« Eric Pickles is off to Majorca - to get Brits abroad to register to vote | Main | The Conservative Party is streets ahead of the opposition when it comes to online campaigning, claims Eric Pickles »


Hopefully this is the commencement of the Tories answers to the economic crisis we are facing now and going forward

Well, that's a start.
Now let us know where the cuts in expenditure will be made. The electorate is mature enough to recognise and accept the need, Mr Cameron, so please be open about it.

Magnificent start. Utmost clarity and in tune with people's needs.

2. More WORK
3. Yet More WORK

Well done David.

I think that the caveat of not being party to the books needs mentioning. Just like the 45 minute WMD claim, when policies are forwarded by any government, a concensus of truth needs to be exercised. This government does need to be held to account to the off the balance sheet costs, which I hope will be added to the list, once the Labour administration are finally out of office.

It is unfortunate that our front bench did not pay heed to the sage John Redwood, who back in 2006 had warned about the rising debt which sustained the myth of economic prosperity.

Now that DC has acknowledged it, it is a very good start and we can put forward clear policy ideas.

"Now that DC has acknowledged it, it is a very good start"

Absolutely, Yogi - I agree with you and look forward to hearing more on the subject from DC and GO in the near future. That way we will increase our poll lead as more people begin to absorb the message that Labour are out of control and devoid of ideas and we are the way forward.

building on George Osborne's excellent speech last week this could be the beginning of something very encouraging

The openness, honesty and transparency is most refreshing and will build credibility and trust.

The contrast to "no apology needed Brown" will be stark

"The unsustainable debts in our banks are a reflection of unsustainable debts in our households, our companies and our government. But if I’m honest, I have to admit that we – the Conservative Party – didn’t see this as early as we could have. I believe we were - and still are - right to focus on fixing our broken society…

"The openness, honesty and transparency is most refreshing and will build credibility and trust."

I don't think so for you only get credibility from calling it right, not for apologising after the event for missing it.

Apart from his fourth point at the bottom of this article, Im in agreement with Cameron on economic policy in a way I havent been for a very long time.

My disagreement with the fourth point is that Cameron must be very wary not to join in the bank bashing which is all too easy to become a part of. He must stay above it and say that the banking system must be improved not lambasted. Yes, regulation failed when it we were all told that the system was infallible, but the job of policymakers now is not to destroy what exists.

Cameron must show the maturity to lead for sensible changes rather than a scatter-gun approach which has done little good and has only hurt confidence more.

"This government does need to be held to account to the off the balance sheet costs".

Well said, Alan Phillips. We need not only off balance sheet items added back, but also we need to know:
* the correct level of unemployment
* the annual net immigration figure
* the correct level of inflation
* accurate stats re serious knife crime
and indeed any other pieces of the overall economic jigsaw that Gordon Brown has deceived us with for so many years.

Would CCHQ or ConHome be able to oblige us with these on a monthly basis henceforth - or would the government's figures need too much reworking?

Brilliant move by Cameron!

As well as getting kudos for doing it, he has made it utterly impossible for Brown to say "sorry" on the grounds that Brown never, ever agrees with anything the tories or Cameron say or do.

As for the point made above that "He's effectively saying that there were problems during the Thatcher and Major years" I would say that he putting some more distance between himself and the tories of yesteryear. With regard to Clarke, Cameron can simply claim that the problems then were too small to spot when Clarke was Chancellor and that the subsequent Labour govt should have seen it and corrected it. After all, they have all the apparatus of the state and treasury to assist. HM Opposition only has John Redwood.

Politically it is a brilliant move but it doesn`t contribute anything to the economic debate and still leaves the question open what would Cameron do if he were Prime Minisiter?

This speech is just the sort of thing that many of us have been thirsting for. Well done.
The next thing is to ensure that other members of the shadow cabinet state the same message loud and clear. If it is not on the BBC and in tomorrow's newspapers (as seems to happen depressingly frequently), why not? Whose job is it to get it published?

Please say sorry Gordon. We did.

Nicely cornered and kudos to the deviser of this strategy.


Already on nick robinsons blog.

Teasing a man who has painted himself into the mother of all corners (brown) is not kind, but given the cruelty brown is dishing out to us, it is quite satisying to see him skewered.

He will be apologising for the treachery of Ted Heath next!

Brilliant speech and – Jack Stone – it does add to the economic debate. It says that voting Conservative is not voting for more of the same; it says that voting Conservative is voting for lowering govt debt, taking on personal responsibility for household debt and the promotion of industry that has been ignored by Labour (frankly, every industry bar banking and PR).

Moreover, it is acknowledged that this is the first of a series of speeches... a scene setter. But, as usual, unless it's the Conservative Manifesto complete with appendices the same accusations are levelled.

Very pleased with this. Honesty and a bit of humility are all too rare in poltics. A nice contrast with our political opponents.

Have you seen this? Gordon's Sorry!

StevenAdams. It needs to have flesh on it. At the moment all these speeches really mean very little. The accusations that the party is the do nothing party stick because the party as very little policy on dealing with the recession. Until it does then the party is open to the Brown charges of it would just stand back and ride out the recession why people lost there homes and jobs.

I think there's a lot of very good and sharp points in this interview. Very encouraging.

One other aspect strikes me - and that is that David Cameron was able to make the speech in the first place. It is barely 2 weeks since he lost his son and he is giving this trail blazing speech of vey great political significance.Clearly its not just the speech but all the chat/preparation that goes into this as well. It speaks volumes for this mans character and devotion to his Party and Country that he has made this speech - and may I say it also speaks volumes for Samantha as well.

This is a very good start and an astute piece of party politicking. However to really make it all work we do now need to go beyond that and to seize the mantle on, ostensibly non party politically, offering sensible and workable economic solutions, i.e. some hard policies to deal with the recession, that can be made to resonate with the wider electorate.

It is time for George Osborne to come forth and shine.

Thought it would not be long before the bandwagon jumpers came out - John Prescott asking for an apology for Black Wednesday (as the sidebar confirms). Perhaps he should first be invited to apologise on the PM's behalf for destroying private pensions, selling much of the UK's gold reserves for a pittance, and making the pound go into freefall (three disasters that no one could reasonably claim to have started in America). And in marked contrast to what DC stands to inherit, would John Prescott be willing to acknowledge the quality of the legacy handed to the PM by Ken Clarke 12 years ago?

America's giant AIG Insurance has put the blame for its disasters on the actions of its London office employees so the blame is now being thrown in both directions. I wonder what Mr Brown will say about that?

This will save a few bob according to John Redwood:
nelected Regional assemblies – abolish
Select Committees for the English regions – abolish
Regional housing quangos – abolish
Regional planning quangos – abolish
Regional spatial strategies and housing targets – abolish
Targets and surveillance of Councils by Whitehall and regional government – abolish
Many of the specific grants – abolish – to be replaced by general grant
Council Tax capping - abolish

Apparently the above is published Tory policy - I can't find it anywhere - help please.

Jack Stone

Who is in power? It is Labour. It is Labour which is not doing enough to revitalise the economy. It is the opposition's job to point that out. You do, of course, know that so your attempt to score the "Do Nothing" ploy is pure cynicism.

The real point is that Labour has become the "Do something, however useless" Party. Brown's option in the boom was to borrow and spend. He has chosen the same course exactly in a severe recession. One of those courses of action must have been wrong.

You may have noticed that despite the boasts made by Brown and Darling there are people losing their jobs and homes at a disastrous rate so their policies are not working at all. That shows us that doing something useless is not an option.


What is this obsession with sackcloth and ashes.

Cameron speaks for himself. Everyone I know, most of the true conservatives (Redwood et al) knew for years that the bubble would burst - and said so.

This is a clever psuedo-subtle ploy that will backfire, All voters will remember is that the Tories are as guilty as Brown.

So he's essentially apologising for not opposing New Labour. Will he apologise for not opposing them on many other things such as civil liberties, the EU, public spending, corruption and all the other damage that has been done to this country? When you think of the way he has connived with New Labour allowing all these grotesque laws through without a whimper it just goes to show that there is truly a one party system in operation in this country with all three main parties united in a cross party conspiracy against the electorate.

I think it is a very forward looking speech, and very well thought out. However, I do think that if David Cameron or George Osborne had 'done things differently', earlier, it would not have made a blind bit of difference!!

The previous prime minister - Blair was always on his own journey; this Prime Minister - Brown, was on a roll (had been for 10 years, encouraged by Blair as it kept him 'quiet'), with his sanctimonious belief in 'no more boom and bust', he was supported by his envious and self-indulgent deputy PM.

So this lot would hardly have been prepared to listen to gloomy words of warning, from the new kid on the block, leading the Opposition, they would have jeered and tried to pull him down a peg or two!!

Thinking people often realise that they could have done things better, but this realisation should be a spur to pursue a different direction in the future, with renewed impetus, but not an opportunity to navel-gaze over and over, which of course certain people in the press like to do!!

I think David Cameron will know which way to go, and with very positive intentions, AND results!

I think this is good, not just for saying the ‘s’ word, but also because he pointed to unsustainable debt as one of the major weaknesses in the economy. The recent 'boom' has been largely based on debt.

There was a thread here a week ago about a return to traditional values. While many would see that this inevitably means returning to traditionalist views on marriage and protecting the unborn child, and so on, it must also mean not spending more than we have got, nor borrowing more than can we can afford to repay – and applying this from households to Government. I like the apparent willingness by David Cameron to face up to this, and to seek to build a more 'moral' economy based on savings, and as he has indicated on past occasions, on responsibility - i.e. not at the expense of families, the environment...

It is good that he is addressing our broken economy as well as our broken society. But I am encouraged he still seems focussed on the latter - we pay for brokenness in society through high taxes and big government.

So basically DC is saying Labour are sh*t but so are we, we'll I agree with that.

Shouldn't someone point out to Gorden Brun that even Bernard Madoff has said sorry, should't he? After all, he is running a far bigger Ponsi scheme!

If Cameron had possessed the curiosity to look outside Establishment circles he would have seen that, day in day out, for years and years, Bill Bonner at the Daily Reckoning, Ron Paul, the people at the Mises Institute among others, were warning about monetary policies being pursued, levels of debt being amassed, asset price inflation, and a looming correction.

Cameron and Co were too busy talking about Chocolate Oranges and Polly bleedin' Toynbee's metaphors for poverty. And as Fraser Nelson pointed out a few weeks ago, even in September 2007, Cameron was still talking about the new stability that monetary authorities across the world had delivered.

It's all too little, too late.

Tom H - very true but our politicians can't stomach the policies of the Austrian School because it would mean a significant curtailment of state power.

An astute move that will enable Mr. Cameron to score off Mr. Brown in the Commons which is what prompted it, but there I`m just an old cynic.

However,here`s another opportunity for the Tories: instead of supporting Mandelson`s privatisation plans, do another U turn and save our Royal Mail. I may be wrong, but feel sure that the majority of people regard it as a cherished national institution like our armed forces and must not be sold off. Free of EU interference it could return to profit making as well.

Come on Mr. Cameron, stop supporting the Labour government.

Fatuous political positioning, I am afraid.

The importance of sound money, and the public sector tightening its bloated belt, cannot now to be over emphasised.

Fact- the following wish us ill, and are thus our political enemies-

1.The Guardian and Independent reading classes.
2.The Vince Cables, John McFalls..and yes, Barack Obamas. All believe 'the state knows best'....as long as Labour voters don't have to pay for it.
3. Toynbee, Marr, Richards and Rawnsley etc, in the media. Same view as above.

Lets start really defining ourselves, and enthusing OUR SUPPORTERS, against these people. Not saying daft sorry's for matters we were not responsible for in the first place.

David is right to be honest that it will be more difficult to identify a way out of the problem. He also recognises the value of public trust.

One way forward will be to appeal to the public - "Ask not what society can do for you, but what you can do for society".

It will take time, but in the depressed economy that we will inherit, he will need to enlist many otherwise out-of-work people in social projects to clear graffiti, remedy illiteracy, etc.

He also needs to take an axe to regulation and all the green hype. For instance, EU dogma on carbon emissions threatens Corus so much that it might move 25,000 jobs to China.

I feel that unless we remove the shackles of the EU that is destroying our remaining industries, he will lose public trust. Does he really want to end up in 2015 apologising for not having seen the problem earlier?

Good point Julian.

The "graffiti" you mention exists on the 'political wall' too, and that wall also has to be scrubbed clean of the big capital letters which say "EU MUG".

An open admission from the Tories that the original cause of the global recession was formed in the age of Thatchter and Reagan with their bank deregulation, and nurtured by Major. I've been saying this for years. It's good to see Cameron admit it and take responsibilty.


As you know, it is nothing of the sort.

Bank regulation worked well until 1997 and no high street bank had really collapsed since mid-Victorian times. Then Brown decided to take bank regulation away from the BoE and create the FSA. Since then, Northern Rock, Bradford & Bingley, HBOS and others have become basket cases and were propped up to try to secure Labour votes in Scotland and Yorkshire - no that it will work.

A good speech.

But a good many Conservative supporters have been saying the same and that the economy was heading for disaster for years. Instead of being listened to we were ridiculed by the 'sharing the proceeds of growth' crowd.

Perhaps the leadership will be a bit more open minded in future?

"Thatchter and Reagan with their bank deregulation,"

It was Clinton who removed the Glass Stegall Act, and it was Mrs T's big bang that brought formalised regulation in the City for first time.

Allowing building societies to become banks (and I admit I was one of those who profited by this) was another great idea which went wrong. They all then went for expansion - remember the shops in every High Street?- doesn`t look such a good idea today.

Like changing exellent polytechnics into universities, but that`s another subject.

Posted by: another richard | March 14, 2009 at 10:54

Absolutely spot on / exactly what I was going to post.

Tusk, tusk, that makes you a troublesome right winger as well AR (and candidate for the Ministry of Common sense !)

Edward Huxley @ 07.08 - 'However, here's another oppoirtunity for the Tories: instead of supporting Mandelson's privitisation plans, do another U-turn and save our Royal Mail.'

I absolutely agree with you Edward! It is almost like UKplc is for sale on e-Bay - foreigners only!! Having just received a totally unrealistic, over-the-top energy bill, probably courtesy of Putin, (and I am sure many, many other consumers will be in the same boat), I feel quite personally involved with the obssession of this Prime Minister, to obtain money any which-way that he can. He will sell the whole country to Saudi Arabia soon (perhaps he has already and that is why, if you are a Muslim lord, you get out of prison, and if you demonstrate insultingly, the powers that be, only say - there, there!)!!

Thanks Colin!

Where the 'sharing the proceeds of growth' policy went wrong is assuming that there was any economic growth to share.

In reality we have not had an economic boom and bust but something far worse, a bubble and burst.

We have not had any genuine economic growth for years as that would have entailed actual wealth creation instead what we've had is the illusion of wealth creation through rising house prices and ever increasing wealth consumption fueled by debt and then more debt with prices kept down through importing cheap Chinese goods and importing cheap Eastern European workers.

This country will now have to start living within its means unfortunately with the massive debt burden we will have to live well within our means which will lead to a big drop in living standards.

Totally right Resident leftie. People here think things only started to go wrong in 1997. They were wrong a long time before then. Mind you most people here refuse to admit Thatcher did anything wrong. In fact most think God begins with T!!!

All these "sorry" self flagelating twats will expect us to pick up the bill in later weeks, months or years.
If they had listened to the older generation, you know the ones that saved and are now paying the price for (real) prudence. My savings, not large by any means, are being eroded every month with the arrival of higher and higher utility, food and council tax bills.
This is not a cry for help nor am I sorry for being, in the past, financially astute.
Just keep the hell out of my life - that's all governments of all colours.

Maybe it's a clever PR move for the Tories to apologise for their poor opposition in the past, in an attempt to make Labour apologise for their poor government in the past, but I'd be much more impressed if the Tories started to provide a proper opposition now.

Coming back to the two linked problems -

a) Not removing "toxic assets" from the financial system, but instead insuring them at potentially huge cost to the taxpayer; and

b) Not using Quantitative Easing to good effect, but instead misusing it to remove top quality assets from the financial system in the hope that this will make it easier for the government to borrow and spend more -

when are the Tories going to condemn these strategic blunders, and with such ferocity that the government is forced to think again?

Maybe it's a clever PR move for the Tories to apologise for their poor opposition in the past, in an attempt to make Labour apologise for their poor government in the past, but I'd be much more impressed if the Tories started to provide a proper opposition now.

Coming back to the two linked problems -

a) Not removing "toxic assets" from the financial system, but instead insuring them at potentially huge cost to the taxpayer; and

b) Not using Quantitative Easing to good effect, but instead misusing it to remove top quality assets from the financial system in the hope that this will make it easier for the government to borrow and spend more -

when are the Tories going to condemn these strategic blunders, and with such ferocity that the government is forced to think again?

When the Tories apologise for starving men back to work during the miners strike I will take them seriously.

This was another master stroke by 'Cameron' although as we all know it was a publicity stunt to back GB into a corner, but quite clever.

"They probably think God begins with a T".

No, Jock Stale, we can all spell better than you. Do try not to blame other people for Clinton, Brown and Obama's errors.

I trust "Dave" will also be apolgising for his support of the Communist thug UAF in the light of recent attacks on BNP activists



In my day you got credit for getting it right in the first place ....not having looked up or been told the correct answer afterwards.....

Oh dear, the BNP trolls seem to be all over the site this afternoon.

I blame the Government for banning smoking in pubs!!

Come on Boys - find something else to do. There's a good rugby match on BBC1.

The prospect of Conservatives returning to power is very appealing, but the fight is not over yet. Labour's lies are now becoming apparent, but they are not just about economy; there is also energy policy, schools, policing, health and social care, databases, public projects, spending etc etc. The Conservatives have got to stop following in their trail in a nice moderate, acceptable to the BBC/Guardian kind of way. What is needed is a stop and full re-think, making a clear difference between the parties and public examination of Labour's failures, and clear ideas and policies which will be used to correct as much of the damage done to the country by Labour, as possible.

As the economy cannot wait however to be destroyed, with the full recovery even now requiring a minimum of a decade, the Conservatives should have it as their main priority to scream for an election and give people the change to vote on which party they want to lay their future on. As an NHS worker being thrifty and living modestly is nothing new to me, but I cannot face decades of being taxed out of existence paying for other people to lounge about in an enviroment that is scary to work in, in a country that is even scarier when entering the streets, where I cannot trust my children to get a proper education, where foreign extremists have more rights than me etc etc. I want an election now!

A good start here by DC it is not only the S word but the vision that thee must be cjuts to rebalance and egain integrity. Defence spendiong must be realigned, as an ex officer I am puzzled as to why as the Army and Navy decreases,we need more and more MOD civil servantz, there are now more of these than the Army has Regular soldiers and officers.

Guinevere @ 1950.
All the issues you mention were considered with the Tories in OPOSITION, well at least they sat on the oposition benches, on their hands, picking their noses and twiddling their thumbs.
You can't blame the Iraq invasion on the Labour party, so will Dave be saying sorry for voting aye on that bill.

The comments to this entry are closed.



ConHome on Twitter

    follow me on Twitter

    Conservative blogs

    Today's public spending saving

    New on other blogs

    • Receive our daily email
      Enter your details below:

    • Tracker 2
    • Extreme Tracker