the pictures show David Cameron in a stern gesticulating pose, whereas pictures of Gordon Brown are usually very positive showing Brown in a friendly laughing mood. The use of out-of-context pictures is disgraceful bias.

There is absolutely no doubt that the BBC carries an anti-Cameron, anti-Conservative bias

What's new about that?

To be fair to them they have given Cameron quite a lot of publicity lately but all the radio news had on this afternoon was an item about Cameron claiming that Brown had 'played dirty' over the Head sportswear Swede (whatever his name was)

Will somebody please tell me what Cameron has just said that is actually new


''This speech is exactly what we need. You people don't know a good thing when it kicks you in the arse. Cameron is pressing all the right buttons with this speech. It really lives up to his "fire in the belly" on newsnight the other day.

What would you rather oldies? another five years of opposistion?'' - Dave is the man.

Firstly we do have a right to 'slag of' Cameron, it's called free speech and he does not own the Conservative party.

Pressing all the buttons? Dosen't that just make him look like he's trying to be everyone's friend? It fits in so nicely with Labour's portrayal of him. It seems the Cameroons can't stop making mistakes.

To me the speech just appears so paternalistic. It certainly dosen't appeal to the classical liberal in me with his rant about how we all have social responsibilties but arn't living up to them in his view. If we were why is he going on about it so much? It just seems another attack on Joe Public. Cameron fails to understand that we have a duty to obey the law but not say clean our streets or discipline yobs. That's why we pay taxes. Cameron looks so 1950s.

Finally i'm not an 'oldie', I'm a 21 party member from the North of England. If Cameron can't please my type perhaps he's in for a bit more trouble...

Oh dear its even worse than I thought then. If you can have that sort of warped percepton aged 21 then there really is no hope.

Classic liberal, paternalistic, the 1950s? You sound like a bad GCSE history text book.

Tell me oh so wise and aged man, what is wrong with being paternalistic?

The fact you even ask this question is concerning. Are you actually in the Conservative party?

Paternalism is the interference of the individual by the state against their own will and justified on the grounds that it’s for their own good. Of course often it’s not for their own good, after all individual know what’s best for them most of the time rather than strangers in Whitehall. Of course people make mistakes but I’m not claiming to offer some utopia. Governments with their monopolistic powers make more mistakes. I value liberty in and of itself, I justify it on natural rights ground – Locke meets Rothbard. I dislike coercion by some of others however its justified because the primary unit of ‘society’ is the individual not the collective. If you wish to know more read some Rothbard, Hayek, Nozick and Rand.

I don’t wish to return the 1950s where a bunch of out of touch morons told the ‘little people’ how they should live their lives. The 1980s should be our blueprint where people are set free. Now however the challenge is not so much the economy but the public services.

Firstly, a few comments on a very serious and positive speech.

I do think this did push some big buttons, and address some key questions. What does the Conservative Party stand for? What are it's key values? The answer had both clarity and authenticity - "family, responsiblity and opportunity".

What is in your background that give you your personal drive in politics? - "my father's influence, my mothers own sense of civic responsibility, my own experiences (the best and the most difficult) of family life.

If contributors here can't find a way to sell that, then they really aren't trying hard enough.

Secondly, let me take on a few of the contributions to this thread.

"Think about it": I think from other discussions here people might have already revealed your identity? I can't believe that you have our best interests at heart - however, your "point" on education policy and grammar schools (yes, I went to one) seems to be a common one here, so I shall respond to it, albeit bluntly. Presented with even the possibility that there might be a better way today and we should examine it, you choose to roll on your back and kick your legs in the air like a toddler in a supermarket, shouting "WAH, mommy, I want my GRAMMAR school", rather than "thinking about it". So much for the intellectual renaissance of the Right, I think! If anyone else bleats on about the grammar school issue on this thread, I swear to god I'm going to find a small one and put it so far up their ass they will have a job placing it in the league tables...

Mr Angry Well done CCHQ, it's been a long time since you've managed so much trolling on CH on a single thread.

So, if any of us actually support our own party, or don't appear as right-wing lunatics, we're being paid by CCHQ? I work hard for the Conservatives (on a voluntary basis), and don't appreciate either my efforts or those of colleagues being trashed by the likes of you.

YAN: it is important to remember though that government is about keeping undesirable elements out of power

Yes, that's why I want to see GB kicked out of No 10! What do you want to see, and what have you done in reality to make it happen?

Radical Tory: Firstly we do have a right to 'slag of' Cameron, it's called free speech and he does not own the Conservative party.

Do you want to be "radical", on your own terms, or do you really want to help us win. You may have the "right" to free speech, but if you've read this morning's speech I hope it struck a chord that reminded you that Conservatives believe all rights come wth responsibilities attached. Maybe you have a responsibility to your colleagues in the Party to think before opening your mouth.

Right, I think I've upset enough people for one post - it might even turn out to be a personal record (it's certainly exorcised my day)...

Well said Richard.You certainly haven't upset me and with our dear French friends losing to the Argies it's turning out to be a good night!

'Do you want to be "radical", on your own terms, or do you really want to help us win. You may have the "right" to free speech, but if you've read this morning's speech I hope it struck a chord that reminded you that Conservatives believe all rights come wth responsibilities attached. Maybe you have a responsibility to your colleagues in the Party to think before opening your mouth' - Richard Carey.

I want to see a Conservative government in power. However I don't think this will happen by being a clone of New Labour.

It is true rights come with responsibilties. We have a negative right of freedom and with that should come one responsibilty - obey the law. We do not have a responsibilty to be community orientated, some of us don't want to clean streets, give to charity or tell yobs where to go. We pay our taxes so we don't have to. Why can't we be a party which beleives in moral neutrality i.e. we have a sphere where we have freedom to choose our morals without being lectured to by the people we pay and are supposedly our servants. It is very dangerous when governements start trying to tell us what our moral duties to one another are beyond simply obeying the law.

I have a responsibilty to my principles, that's the whole point of being in politics. I'm not in politics because I feel I have a responsibilty to Conservative colleagues. I'm not a collectivist.

I want the Conservatives to win but that can only happen when they advocate policies which can be seen as in tune with our values. For example freedom for parents to send their child to any school they wish with the aid of vouchers, freedom for Britain by leaving the EU, freedom for the poor by stop taxing them and freedom for the vulnerable by having zero tolerance policing New York style. That's what the Conservatives should be about.

"Erm, think about it Think About It. The family should set one up and get parents to pay for it rather than expecting the tax payer to foot the bill

What a good idea. I take it you are proposing giving these parents tax relief so they do not end up pay twice for their children's education?

"Presented with even the possibility that there might be a better way today and we should examine it,

Um, Dicky, trying reading before ranting. I, along with many others support education vouchers and letting the decision of types of educational structure to be made locally, not imposed or banned centrally.

If they do not work, they will fail as parents will take their children out and the funding will do with them.

Some may want grammars, some may not. But it should be decided *locally* not centrally by Cameron.

I couldn't care less if no local authority ever again chose to build a new grammar school. But I do think they should have the right to choose.

That's not toooo difficult for you to understand is it?

Think about it: I'm more than capable of reading, thank you. I was more concerned with your immediate attempt to twist a thoughtful speech towards one of your personal hobby horses, as usual.

Oh, and you might want to reconsider the "Dicky" thing before trying to patronise me again...

This speech is good. It shows that the party is beginning to pull together a coherent narrative and the right sort of balance. Now we have to stick at it and illustrate the points well including with good media output and ensure we get a fair hearing,


LOL. I praised Cameron's plan to force kids to re-do a year as it was a genuinely well-thought out idea, unfortunately he has since been back sucking on the silly ideas shisha pipe.

Let the funding follow the kid. Let the decision on educational structures be made locally.

If many conservatives had not been banging on about the 'hobby horses' they believe in over the past few months in the face of a torrent of Cameroon abuse and 'dinosaur' name calling, do you think Cameron would have made that speech today?

Stop being so defensive Dicky.

Regarding Brown, I though Parris was absolutely right in the Times comment yesterday regarding Brown. Brown gives the impression that he is the intellectual powerhouse of policy, but he is not. Listen to what he says on policy, its vaccuous and meaningless. Brown has lots to say and no ideas. WE are the real ideas party.

'Do you think that speech would have been made today?' Yes.And a very fine speech it was too.

LOL. No surprise there Malcolm! - You honestly believe Cameron would have made that speech today if he was on 40%+ in the polls?

Good speech. But it was a false argument of course. As noted above, it was Cameron himself who told people to stop banging on about Europe and banned MP's from supporting BOO.

I bet you a four pints in the Counting House that he doesn't back up those words today with action by removing the ban.

"To me Conservatives should be about being socially liberal and economically liberal." - Follow through Mr Cameron

Why not go and join the Liberal party if that's how you feel?

It was about as far from being a false argument as it's possible to be.It was the clearest indication of what sort of Conservative party and government he wants us to be.

Think about it: If many conservatives had not been banging on about the 'hobby horses' they believe in over the past few months in the face of a torrent of Cameroon abuse and 'dinosaur' name calling, do you think Cameron would have made that speech today?

What in that speech was not coherent with what the party has been speaking about previously? "Change, optimism and hope", "social responsibility", "families, responsibility, opportunity"? I think you flatter yourself far too much, "Think about it". Yes, I think that speech would have been made anyway.

Stop being so defensive Dicky.

And finally, I'm sure you think you can now rub me up the wrong way with disrespectful nicknames. It is childish, but if you really have to do it, could you at least please have the courage of your "convictions" to be able to do it under your own name too so we're on a level playing field?

'Think about it' is Chad Noble Richard. God knows why he feels the need to post under various pseudonyms.

'Think about it' is Chad Noble Richard. God knows why he feels the need to post under various pseudonyms.

I thought this was the case, Malcolm, but didn't want to post it without confirmation - thanks. I think he posts under pseudonyms because he kept getting banned here. Some people just don't get the message, do they?

He should go back to cheerleading for UKRAP, it was much funnier...

Oberon Houston, absolutely correct. Gordon Brown is a fatigued and burnt-out politician. After ten years of failed government he has nothing left to give. His objective now is simply to stay in power, to wallow in his lietimes achievment, his premiership. Gordon Brown and his Labour functionaries are coasting it. They have run out steam, are lost, have failed.

''Why not go and join the Liberal party if that's how you feel?''

When I say liberal I use the word in the correct sense i.e. classical liberal. The Liberal party are big government statists.

This party does not belong to the Cameroons.

Cameron says ‘I don’t care’ if people say his ideas are idealistic or paternalistic. How statesmanlike.

Cameron says his mother was a magistrate for three decades years and this has influenced him on why people have a social responsibility. Can’t Cameron understand that most people can’t give the time? Some of us have mortgages to pay of, others just want to keep themselves to themselves, pay their taxes, obey the law and bring up their children (not all can afford to pack their kids of to boarding school Mr Cameron). Yet Cameron is saying this isn’t good enough.

Though he did mention welfare reform which is something, but what does he mean? Why is he so vague? Does he mean cutting benefits? How about workfare? Why won’t he just say what he means instead of trying to please everyone but in the process pleasing no one?

Cameron is so out of touch it would be funny if it wasn’t so sad. I’m not looking forward to the next General Election, the grin on Gordon’s face will be huge especially with certain conservatives still underestimating him after these past months!

Radical Tory, I'm against workfare but I would strongly support the idea of a future Conservative government hiring the long-term unemployed to work on social projects like urban renovation, cleaning up disused canals etc. When we consider that the state already pays a single unemployed person 35-55 a week, plus full rent and council tax, it wouldn't cost that much exra to hire a person on a living wage and have a huge amount of manpower at hand to clean up our country.

Ideally I'd like to see jobs created by the private sector but where there is a shortfall in work available I think it could be advantageous for the state to hire the unemployed. At least the long-term unemployed by compulsion and the short-term unemployed if they ask for it. I do not favour workfare though as that breeds too much resentment, but no-one could object to properly waged labour.

Tony - seems interesting but I wouldn't want more money spent on this scheme than is being spent on the unemployed at the moment. We already pay too much tax.

I think if we reduced tax more jobs would emerge as businesses would expand. There are in fact 20,000 new vacancies everyday but people don't take the jobs because there too busy drinking cider and watching Trisha plus they think they deserve large sums of money despite flunking their GCSEs.

Everyone should be entitled to a max of say 6 months unemployment benefit throughout their lives. After this they should be cut of and will have to rely on charity. Who knows that might even create 'community spirit' - surely Cameron would welcome that.

I like the fact that many areas would be cleaned up. This is very much needed in our inner cities especially. However this can be done through other ways rather than making millions of people employees of the state and so having to give them at least the min wage. For example, prisoners should be taken out and forced to clean parks etc (supervised of course). This would also be in accord with Cameron's 'giving back' obsession.

I'm sure what I want would cause some resentment amongst the lazy and left wingers, but when that happens it shows progress is being made. Good thing Thatcher wasn't afraid of resentment otherwise we would still be controlled by the unions and have uneconomic pits.

Radical Tory, I'm against limiting unemployment payment to six months. If people are made moneyless they are likely to turn to the black market and crime to get hold of money. There would be a real possibility of young unemployed girls turning to prostitution to feed their children etc.

If the unemployed were put into waged work then special provision could be made by which they are paid a rate lower than the minimum wage, (which I would like to see scrapped). I'm thinking of a scheme like the 1980s community programme in which the unemployed were guarenteed twelve months work on social projects.

The wasteful New Deal cetainly must be closed down by the future Conservative government. It has cost the taxpayer 3.4 Billion (Compare that with the estimated 6 Billion spent on the war in Iraq) and the New Deal has nothing to show for that 3.4 Billion. The New Deal doesn't help the unemployed and has become a government gravy-train with service providors milking 500 pounds a week out of the taxpayer.

Mass unemployment has plagued the taxpayer for 35 years now and no government has seriously tried to tackle the problem. Politicians seem to accept mass unemployment as inevitable, however I think that is a mistake. Unemployment needs to be tackled. With 5.4 million people out of work in our country we are creating an economic sub-class larger than the population of Scotland.

"He should go back to cheerleading for UKRAP, it was much funnier..

And you wonder why people don't warm to your party Dick!

I think you'll find that most people here despise New Lab *policies* and want a different agenda. I'm sure you'll find, when one is pledged people will rally round, so it's probably best to stop insulting people who don't agree with everything you say.

For me, if Cameron provided opposition to Lab and the Libdems by opposing any extension to state funding and delivered his EPP pledge, he'd have my support.

I certainly do not expect a perfect match at all (I'd like a lower Tax Freedom Day, free choice of school structure, education vouchers etc etc), but how can I rally behind a warm words speech when that man is pledging to abolish independent political parties and replace them with state funded vehicles that will complete the disconnect between politicians and the people, creating an insulated, unanswerable political class?

imho, no Conservative leader could support this surrender of democractic, voluntarily funded parties for state vehicles, so I'll support and rally behind the first one that does.

It would be nice if it was now, under Cameron, but if not, it will have to be the next one.

First, by all means discuss the health service, Mr Cameron - but you don't. You simply assert that it's a marvel, perfect, an article of faith and must never be changed. What many people would like to hear, however, is a genuine debate on the merits of state funded medical care. We would like to be told in chapter and verse why simply paying the doctor or the surgeon, through insurance for serious matters and with cash for trivial ones, is so impossible and impermissable. Grown up democracy is about the clash of ideas; the corrupt, sly substitute for democracy that we have today is about sidling into power by brokering agreements with interest groups. We know which one you prefer, Dave ol' chum. Perhaps its because you yourself sidled into a position of influence from a position of privilege. As to "gay rights", by all means support civil partnerships. But why join in the illiberal campaign against the Catholic adoption agencies? Is it after all so clear that the church is wrong in its view? Would you happily consign a child into the care of two people who, with the best will in the world, could not possibly mother it? The church - and no, I am not a catholic - realises to the depth of its being the importance of this mother and baby bond. So do many ordinary people and, I suspect, all true conservatives. Liberals, meanwhile, if they are true to THEIR beliefs, will defend the church on the grounds that it is NOT AN ARM OF THE STATE. It should not, therefore, be bound by the detailed requirements of some positive state morality. It should be free to make its own judgements. You are always telling us, dear Mr C, that society is different from and even better than the state. Why then crush the wisdom or at least the freedom of society's greatest pillar and support?

The conservative party in its modern form was a combination of Tory and Liberal insights and beliefs. Tory ideas of nature and tradition were tempered with Liberal notions of liberty and reform. Mrs Thatcher was indeed a true liberal tory as was Winston Churchill. Their belief in freedom involved a recognition that it involved the possibility of hurtful argument and mutual exclusions. Society can indeed accomodate opposed groups, but to do so fairly it must and should allow each of them to discrminate against the other if that is their choice. Gay adoption agencies could cater for civil partners, the church could get on with its own business in peace.

This is freedom. This is liberalism. This is where the centre lies. You are way over to the left. Can any of us who have always rejected socialism ever really support you? Your cynical calculation and sometimes your insulting words - can you wonder that people throw your background at you when you sneer so much? - suggest that we have nobody but you. Don't be too sure.

Very well said Simon. Not only do I dislike what Cameron is doing politically but he genuinely appears to be quite a nasty man in my opinion with all his personal attacks, for example, calling people who support grammar schools 'delusional'. It makes him look so petty and frankly weak.

Tony - I agree that the New Deal should be scrapped.

Mass unemployment is a problem but the solution is not governemnt, its the market. Set the market free and the jobs will emerge. Many are already there.

I don't think we should simply accept that if we cut of benefits people will turn to crime so we should pay them. We should not be bullied out of our money by thugs. I'm also in favour of legalising prostitution so don't see a problem with women (or men) using that to make a living. Legalisation will make it safer for all and drive out the pimps.

The jobs are out there people just need to go and get them. They will only do this is if they are cut of. If some do turn to crime this would be a good reason to get what many of us have been calling for: more police, prisons and longer sentences.

Mass unemployment has plagued the taxpayer for 35 years now and no government has seriously tried to tackle the problem.
The Wilson, Heath, Callaghan and Thatcher administrations all tried tackling unemployment - Heath tried introducing in work benefits, there was the Manpower Services Commission, the things like Yettie, Yts, etc.... largely doomed to failure, but they certainly all tried - the main way of reducing unemployment is to remove punitive assessments of income and earnings under benefits, reduce benefit rates relative to earnings and in many cases in real terms with loans replacing much of benefits and other social spending, to deregulate the labour market, crack down on Trade Unions and reduce both public spending and taxation overall while focusing more on Defence, Infrastructure and R&D. Things like public spending on Personal Healthcare, Casinos and big Dome schemes and Modern Art exhibitions have nothing to do with boosting the economy - economic growth is what helps reduce unemployment. To a great extent unemployment is inevitable, there will always be people who employers don't want, people who are unsuited to work and greater automation reduces the number of humans needed to do many jobs but also boosts the economy generating more jobs. A certain amount of unemployment - say 5% or so helps hold down inflation, if employers are short of labour then wage demands tend to go up and a lot of work goes undone.

The PDF of the speech has David Cameron ending by saying, “State control from Labour. Freedom with the Conservatives. And we will say to the British people – choose freedom.”.

He says, It’s because the family is such a vital part of society that communists
and socialists hate it so much.”

Excellent stuff.

To support freedom rather than state control, and to support the centrality of the family in society, he must pledge to remove all state interference in how parents discipline their children, and to keep the state out of the family home. (It’s this that would help family life rather than keeping the cost of family holidays down as cited by Follow through Mr Cameron September 07 at 12:06 – and green taxes on flights if introduced would only affect foreign holidays involving flights, not all holidays).

To support freedom rather than state control, he must pledge to repeal the Labour regulation that, for example, forbids Catholic adoption agencies from making their own choices over gay adoption, and has the state forcing B&B owners to permit behaviour in their own homes that offends their conscience.

It's encouraging Mr Cameron pledges to talk about Europe too, but I would hope for something a bit more robust, such as the approach advocated by Michael Ancram in his pamphlet, in which he says, “we cannot remain part of a Europe where the agenda of ‘ever closer union’ remains active”

Support for gay partnerships seems to continue to be a fly in the ointment. To support both marriage and civil partnerships is ridiculous – many realise the latter are not equivalent to marriage, and some think undermines the centrality of marriage in building families and thus society.

That apart, and hoping DC follows through his comments on freedom from state control with robust polices on getting the state out of the family, and on Europe, this speech shows that a Conservative government led by DC is worth fighting for.

Philip - I fear Cameron won't go any further for fear of being criticised by the liberal press. Cameron only likes to upset people who have supported the Conservatives in the past.

I like Cameron's talk of freedom too. Cameron should focus on freedom as his theme. However why does he mix social responsibilty in as well? He seems to want people to be free from the state but not free from social pressures. That's how alot of people will see this. In that case his talk about freedom is hollow. He should read some Mill.

He message looks confused and inconsistent. I still don't know what his theme is. Is it freedom or is it freedom from the state but not society? What sort of freedom is that? We should encourage people to be individuals, to not simply conform to society's expectations. All people have a duty to do is obey the law, no more no less.

Cameron can talk the talk but when it comes to policies he does not back up his rhetoric.

Radical Tory, interesting comment - I thought I was the only one still to be not in bed at this hour!

"Is it freedom or is it freedom from the state but not society?". DC has helpfully said on other occasions that the state is not the same as society.

I agree we should encourage people to be individuals and not to conform to society's expectations but society through laws does have a role in restraining the fallen aspects of our nature perhaps particularly where this impinges on the freedom of others to do right and to live in peace and security. True freedom needs boundaries of right and wrong.

This probably doesn't respond to your points properly... I'm tired... that's my thoughts for now..

Carrots or Peas ? Mixed vegetables always present a conundrum...we in the New Conservative Party have nothing against peas, but we like carrots too, and think green beans have a role to play in the new airtight jars we are producing.

No we don't comment on meat, fish or potatoes; our packaging concept only extends to mixed vegetables so as not to alienate vegetarians or meat-eaters....we feel that most issues can be distilled down to the mix of peas and carrots and the label on the jar

what a brilliant speech!

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