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I saw Iain Duncan-Smith give an after-dinner speech on the same topic at one of the YBF conferences a couple of years ago. I've got to admit that although the room was packed there was only a handful of people there willing to give him a chance, the rest were expecting the Quiet Man to live down to expectations and bore us all to tears.

How wrong we were.

IDS gave an off the cuff speech about social justice which was passionate and engaging, and he enthused everybody lucky enough to see him that night. Perhaps our reaction was more pronounced because our expectations were low, but he gave the best speech of that conference.

He wasn't the right man to lead the party, but at the CSJ he has found his real vocation.

IDS has it absolutely right, the Tories have to be committed to all sections and individuals in Society, not just those of us described as Middle Class with our secure pensions and expensive properties.

We must reach out to working and unemployed people, take them out of the trap of benenfits and introduce a Flat tax so excluding people under £15000 a year from tax as a start.

This is where the real tax breaks must come sooner rather than later.

Editor - I agree it was a strong and moving speech, but you've rather given the impression this was some off the cuff speech from the heart. Wasn't he operating a slide show during the speech, with pictures and a video that mirrored his words - so perhaps it was a more structured and thought through performance than the pure act of unprepared improv you suggest.

That aside, it was an excellent contribution and showed a sense of purpose we should all home to emulate.

I listened to Mr Duncan-Smith's speech online, and I thought he was inspirational. Best speech so far for my money.

IDS was amazing today, and I think we must pay tribute for all his hard work and passion in trying to mend Britain's broken society.
This is his legacy to the county and the Conservative party, and it is the reason that we will be back in government again carrying out his recommendation's.
Thank you IDS.

I was thinking about covering all the major speeches on my blog today. I've covered some but I don't think I can give the rest the justice they deserve. I've been very lucky, I've just finished a set of night shifts and now have a few days off so I can watch all the speeches live. If you have missed them I feel sorry for you because you have missed a revolution in the party and a revolution in British politics. Today and in the last few days I have seen a united Conservative party, and I have seen speeches devoid of spin and full of fire and truth.

The level of the speeches has been fantastic to say the least. I'm (as I've pointed out before) an ex-Labour voter and I have never been so impressed by a set of policies and straight forward common sense politics. This conservative party will see in a new era of fairness and governmental accountability to the people. Democracy in this country has a chance with the Conservatives, giving control back to the people and ridding us of the feeling of apathy.

I started blogging out of a frustration that I did not have any say in which this country is run. If we vote in a Conservative government that will all change.

It "IS" time for a change.

Yes, this was the best speech of the conference so far. Real passion from the heart came through in a way that can't be faked. Congratulations to IDS and the CSJ for getting this issue so prominent in the conference.

IDS's best point was his last one: while Labour are going to call an election for the sole purpose of 'destroying' the Tories, the Conservatives are demonstrating a real vision for the future this week.

I use this section on IDS with a justified "colour" piece but you're missing the meat

Today you have not mentioned once, forceful and definite commitments on our relations with the EU and from both Cameron (on Today) and Hague .

The party thinks it important enough to highlight on the official website but total silence from ther blog?

I don't get it, as so many eurosceptic posters to the blog have been waiting to hear just such statements. You might just convert them or don't you want to win ?

Fairish comment Rob - there were headings on a PowerPoint presentation but no more than 400 or so words for what was a thirty minute speech.

Hi Christina - I promise to make amends tmrw. Keeping the blog going, doing conventional media, meeting up with friends and watching debates means we do miss some things!

Anyone still got any of those 'I love IDS' badges?!

His report on Social Justice was the most substantial report of that ilk for years and, though I didn't watch today's speech, I have no trouble believing it was a cracker.

I have talked on another thread about how I felt Gove, Lansley and Fox especially were definite 'government ministers in waiting'.

IDS is certainly another one.

Best speech of the week. It won't be beaten. Your party has had a good day today. Keep it up.

As Tory leader I much prefered him to any before or after, (not that that is saying much but definately your least worst leader for a while)

If he'd stood up to Blair on Iraq he'd be PM by now. His CSJ seems good stuff, although I'm not happy with the religous aspects.

Not quite sure how he'd square support for credit unions with something like Guy Hands of Brighthouse supporting the party mind.

Hurrah. Isn't it excellent to see someone of integrity and genuine moral purpose in politics? Whew! refreshing!

IDS who was done for by the party conference must have found his reception today somewhat ironic.I think it a pity he was not allowed to continue, he cannot have fared worse than Howard.Note the following:

EU Business is reporting that Britain will drop to 73 MEPs against France's 74 and Germany's 96 with the only increases going to Austria, Slovenia, Sweden, and Malta. This should be spread around the delegates.

According to the EU' own statistics France had 59.907 mm, UK 59.515 and Germany 82.539 at the start of 2004. No machinations of rounding up or down could possibly produce such an anomaly between the UK and France.

Is Maastricht rebel IDS still an eu-sceptic or has he been bought off with this new Social Breakdown brief?

Pity somebody should be watching the machinations always underway in the EU.... and by the way the legal experts have agreed to the terms of the Treaty it was also announced this afternoon.

Marvellous Speech. Marvellous Response. I hope IDS has the chance to see his mission through to its fruition!

For his honesty and integrity, I've always believed that history will treat IDS well. The great 'spin master', Gordon Brown could learn a thing or two about what a real conviction politician is, especially after his cynical stunt today in Iraq.

For his honesty and integrity, I've always believed that history will treat IDS well.

Yes indeed.

And history should never forgive those who stabbed him in the back.

Good on you Steve Green @ 17.37 - I agree with you that blogging gives one a feeling that one can have some effect. I went to conference last year and was amazed at how different the speeches were to what was reported on the media. But I wish I could have been there this year - ill health and too far - because undoubtedly the speeches were even better.

Brown tried to take the limelight by going to Iraq, but he left it to laaate, as George Osborne had already captured the media, backed up by William Hague before him, and I am sure that David Cameron will provide the icing on the cake tomorrow!!!!!!!!

I've always believed that history will treat IDS well.

Surely that fateful decision not to oppose the war in Iraq will diminish that slightly-condemning the party to two (unless something dramatic happens) further election defeats.

Blair's government was wavering, losing the support of the people and he simply backed him and his war- history won't forgive him for that. Which is a shame, to be fair.....

"And history should never forgive those who stabbed him in the back"

We are Conservatives - it is what we do best

The Editor is right to feel proud! not only has the IDS/CSJ stuff largely happened because of him but the whole party seems to have taken every word of his advice on balanced conservatism. Have some bubbly tonight Tim, you've earned it!

IDS & the ISJ (with all concerned in it) are a shining example of real politics - what can I do for my country rather than what can I do to get my country to support me.
Comstock, for IDS to have betrayed his personal beliefs and turned his back on what he thought was right for political advantage would have been a betrayal of himself.

IDS's speech was probably one of the best speeches that I have heard in a long time. The sincerity was genuine and whilst many good politicians can deliver good speeches, his had something very special and heartfelt. Well Done

This was a wonderful speech. If a cynical public ever needed an example of Conservatism at its best, they would find it in this most passionate speech. Now the public must give him the opportunity to see his ideas implemented.

Priorities please. The question of who governs Britain is more important than this over-the-top adulation - like Diana's funeral - for a failed leader. I am glad he's recovered his status but this pales into insignificance compared to the issue central to most of us who abandoned the party in 2001. (or earlier) namely Britain's subservience to Brussels.

We won't come back unless the Party gets that right. Today both Cameron and Hague made a wonderful start. The media have ignored it (see tomorrow's page 94 in any of the papers). This means that the CCHQ 'spinners' have ignored it and if Conservative Home does so too then I must conclude that the Tory party doesn't care so why should I vote for them.

Brilliant speech, I'm in America at the moment and have just watched it online, made me proud to be a Conservative. He has found his calling, I hope David Cameron finds a Cabinet post for him when he becomes Prime Minister.

I caught some clips on TV and then watched all of it on-line.

I'm not prone to wet eyes but the passion, belief and determination to really improve things really made me proud to be a compassionate Tory. It was affirmation of many of the beliefs I hold and it was great to see them so well articulated.

As Quention Letts said, we all need a little bit of what's he's got.

Well done IDS. I really hope once in power he gets a Cabinet brief to implement much of the CSJ work.

Surely Ben Brogan's response was "hugs" not "huge"

I am keen to read all of the conference speeches, but I try in vain to find any of them. Could some point me in the right direction.

Try here, Mel.

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