Wednesday, October 04, 2006

They Think It's All Over... It Is Now

I keep banging on here about the tedium of modern speeches because of the leaking of content and this was no exception. I had heard the "Tony Blair used three words: education, education, education, but I am going to use three letters: N-H-S," part about 500 times by the time it came out of Cameron's mouth. It was no better for the re-telling.

A speech that was again short on policy, but full of "vision", Cameron repeated his big idea of "social responsibility". At this point in the conference he wasn't so much telling his party, he was beating them over the head with it. The only problem was that the delegates didn't seem to understand half of what he was saying. In particular, a distinctly weak round of applause was given to his support of gay marriage.

It wasn't a great speech and it started a little shakily. Cameron's joke about Boris was, I suppose, his Cherie Blair moment, but it wasn't very funny and people didn't really laugh. The quality improved marginally, but then dipped in the middle as he went through a multitude of non-policies, such as his worries about Darfur. It picked up towards the end, although never approaching Blair for theatre.

I think a quarter of the conference attendees will go away feeling incredibly excited about the new environmental direction the party has taken, a quarter will feel a little nervous that there were no specific policies to underpin these moves and half will go back and wonder where the hell they've been all week. There isn't a big clause 4 moment for Cameron and so it's unclear whether the party has moved or whether it is just the language that has changed.

It should probably be judged a success purely because the Tories resisted their recent love of intrigue, fighting and chaos. Whether it will translate into a sustained increase in the polls will be dependent upon what happens to Labour now that the spotlight is being turned back on Westminster and back onto the fight for leadership. Gordon anyone?

1 comment:

Voyager said...

The Tories are finished - Cameron's just preparing them to merge with LibDems and Labour into the Social Unity Party as in the old GDR.

Cameron cannot get his minions elected in West or South Yorkshire and without seats there he cannot get out of his Home Counties redoubt.............the Tories are on the way to being analogous with Plaid Cymru and SNP - a regional (London) party