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Its is definately time for change. Labour's underhand way of conducting politics is undermining confidence in our political structures. People no longer feel they can trust their own government. The government of the day must be open and honest and tell the truth, even when times are bad. Labour's manipulation of the news and particularly the way Gordon Brown has 'used' our troops is highly unsavoury.

If those are the three criteria on which Cameron's speech will be judged, I suspect you might well be pleased with what you hear as I'm sure his speechwriters would have told him to do exactly that.

I don't think that will do - its still a very Blairite summation.

Hope - for what?
Change - from what to what?

I don't think "the vision thing" works anymore. There need to be specifics and a plan of how to get there.

After the big announcements of Tuesday which got everyone excited, yesterday was a wasted opportunity that was knocked off Newsnight by some invented non-story on Islamic punk rock! Unless there is a big story today there will be an election in five weeks.

Yesterday I posted with reference to the Independent's report that Bush was about to order a strike on Iran, with Brown's support.

If this is true it will be the most important opportunity to draw the line between Brown's old politics and Cameron's next generation politics that Cameron will ever have.

The electorate are well aware of the appalling flaws behind the Labour governments decision to invade Iraq, and the Conservative party's continued support for that same invasion. They also see on a daily basis the dreadful price our own troops and the people of Iraq are still paying for that decision.

If just 4 years later we are now to be told that the Labour government has learned nothing from the Iraq debacle, and is supporting yet another attack on a sovereign country which has not threatened us, does not threaten us, and has given no indication that it intends to threaten us, then Cameron MUST oppose that action.

If we support a strike against Iran now we will deserve to be treated with contempt and disgust by the electorate, and in the next election once again voters who might well wish to vote Conservative will sit on their hands in despair.

If people are faced with a choice between the Labour and Conservative party who both think it is entirely acceptable to invade or attack other countries without just cause, and a third in the LibDems which will oppose the attacks, but has a slavish belief in the EU and thinks a couple earning over £35k who live together are the super rich, then they will conclude that they might as well not bother to vote at all.

Both Cameron and Hague absolutely must make it crystal clear that we will not support military action against Iran.

Do that, give people a party to vote for which demonstrates that it understands that it is wrong to declare war on another country without just cause, show voters that the Conservative party really does have a moral backbone, and we will win the next election, whenever it's called.

For much of the electorate, "No Politics" would be preferable to "New Politics", which in their eyes means little more than new promises, slickly presented, that will fall short in delivery - following which the rival politicians will in turn obfuscate and then attack each other ritually. I suspect that a large chunk of voters really want a "New Democracy", where national interest demonstrably takes precedence over party ambition; where electable governance of accountable (but not necessarily elected) respected experts replaces governing by amateurs; and where those to whom we give the honour of governance don't waste our money in securing advantage over their rivals.

It will be the same old stuff, using the same old model, from Cameron today - as it was at last week's conference, and the week before...

The system of star rating given to local authorities on their recycling performance, if applied to Brown, he will get 5* plus.

The man has a pathological obsession to recycling.

I am suddenly very optimistic towards our chances but somehow got this sinking feeling that Brown will show his true colours once again with statements such as,
'the labour party has already got a mandate and this is no time to waste public money on an unnecessary election. Then steal some more of our policies and go for broke in May 2008.

I'm looking forward to Cameron's speech, hoping for a 45-minute, inspirational, aspirational, optimistic account of how Conservatives could be a positive force for change in the future.

I'm sure there will be evidence of a clear difference between the old politics of boring Brown and a new vision from a charismatic Cameron.

Will he go for no notes again, just to upstage Brown a little?

"Will he go for no notes again, just to upstage Brown a little?"

Not the time for those kind of risks, more important to read from a script which embraces the three points mentioned by Tim.

"where national interest demonstrably takes precedence over party ambition; where electable governance of accountable (but not necessarily elected) respected experts replaces governing by amateurs"

You do realise this idea has another name Enlightened Despot - tyranny. Democracy is one of Britain's finest and proudest achievements. Gordon Brown is out to dismantle it - and these are exactly the kind of weasel words he will use to rob people of their power.

Let's see if anyone can spot a member of the public during David Cameron's speech today. I bet you can't.

But then, you won't be given much chance, since all the cameras will be obediently pointed at the seat-seeking boys (old Durham hands will understand what I mean when I call them "rahs") corralled at the front in order to make the hall look much fuller, and massively to reduce the age profile of the people in it.

This isn't a party point - they are all like that now.

I just thought about it after reading the last two paragraphs of this BBC piece:

Wednesday's speech at Blackpool's Winter Gardens is a return to the scene of Mr Cameron's 2005 party leadership triumph, when he went from rank outsider to favourite after delivering a 20-minute speech without notes.

His aides have hinted at similar "choreography" later.

It has to be something special - and what could be better than Cameron wandering round the stage getting all worked up and passionate?

I'm getting the same butterflies that I felt before Cameron’s big speech to Conference in the leadership contest. I don’t know how anyone can have the calm to rise to these events so well. I’d be a gibbering wreck!

Brown will show his true colours once again with statements such as,
'the labour party has already got a mandate and this is no time to waste public money on an unnecessary election.

People will ask why he didn't rule a General Election out this year, all he had to say was that he saw no reason for there to be a General Election this year (that it was too early this parliament), indeed he could have cited the timing of the Pre Budget Report and Comprehensive Spending Review, and that despite the electoral register being now a rolling register, that many people would not have updated their details on moving or becoming eligible to vote (Labour supporters are far more likely not to have updated their details in such circumstances).

If he then wanted a General Election next year he could indeed announce in the New Year that he would seek a dissolution for a General Election on the day of the Local Elections when most areas will have elections anyway - dissolution perhaps aimed to start after the Budget.

That would still be the earliest that a government with a secure majority had ever held such a General Election when they didn't need to - during a time in the 19th century when there were experiments with a 3 year parliament (also of course a 7 year one briefly too) was the only time a General Election occurred after just 3 years where a party had a secure majority in the House of Commons.

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