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Could not agree more Tim

I wholly agree. The speech (like his speech last year) hung together so well. He has an amazing ability to "walk" logically through issues so that one can feel the consistent moral and practical values behind the man.In the end I think Cameron is right. Being Prime Minister means dealing with events as they come, and, to stand a chance of doing that, one needs a moral and practical compass.I believe he has shown that he has that. I was extremely impressed.

A very good speech. The last paragraphs brought a lump to my throat.

BUT - I think he is wrong about libertarianism, and wrong to use the word in a negative context, too.

It was a brilliant speech, hes going to win the next General election by a landslide.

There was however just one thing, where he says "I do not want to be Prime Minister of England, i want to be Prime Minister of the United Kingdom".

Lets clear that up right away.

*It is only ENGLAND that will elect the Conservatives.

*The "British" Prime Minister (the present incumbent as we all know is the Unelected communist no mandate in England man Broon) thanks to McLabour, has virtually NO SAY WHATSOEVER on Scotland ane Wales, so basically yes, the "British" Prime Minister IS the Prime Minister of England!

*Scotland, Wales and N Ireland all have their OWN National Parliament or Assembly, along with their OWN "First Minister", basically De Facto Prime Minister of these Regions - England does NOT.

I'd like to end by saying that im not disputing that there are Conservative voters in the Scottish EU Region, but i personally dont know either of them.

Clearly cant have listened to the same speech, dull delivery and only promise a tax cut for business. Oh and will sweep away Quangos, that just before we will set up an office of fiscal responsibility - silly name but yet another Quango. As for your Wandsworth inmate - I didn't hear any answers. Having the shadow cabinet behind cant have helped - what a dismal looking lot.

That wont play well in the smoking area next to the Dog and Duck

Spot on and frankly those who were expecting Cameron to use his speech to dismantle Brown's record in depth were always going to be disappointed. People want to know what their politicians stand for and today we really got that. Yes, we didn't hear so many specifics but it was a keynote conference speech in which we really got the sense of his vision for the country, obliterating Brown's jibes that he is a "PR man". I particularly enjoyed the way he turned the fact that he is a novice into a positive. Change is in the air!

Hey Gordon why are you going by the name of Icarus????.

Sorry, your gonna have to do better than that, what a pathetic feeble response.

"..regardless of the effect on others. That is libertarian"

No it is not.

The very definition of libertarianism is that you should be free to make your own choices as long as they do not harm others.

Steve, I agree, Cameron keeps on defining himself as being against the English, when its the English he will rely on to vote him into office, its as essentially the de facto First Minister of England where he will wield most of the power he has, and it is the English who have had to content themselves with being second class citizens under this Labour Government, it’s the English where most of the power of the British state resides, yet its the English with whom Cameron picks a fight and demeans as being beneath him to rule as Prime Minister, when that should be an honour.

This was one of the best speeches I have heard in a long time. He is just getting better and better.

"BUT - I think he is wrong about libertarianism, and wrong to use the word in a negative context, too."

Really? After the last few weeks of market turmoil?

I do not agree with everything David Cameron believes. But I did not agree with every single thing Howard, IDS, Hague, Major or Thatcher believed. That is the nature of a broad church political party.

You could almost draw a football analogy from this speech. Yes the team needs to be changed. But in addition to changing the way the game is played, the manager needs to ensure the simple things are done well. That is what is being offered. The party faithful should be galvanised and I expect to see more people decide they will vote Conservative at the next election.

I do hope that over time the more intricate things I would like to see changed are also addressed. But as things stand and differences notwithstanding, David Cameron suits me just fine. He is ready to lead this country and start unpicking the tangled mess that will be inherited from yet another failed and damaging socialist administration. Now let us focus on winning the election and creating the foundations that allow people to take control of their lives again.

I would just like to say I thought it was brilliant! And I understand about Conservatives in Scotland, but I liked the bit where Dave said he wanted to be Prime Minister of the United Kingdom!

Be in no doubt, this WAS the greatest speech David Cameron has ever given. He is the next Prime Minister of this country. Like last year's speech, Cameron brilliantly articulated the anger many feel about living in Labour's nasty control-freak state. There can be no dispute, harsh medicine is required to save this country after a decade of socialist mismanagement, Cameron is the man to dispense it.

The parallel with Thatcher and 1979 couldn't have been more appropriately drawn.

Brown should call that General Election now and let us get on with the job of turning our country around.

GetReal- in what way does the collapse of corporate banking have anything to do with libertarianism?

A brilliant speech from a mature man who is more than ready to lead the country - unlike the childish, unelected fraud we are currently lumbered with.

"Really? After the last few weeks of market turmoil?"

Libertarians predicted the market turmoil. they realised a credit boom not backed up by real savings was going to turn into a bust.

Haven't seen the speech yet but it sounds good. Should hopefully give us a boost in the polls.

Very impressive.

The speech certainly showed that David Cameron can deliver the goods with regards to substance when the time is right. I think we need to remember that when the conference buzz has died down and we return to be being accused of having no substance or policies. Such worries will be addressed well in time from the election. We need to trust Cameron more; he clearly knows what he's doing.

It will be interesting to see how the BBC respond to the speech later on tonight. The BBC 'settled view' of this conference has been an utter disgrace, particularly the Newnight coverage. That bloody women that was interviewing Osborne on Monday and Cameron last night seems to be auditioning to be a Labour MP. Her criticism was suspiciously passionate and came dangerously close to overstepping the mark into the realms of campaigning.

We will see what the BBC present us with tonight. No doubt the party will be portrayed as being in open revolution due to the polls slipping to a mere 11% lead!

Iain, couldnt agree more.

Cameron and the Conservatives are proposing to form the next Government, but the Scottish, Welsh and N Irish Regions all have their OWN Government!, its an anomaly that must and will be put right once this vile McLabour Regime is removed from power, by yes, England and its voters, despite the best efforts of voters in Scotregion and Wales, who despite having their OWN Government and National Parliament/Assembly, will be desperately doing all they can so that McLabour wins the "UK" election so they keep governing....England.

Yes it was brilliant, if proof were needed it was amusing watching Adam Boulton's first reaction - he was obviously over whelmed by it when he started questioning people.
Can I just add how useful it has been getting the emails sometimes two or three a day, alerting one to upcoming things. Being abroad I appreceiated that very much. Thankyou.

This is politics in Wonderland.

'If there's no meaning in it,' said the King, 'that saves a world of trouble, you know, as we needn't try to find any. And yet I don't know,' he went on, spreading out the verses on his knee, and looking at them with one eye; 'I seem to see some meaning in them, after all.

Great to see a sidelining of the early messages on green taxes.
This was back to conservatism.

A terrific speech and nothing on civil liberties either.

"Personal responsibility. Professional responsibility. Civic responsibility Corporate responsibility"

That could equally describe a libertarian. The difference is coercion.

"But today, the returns from endless big state intervention are not just diminishing, they are disappearing"

But you are not proposing less state intervention, just different state intervention.

Julia Manning: "David Cameron's brilliant speech".

That was impressive. Cameron showed that he's in touch with the vast majority of the country.

Bloody marvellous. Perfect pitch. He hit every button and never lost my attention for a split second. Roll on the GE campaign against (presumably) Brown who has people asleep in seconds.

Cameron's a winner. If the Beeb give him fair coverage (yeah - all right) this wil give the party a huge boost. (Sky are giving it good coverage.)

Delighted to be a Conservative today.

A good day.

Oh and no third runway for Heathrow. Right call but wonder what his friends will say about that?

Vacuous as always. The man goes for more regulation on financial services but less in education and health services. Hipocrisy through and through, a man flip-flopping just to be liked.

What's the point of a great speech by Cameron if most of the media, particularly the BBC, more or less ignore it in their main news broadcasts except to mock it and misrepresent him?

All that the vast majority of voters will hear about the speech will be through the filter of a pro-Labour media.

Perhaps it's time the Tory party confronted this blatant media bias which appears to have become considerably worse in the last few days?

Which friends might that be, Icarus, Paul Myners or Ronnie Cohen. Oh, wait...

Great speech - honestly great. It did that rare thing of being quite punchy, intelligent, moving and funny all at once. Loved it.

I've been a believer since he was elected but for me this was his best speech by a mile.If he means what he says and is able to deliver half of it he will be an outstanding Prime Minister.
Cameron will I think be prepared to take unpopular decisions in a way that Blair would not through most of his tenure and his instincts appear to be sound throughout.
Won't make me popular on this blog but I think he's right to defend the Union, he's right to put business tax cuts before tax cuts and he's right to seek to defend enviromental concerns. I would I think be prepared to fight to the last for this man.

It's not just England - here in Wales we gained 3 seats last time and according to the recent marginals survey we could win 40% of the seats next time.

I thought we were seeing a politician who had mastered his brief and made exactly the right call on substance and tone. He could not be "upbeat" or "triumphalist" at such a time and so went back to his core analysis and hit the all the big points with quiet authority. I was checking off the areas of concern to me and just as I was about to complain that he had not touched on the family as key to a stable society he came in right on cue.

Tim, he was right that the prisoners we castigate today were the children we failed yesterday on a whole range of levels. Their condition is the barometer of failure - an idea we may need to tease out further.

All round a first rate statement of intent.

Brillo's sidekick Jo read just one e-mail at the end and it was from a Labour troll.
In troll fashion it pretended to be from a lady "who has been a Tory for forty years", who was fed up with Dave's waffling instead of giving us more about policy.

Firstly, any Tory of forty years standing would have loved the speech.
Secondly, whose idea was it to read out one negative message rather than the hundreds of positive ones they actually got?

I am very unhappy to see Cameron mar an otherwise excellent speech by bashing Libertarianism. He quotes it completely out of context and though I will vote Tory to get Brown and co out, I as a Libertarian no longer feel welcome in the Conservative party.

McLabour... how pathetic! The sooner idiots like you are kicked out of the party the better, if you haven't already left.

Let's wait and see how many seats the real party of cranks, open racists, gadflies and lunatics the English Democrats get at the next election.. Ha Ha Ha!!!

What's the point of a great speech by Cameron if most of the media, particularly the BBC, more or less ignore it in their main news broadcasts except to mock it and misrepresent him?

What is it with the anti-BBC stuff that's not based on reality - this has happened a few times recently and seems to be similar to the comments from labours RRU... do sky have an RRU too?
I've been watching News24 (after I watched the speech on BBC2) and it's been headline news, even above the big story in america etc.
Their news website and commentators on the daily politics seemed positive about it too (even quoting me from this blog saying it was good)
I'm guessing newsnight will be different - I'm not saying there is no bias, but the crititism isn't always deserved.

There are speeches with platitudes. There are platitudinous speeches. And there are platitudinous speeches full of platitudes.

David Cameron, thank you very much.

This afternoon the pro-Labour rabble on BBC radio 5 are mocking Cameron as "the man with the plan" uttered to barely suppressed giggles.

The've also dug up various "members of the Tory party" to say the speech was "boring", "disappointing etc. Not one person who praised it or seemed to like Cameron.

The BBC are little more than the propaganda wing of the Labour party and they are becoming quite brazen about it.

It's becoming clearer now just what Cameron is up against.

Almost everybody seems pleased. That worries me!

Yesterday Cameron said in relation to the financial crisis "We need to understand how this happened, and how we’re going to get out of the mess. I will address those questions in my speech tomorrow."

He DIDN'T ! Yesterday he was good . Today he didn't rise to the moment of history which we face or follow up some very valid points he made yesterday which desperately need enlargement.

"Cometh the hour --- But where was The Man"

We are at a turning point in our nation's existence and Cameron barely mentioned the subject and nobody seems to care. But I wish the party well and I'm now profoundly depressed.

I was pleased yesterday - he spoke like a national leader. Today he was a doorstep salesman . What a crashing disappointment.

But what he promised yesterday didn't happen and the political commentators will make mincemeat of him for that broken promise!

All the rest was HE cares about- the touchy-feely stuff. But people are scared right now and need some leadership which was sadly missing.

"GetReal- in what way does the collapse of corporate banking have anything to do with libertarianism?"

Presumably a libertarian wouldn't wantgovernment to stop the grotesque irresponsibility that led to the crisis in the first place.

Granted, they wouldn't want any government bail outs but tell that to millions of ordinary savers

"All the rest was HE cares about- the touchy-feely stuff. But people are scared right now and need some leadership which was sadly missing."

Hey Christina, I care about the touchy-feely stuff too - so do a lot of other people

[Callaghan] had plenty of experience. But thank God we changed him for Margaret Thatcher.

A bogus, misleading argument.

The point is Margaret Thatcher in 1979 was experienced - an MP of 20 years' standing, a cabinet minister under Heath and a junior minister in the 60s under Macmillan.

Cameron by contrast has been an MP barely seven years, was in the shadow cabinet for less than six months, and has never had any responsibility for running anything.

There are plenty of leading people in the Conservative party - Davis, Fox, Hague - who have more experience in parliament and in government than Cameron has, and thus would be a better choice as a potential prime minister.

(And for those arguing ministerial experience didn't stop Blair becoming prime minister... surely the entire Tory case against the last 11 years starts with the argument that he wasn't a very good one?)

Christina Spout: Let's avoid knocking other people's names please.

The speech is on http://www.conservatives.com/ is anyone is interested. Tim you can embed it here easily enough.

Its a great speech, showing finesse and skill as well as a bit of courage.

I have a problem with the view on devolution - something positive must be done for a future of the UK - just telling England to lump it won't do.

PS Anyone else had a visit from the new blog rapid rebuttal types ?

Well, ladies and gentlemen, I haven't heard what Mr C had to say, but Radio Four has seen fit to rubbish it. So much for the pious hope that the BBC will give him a fair hearing. A group of "voters" - we were told nothing about how they were recruited - was asked its opinion of the speech. Dull, they said.

Now, it is always possible that the Conservative leader has come up with a dud. Appealing to the faithful - whether modernising or traditional - is not always a matter of barnstorming a la Michael "Who Dares?" Portillo. It can involve wittering like a well meaning wonk for more than an hour. And yet we are all well aware by now of the Beeb's left wing agenda. They want an economist? Send for Stiglitz. John Redwood? A "right wing" politician. Timothy Leary? A philosopher, of course. Pinochet? A bloody dictator. Castro? A freedom fighter. And so on. So it is perfectly conceivable that Cameron has been stitched up by the Beeb.

The worst case scenario is, of course, that he WAS dull and that the Beeb pounced on it. If this is the case then my advice would be to cut the conciliation. It is offering life support to Brown and his pretensions to statesmanlike gravitas. The man is a grievance mongering socialist incompetent and this must be made clear to the public. But because of the lily-livered consensualism of the Tory conference, Labour may well succeed in hiding its bungling behind the credit crunch.

PS - Recent pronouncements by Boris Johnson, together with Cameron's general tone, suggest that the Conservatives are hoping to appeal to the Beeb and its supporters. They might as well try to open a cocktail bar in Riyadh. The Beeb is made up of people for whom socialism is a religious belief. They will always connive at the destruction of the right, justifying means with ends, for they have rejected the morality which held older generations of the British left faithful to the essential democratic disciplines.

Labour Keynote 2008:

Gordon Brown offered a menu of measures that almost solely applied to England and which amounted to an exercise in catch-up with Scotland. Let them eat cake (too) because it's only fair and all these iniquities might be noticed.

The them being us. Being England but never mentioned. Not once.

Conservative Keynote 2008

England was mentioned today and although our collective ignorance was not, yet again, flagged up the Union flag was forcefully fluttered with a shrug of contempt for those that would ask, politely, stoically, for equity of outcome. Contempt for the them that did not create the them and us but pay the cost again and again and again.

Key offering? Freeze in council tax? That already applies in Scotland.

Labour created the divide. The Claim of Right guaranteed the divide with Brown and Darling at the high table when the evolution of the United Kingdom de-evolved and retreated.

And yet. It is England's fault. Hold the people of England in contempt.

As the Iron Duke said of his men:

'they are the scum of the earth'

David's Patrician contempt amounts to the same. You cannot fix a society if you fail to acknowledge that it even exists let alone has any value.

Yes, some semi literate anti-Bullingdon comment and something about miners.

I watched on TV and listened on the radio. I think the word that sums up the speech is "measured". And I think that's what is was meant to be. He created an aura of competence and gave very honest "answers" to some of the critique which has been flowing from Labour.

I would add as a highlight too, the section on the constituent whose wife died after contracting MRSA. (Had a bit of a well up at this myself!)

He didn't so much park his tanks on Labour's lawn as aim, fire and blast their whole house apart! Real passion and an audacious claim to one of the electorate's touchstone issues.

BTW It's been panned by the BBC's "panel" in Stafford as boring and lacking substance. Reported on PM about 5.30?

That last message was in response to Man in a Shed...

"Presumably a libertarian wouldn't wantgovernment to stop the grotesque irresponsibility that led to the crisis in the first place."

Libertarians wouldn't want the government to give the BoE special powers that allowed it to hold interest rates too low. Many also believe that it is legitimate for the government to outlaw fractional reserve banking (on the basis that it is either fraudulent or against certain legal principles) which they view as the root of this crisis.

John Moss, did the BBC have a panel for Brown's sleep-inducing dirge through his personal greatness?

I think it's time for a CH letter to Jeremy Hunt about all this BBC nonsense.

Nice to see Dolly Draper is sending his rapid rebuttle wing here en-mass.

Didums to the Libertarians among us, I'm sorry you don't feel welcome in the party anymore - boo hoo.

Those of you discussing how rubbish Scotland and Wales are, and that they can get stuffed because they wont vote for us - grow up for goodness' sake, you are the height of pettiness. I am a conservative for the whole of our country, not just the parts of it that agree with me, you really are pathetic.

DC was outstanding, it's the best political speech I've heard in at least three years coming from a British politician. Roll on 2010.

A utterly fantastic speech. Brown's and Clegg's look pathetic in comparison.

Perhaps those who sat and listened with a check list on their knee might have missed the point. With nearly two years to go before an election, today was not the moment for the delivery of a detailed prospectus for government.
Bearing in mind the international financial and economic context in which Cameron gave this speech I believe it was excellent. He had appear responsible while at the same time he had to finger Brown (which he did); he had to give a few policy `tasters` to show the direction in which his government would go (which he also did); and he showed that he understands the challenges that face us all in the Great Britain of today. He showed humanity and a proper perception of the social problems that Iain Duncan Smith has highlighted so well in recent months.
I believe also that he now understands the requirements of leadership of a country such as this. They are based on mutual respect which acknowledges at the same time the need for there to be a distance between leader and led; so that when the fertiliser hits the airconditioning, we can say "Over to you, Prime Minister." You can`t do that to your "best mate," a principle that Blair just never seemed to understand.
There`s a lot of water that will flow under the bridge before we know the real answer to the question but on today`s performance, I believe Cameron will make a Prime Minister of this nation, one that promises to prove better than the present lamentable excuse for the head of our country`s government.

I think Cameron was right to stress the United Kingdom as an entity. That does not, of course, rule out the devolution of many areas of legislation or autonomy to either Scotland or Wales, indeed, with goodwill and co-operation, this can strengthen, rather than weaken the union. It is probably still true to say that, there are still more important common (and important) issues which unite, rather than divide Great Britain. Whilst the SNP is currently increasing its vote, this probably has more to do with the failures of the Scottish Labour party, than with the desire of all SNP members to sever ties with the rest of the UK completely.

Even if Cameron is returned with a substantial majority, the, once powerful, Conservative voice in Scotland will still be very small for some time to come and represents a substantial weakness which cannot simply be ignored because of a large majority in English seats. If Cameron could eventually resolve the "West
Lothian Question" this would be a major political achievement. The fact that he seems to have been aware of the importance and long term implications of this problem certainly adds substance to his credentials as a future PM.

I have maintained a constant scepticism about David Cameron - but I thought he could not have done more more than he did in his speech. He hit the right tone - he showed anger and passion (and compassion)and shone like a beacon amongst a discredited political class.

The real disgrace is the institutionalised bias of the BBC and the sewer they recruit most of their editors from)I hope that this is remembered when a new government comes in.

A very clear statement on a Lisbon Referendum.

"Didums to the Libertarians among us, I'm sorry you don't feel welcome in the party anymore - boo hoo." So much for Cameroon inclusivesness and tolerance!!

Libertarians do believe in responsibility. Anyone who has read Hayek or Mises would know that. Cameron has shown that he wasted his time and money reading PPE at Oxford as his knowledge of philosophy is sadly lacking.

That piece of garbage today was probably written by Dougie Smith, Cameron's speechwriter. Smith advocated compulsory (not voluntary)repatriation of blacks and Asians when he was in the Federation of Conservative Students.

Smith's firm, Fever Parties, also organised sex orgies for posh trustafarians. As a libertarian, I believe thar he should be free to do so. But does Cameron believe that Smith's views and business activities are in tune with his "responsible" (sic) Conservativism. I think we should be told!

I did not listen to the speech but have read the whole of it (incidentally the new Blue Room blog on the party's official website had 17 comments when you had 51 on this thread). [Incidentally the "Londoner" at 17.26 is not me, I am the usual poster under that name.]

The speech reads very well, full of substance and intellectual poise. I disagree with someone above who says he said nothing about the economy: he said a lot and it was the best I've heard from him on it. He made it clear that debt fuelled excess (which is what this crisis is all about), whether private or public, is as far from his personal and political philosophy as it's possible to get. It was proper conservative values - sound money, fiscal restraint, reducing public expenditure (tax cuts to follow). It correctly put cutting Corporation Tax first (although only by reducing the rate by cutting allowances - that is not, in my opinion, enough, but we can return to that later).

Some of us cannot enthuse about some of the philosophy, but no-one can say it is not conservative and few conservatives will not be able to agree with large parts of it. Sure, I inwardly cringe every time he bigs up "commitment" (as between two people in a relationship) as being the business of anyone else, least of all the State, to promote (other than in the context of children). I worry that we have so much political capital now invested in one marriage (his). I doubt I am the only person who does not share his personal mantra that "family is the most important thing there is". I do think that emphasis excludes a lot of people but it seems totally authentic. I also share Boris's reservations about the all-encompassing condemnation of "our broken society" - and there was no compromise with Boris on that in this speech. But these things are not new and he's clearly going to stick with them (they also excite our esteemed editor, whom I met briefly for the first time on Sunday so they are not all bad LOL). I can live with all that because here is a leader who looks like a leader, is intelligent and has grasped the right issues, and has a clearly conservative philosophy (even if my variety might be a little different).

Climate change WAS mentioned (sorry folks). He mentioned it in the context of the party having changed to meet new challenges (and by implication in his more personal bit when he said he was a conservative but also a child of his times). I am not totally sure what I make of the specific statement so, rather than going on at any greater length, I will just quote what he said:

"You [i.e. we] didn't champion green politics as greenwash but because climate change is devastating our environment, because the energy gap is a real and growing threat to our security and because $100 a barrel oil is hitting families every time they fill up their car and pay their heating bills."

(The last but seems a non sequitor to me.) I also heard at the conference that the party's definitive "low carbon society" policy will be published by the end of the year. Maybe that will be a little easier to interpret than the above.

I have just gone and listened to the PM report on the speech using the 'listen again' feature on BBCi.

I have to say, I totally agree with what has been said above, the coverage went out of its way to be negative. And if there was a single 'floating voter' on that so called panel from Stafford then I would be absolutely astonished. One of the idiots on the panel criticised the speech for Cameron talking about keeping the United Kingdom together! Another criticised him for mentioning Margaret Thatcher, so clearly strong feelings were taken into the focus group there indicating that that particular voter at least had never and would never support a Conservative leader.

I bet the BBC had to search high and low to find so many Labour Party members in Stafford that they could ask for their opinion, or mabye they just wrote to David Kidney a week ago and asked him to provide a fair and representative sample from his local office!

"The BBC are little more than the propaganda wing of the Labour party and they are becoming quite brazen about it. It's becoming clearer now just what Cameron is up against."

I do so agree, this is the one big challenge we have to face. We are going to have to use every means open to us to contact voters - newspaper deliveries, emails, web-blogs.... - and get the real Conservative message across.

My critisism is the same I make for virtually all Tory party leaders. He let loads of open goals go by. E.g. he said Brown made two big mistakes, he has made hundreds. To a Conservative party meeting this may be fair enough but to the man in the street who wakes up politically about twice a year the message has got to be banged away all the time or it doesn't get noticed. So some of BBC focus group probably are not Labour, they could hate Brown and wonder why he got so little hammer. Some may even be Tories disappointed at how so many potential open goals were left begging when Brown, and Labour should have been screwed into the ground, i.e. dull.

"I think we need to remember that when the conference buzz has died down and we return to be being accused of having no substance or policies. Such worries will be addressed well in time from the election. We need to trust Cameron more; he clearly knows what he's doing."

Thanks for that Shaun Bennett, I couldn't have put it better myself. David Cameron has a view on any issue you put to him. The policy details will come when the time is ripe in this ever changing world, ie. the next general election.

simon dennis - 1801

Why bother giving us a couple of hundred words of policy advice based on not listening to the cameron speech but reading the comments?

For what it's worth I did listen to the whole speech myself and thought my time had been well spent.

Let us take a look at Gordon Brown's experience;

- had no government experience whatsover before May 1997, entering Parliament during the last Conservative government.
- squandered the healthy, growing economy he inherited from Ken Clarke. Sold off our gold and raided the pensions pot.
- assumed the role of Prime Minister without a contest and within a year some of his own MPs were calling for him to go.

Having personally known a very capable 19-year-old as an office manager,

I bet the BBC had to search high and low to find so many Labour Party members in Stafford that they could ask for their opinion

They asked undecided voters.
Unfortunatley anyone who is naturally conservative or even slightly labour are definate conservative (poss LD?) voters at the moment - so the undecideds are probably natural labour voters hence they believe their masters who have told them thatcher was bad and generaly think brown is a decent man.

Not sure if you can say that's the BBC knowing this to get a not amazingly positive result, or if they really chose swing voters as these are the ones that Cameron does need to bring over from the sinister side.

sorry, I missed the capital T of Thatcher.

Glad to see Cameron kicking the outreach workers. Will he sack them all though?

I Haven't heard the speech yet but will watch it on parliament at 2055 tonight have to say though i followedit on the bcc and con home and was impressed.

I would say that for the first time in a 10 years I am proud to call my self a conservative.

We are setting the agenda now and cameron is has the potential to be as revoloutnary on social reform as thatcher was on economic.

this is conservatism with a conscience at it's best and will hopefully go on to end this shambles of a governemnt.

The problem with socialism is it looks to make excuses for problems but when you have a socialist governement it cannot find anyone to blame!

Can't wait to get back on the doorstep

"They asked undecided voters.
Unfortunatley anyone who is naturally conservative or even slightly labour are definate conservative (poss LD?) voters at the moment - so the undecideds are probably natural labour voters hence they believe their masters who have told them thatcher was bad and generaly think brown is a decent man."

Norm, that is actually very true, and the BBC have a track record for doing this. On the Panorama on Monday, the five people they presented to Cameron as 'undecided' voters were - from Birmingham, I might add:

A single mother from a council estate.
A Sikh businessman.
An NHS doctor.
A (black) community radio host.
A 'green' cafe owner.

All very pleasant people, and all came across very well. But with the exception of the doctor I'd say that these people, particularly in Birmingham, are classic Labour supporters. Disenfranchised Labour voters perhaps, but still the type of people it would take five times more effort, in general, to convince them to vote Tory.

Excellent speech - well-judged for the present circumstances.

And DC was ABSOLUTELY RIGHT to defend the Union. We are, after all, still the Conservative & UNIONIST Party, even if we don't use the full title very often these days.

This was possibly one of David Cameron's finest speeches! He showed himself to be genuinely statesmanlike and it sounded the appropriately serious note needed at this time - though interspersed with flashes of humour such as mentioning the thought of Gordon Brown being Prime Minister "for ever" and then giving a thought that "there are people on balconies up there" (thank you DC - I was one of those ....!!)
He despatched Labour's criticism that "this is no job for a novice" by citing the example of Jim Callaghan - a Prime Minister long on "experience" but a total disaster and commented "Thank God for Margaret Thatcher!"
I am just back from Birmingham on a high - We have plenty of work to do, but I feel very positive about our campaigning during the run-up to the next Election! Bring it on....!!!!

The BBC bias is clearly systematic and pre-meditated. It clearly didn't matter what kind of speech Dave gave today, they were always going to declare it a loser - which, predictably - they have done. There has been a concerted campaign to boost Brown's poll ratings and ensure there is no poll bounce for the Conservatives. This kind of systematic political engineering is new and it has to be stopped. It's a corrupt intervention in the functioning of our democracy. What can be done?

they were always going to declare it a loser - which, predictably - they have done
Apart from that focus group the reports seemed positive on him I thought, even with Nick Robinson saying that he'd answered "those critics who claim he's the new Tony Blair - all style and no substance".
But that was the TV and website, I hear others say the radio was very biased against?

Great speech - the best yet. Statesmanlike and sensible. Knocks spots off Brown. In an election campaign Brown would be totally outshone. Now we just have to get the positve message to the public and give them hope in what are grim times indeed for our generation. The next 6 months at least, are going to be economically a nightmare, with no end to job losss and depression in sight.

little self- It was a good speech. Dave comes across as human, and sane. Boris could learn a control from his Boss. A crisis is part fear part opportunity; perhaps it’s unsurprising how down beat parts of the speech sound on second reflection. Truth is this crisis is not going to bring the roof down, so lets remember that and dwell a lot more on what change we are going to bring. Frankly I am glad the shite is hitting the fan the longer the sleepwalking went on the worse things would have finally been.
A new world order is coming and its going to be better than the slow rot of socialism.

Libertarian @ 18:51 - do you know, when I heard that reference in DC's speech I thought of you and for a moment had a teensy twinge of sympathy....but the twinge passed off without the need for pain killers and I am much better now! ;-)

Cameron really is good at this. I liked the Miliband bit where he demolished the "on your own" meme. Clinton and Obama have been trying it in the US. Cameron has the best answer yet and it fits his society-not-the-same-as-the-state theme.

BTW. There were 28 mentions of "responsible" or "responsibility" in the speech.

Just seen it on the BBC Parliament re-run that's just ended.

It's reinforced my opinion that David Cameron is a force of nature.

An absolutely brilliant speech, hitting the right notes continuously, displaying his humanity yet simultaneously showing he wouldn't shirk tough decisions.

The Miliband bit was the best.

I didn't want it to end. Stunning stuff.

Ps, agree about the libertarian comment. Not really necessary, but that's just being picky.

Proud to be a Conservative and proud of David Cameron tonight.

Iain @ 1701 If you have half the brains you think you have, then you have been thinking far too much.

Cameron had to tick three boxes with this speech:

1) Rebut the "novice claims"
2) Give an indication of where he would take the country
3) Project himself as statesmanlike and worthy of leading the country.

I believe he achieved all three. The novice rebuttal was fantastic and needs to be both expanded on and hammered home to the voters.

Although thin on policy, he did talk of the kind of Britain he wants to lead- responsibility, service, hard work and all the rest. There were clear nods on the direction of travel in areas of defence, crime, healthcare and education.

By measuring his response on the economic issue, he presented an air of bi-partisanship that the voters like.

In all, this was a good, solid, do-no-harm speech. He knew he wouldn't get much airtime because of events in Washington, but if all voters take from the snippets on the news is the essence of the three points above, Dave and his team can call it a job well done.

Actually, the argument about the undecided voters really being soft Labour voters who don't want to admit to their sin in the present climate, makes a lot of sense.

If we accept that argument, it would probably mitigate against the view that the BBC is involved in some wicked plot to undermine us.

However, it does mean that the BBC's political team can't have much commonsense amongst them if they can't work out how to come up with a more representative sample. I have often being amazed how the so called political 'experts' on tv make such elementary mistakes simply because they can't be bothered to check their facts. But if we can't trust them on something that we know about, it really makes me wonder whether I should trust them on something that I don't know much about.

If voters that describe themselves as 'floating' at the moment are natural Labour voters, and the BBC political team can't work that out, doesn't it make their coverage meaningless and highly misrepresentive, even if their objectives are innocent?

The Ed extracts: "But freedom can too easily turn into the idea that we all have the right to do whatever we want, regardless of the effect on others.
That is libertarian, not Conservative - and it is certainly not me...." An absolutely welcome statement.

All an exellent speech. If I may point to further examples (in addition to those referred to by the Ed):

"Some say our society isn't broken.
I wonder what world they live in. …
…Just consider the senseless, barbaric violence on our streets.
Children killing children.
Twenty-seven kids murdered on the streets of London this year.
A gun crime every hour.
A serious knife crime every half hour.
A million victims from alcohol related-attacks.
But it's not just the crime; not even the anti-social behaviour.
It's the angry, harsh culture of incivility that seems to be all around us."

"A Labour minister said something really extraordinary last week.
It revealed a huge amount about them.
David Miliband said that "unless government is on your side you end up on your own."
"On your own" - without the government….
...For Labour there is only the state and the individual, nothing in between.
No family to rely on, no friend to depend on, no community to call on.
No neighbourhood to grow in, no faith to share in, no charities to work in.
No-one but the Minister, nowhere but Whitehall, no such thing as society…"

"But I think that in our modern world, in these times of stress and anxiety…
…the family is the best welfare system there is."

"We will also back marriage in the tax system."

"I spent some time recently sitting with a benefit officer in a Job Centre plus.
In came a young couple. She was pregnant. He was the dad.
They were out of work and trying to get somewhere to live.
The benefit officer didn't really have much choice but to explain that they would be better off if she lived on her own.
What on earth are we doing with a system like that?
With the money we save by ending the something for nothing welfare culture we will say to that couple in that benefit office:
Stay together, bring up your kid, build your family, we're on your side and we will end that couple penalty."

"They let a child get marks for writing "F off" as an answer in an exam.
As Prime Minister I'd have my own two words for people like that, and yes, one of them does begin with an 'F'.
You're fired."

I wavered when voting for Cameron against Davis in 2005 because although I suspected he was the man most likely to change the party's image, message and personnel enough to get it back into power, I wasn't sure that he had the experience and stamina to see such an ardous task through to the end and become the PM himself. Now I believe that he can and not just because of the contrast with Brown and Labour's failings but because he can genuinely convince people that he and the conservatives are on their side. Hats off!

I am in despair! I've followed the Conference live as much as I can, and watched what I missed later, including David Cameron's speech. The latter I've watched several times over, absorbing different parts of it. It was a truly splendid speech, but only a high point in a splendid conference with many great speeches. The format of having real people on board discussing their issues was inspired.

But apart from people here, who probably followed proceedings as much as I did, how far does it get out? Watching/reading media coverage, I wonder if they saw the same Conference that I did. I don't expect fawning approval, but I do expect impartial reporting. Where is it? The bias, particularly in BBC coverage, is quite appalling, but that is what most people will see. Emily Maitlis should be hung, drawn & quartered, along with the rest of the Newsnight team, but I expect that would impinge on their human rights. I am not suggesting they don't challenge Labour politicians, but their approach to Conservatives is subtly different and does them no credit.

Over & over again there is opinion disguised as news, and open opinion that sometimes espouses Conservatives but only undermines... Simon Heffer is a case in point. I have concluded that all he wants is a Britain run by Simon Heffer.

I have wavered the last three years... David Cameron has been a hard dose to swallow for traditional dyed-in-the-wool Conservatives, but this week he really proved himself, as did his team. I hope they get the chance to translate that to government. Our country would be a better place for it.

Some papers are reporting a suicide joke. Are they sure it was a suicide joke? Everyone was laughing at the Brown jokes. I think Cameron meant that people would fall off the balconies from laughing at Brown so much.

"I think Cameron meant that people would fall off the balconies from laughing at Brown so much."

No, he meant that he didn't want to go on about Brown being PM forever as there were Tories in the balconies (who might jump off).

This was a little bit of black humour amongst his supporters, nothing more, unlike Polly whose joke was bile spat in the direction of bankers.

I thought it was funny anyway, as I am sure many would feel suicidal if there was the prospect of Brown remaining PM forever.

I've lost count of the number of national crises since Jonah became PM.

"We should never define Libertarian positions in terms coined by liberals or conservatives – nor as some variant of their positions. We are not fiscally conservative and socially liberal. We are Libertarians, who believe in individual liberty and personal responsibility on all issues at all times. You can depend on us to treat government as the problem, not the solution."[Harry Browne)
- I think this is the view of libertarianism with which Cameron's taking issue (perhaps); the idea that the state - ANY state - is unnecessary. It is worthwhile to point out that there are many different concepts/interpretations of libertarianism, be they philosophical, normative, financial, anarchical, leftist, deontological, consequentialist etc.
Cameron is referring to the kind of irresponsible behaviour of which libertarians would be appalled; the feral, 'if someone contradicts me I shall kill them', illogical and unreasonable elements in our society that has emerged with such ferocity over the past 11 years. He should be panning this kind of primitivity, rather than basically stating that he takes issue with a school of thought the foundation of which is liberty, one of his main platforms.

One point of pedantic trivia (!). It's obviously vital to bang home the message about Labour's reckless approach to finance, but surely there's a better word to describe this than the irritating and ungrammatical "spendaholic". Brown may have many addictions, but spendahol is not one of them. Can I suggest "squanderbug" for future use - a possible opportunity for CCHQ to adapt some Second World War posters that used this term.

But that's only a 0.001% criticism. Dare I quote Simon Heffer from this morning's DT, opening his article with "DC made a superb speech at Birmingham yesterday. It cast Gordon Brown's laboured effort at Manchester eight days earlier onto the shade in terms of delivery, content and credibility." Just about says it all.

Well, it was a very good speech. My Nepalese tenants particularly liked the bit about the Gurkhas. Its about time the Tories put it on record about it. The Gurkhas have earned the respect of the UK and part of that is fair treatment as any other soldier who fights for and risks their lives for us should receive.

Why he felt the need to criticise libertarianism whilst preaching many parts of libertarianism is simply strange. Does he even know what libertarianism is? Its a wholly voluntary thing where one person should live their life as far as they wish to go as long as it doesnt not impede anyone elses right to live their life as they wish. His comments on libertarianism shows that he lacks the maturity to understand.

Does Cameron really have a degree in Economics, or is it just a PPE?

Its not enough to persuade me to rejoin the Conservatives. He has failed to do what I hoped he would do.

The joke about people on balconies I thought was a suicide joke. What else would it be? If it was about people laughing, why bother mentioning the balcony viewers?

It was a touch in bad taste.

While a brillant speech why did he have to bash Libertarians like myself(plus McCain and Palin),is he saying know that I am no longer wanted in the party?
Also on Georgia is he fully committed in getting both Georgia and Uraine into NATO or carrying on the empty promises that mean people like Prime Minister Tymoshenko has to take a neutral stance just so the Russian don't increase year by year the cost of Gas going into Ukraine and other countries.

Peter @ 9.34. I don't think he was saying that he didn't want the libertarian wing in the party anymore, just that it wasn't his perspective. It was part of the way he defined his own (more traditional) brand of conservatism, i.e. saying what it was not.

One thing about self-defined young libertarians is that they often end up as socially liberal conservatives. I know. I've been there in the 1970s and done the journey. My perspective on life could change with experience (dare one say it maturity or, to be more neutral, the dulling effects of real life) but the good thing has been that the same party has been broad enough to accommodate my journey and I can still feel comfortable in it. A bit like a political Church of England: and none the worse for that.

So hang on there libertarians - this bird does not fly if it does not have several wings. I believe Cameron knows that. And he did say in his speech that his conservatism was not just about freedom - he did not say it was not about freedom amongst other values.

James - I think the 'balcony' comment may be a reference to the New Testament story in which St Paul preached such a long sermon that young Eutychus fell off a balcony (or was it out of a window?) and died; DC didn't want to have the same effect on his listeners.

Londoner, its a shame you still not one and sad you have to use the word mature.
Again through he bashed the brand of being a Libertarian which has been shown on the latest blog here was not his postition back in 2002.
As for the word "Traditional" I thought we were getting out of the old cloth caps and bowing to the local squire. Maybe I was wrong?

Icarus = Derek Draper.

@Marc. It is highly unlikely that David Cameron has read Harry Browne. Harry got only 1% of the vote in his two Presidential bids as the Libertarian Party's nominee.

Cameron has said that he has read Hayek and was probably referring to the chapter "why I am not a Conservative" in "The Constitution of Liberty".

Cameron's attack on liberatarianism should be food for thought for the likes of Guido and Tim Evans of the Libertarian Alliance. Evans has been telling friends that Dave will be a libertarian Prime Minister.

decided not to join the queue for the Hall & watch on BBC Parliament. Driving home heard the BBC comments form Staffordshire. thought I was in for a terrible disappointment. Watched the speech in full. so intense. felt like ten minutes. tears in my eyes too Tim. I firmly believe that Social Care/ Welfare etc should be removed from the arena of Party Political expediency, and the references to these real people in such deprivation in our so-called civilised country highlighted this need.
AS an activist, there was so much in this speech to get me through the cold campaigning months and as ever will be motivated and intrigued daily by your updates.

If speech making ability was the criterion for choosing a prime minister then David Cameron would win. But, like the other two party leaders, there were too many platitudes.

Pity he did not address the energy cisis facing us all. Surely wind farms have gone out of fashion , but perhaps he does not want to offend Zac Goldsmith - PCC for Richmond Park.

He again failed to say whether a Tory government would still hold a referendum on the Lisbon treaty if it had been ratified by the time he took office This is just not good enough.

For performance Mr. Cameron 10 out of 10, for content only 6.

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