Dave's good - but not quite enough
IF the Tories were expecting a tour de force from David Cameron, they will have been disappointed.Yes, it was more than competent, but it did not reach the heights to grip the imagination of representatives who have to go back to their constituencies and reclaim the millions of lost Conservative Party voters.
By Graham Dines
IF the Tories were expecting a tour de force from David Cameron, they will have been disappointed.
Yes, it was more than competent, but it did not reach the heights to grip the imagination of representatives who have to go back to their constituencies and reclaim the millions of lost Conservative Party voters.
The representatives in Bournemouth clapped in all the right places. There was much applause for his pledge not to go into an election promising “irresponsible” tax cuts.
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Tax is Mr Cameron's Clause IV moment. Just as Tony Blair forced Labour to accept that if it wanted to be elected, it had to abandon that part of its constitution which sought wholesale nationalisation of industry, so Mr Cameron is steering the Tories away from tax cuts which could affect funding of schools and hospitals.
Tories in the Bournemouth hall liked what he said about protecting the National Health Service and his criticism of Labour's constant reorganising of the NHS.
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But there will have been many raised eyebrows from rank-and-file Tories, especially those from the shires of the East and South East of England, that they had to accept thousands of affordable homes to help youngsters get onto then property ladder.
Labour has been accused by rural Tories of wanting to concrete over the countryside. Mr Cameron may not be out to destroy the chocolate box scenery of southern and eastern England, but he his warning his party's rank-and-file that they must accept new housing estates in the countryside if their children are ever to be able to buy a home of their own.
Mr Cameron gets 8 out of 10 from me for facing down his tax critics, pledging support for a for a free Health Service, and promising to abolish the Human Rights Act and replace with a British Bill of Rights.
However, the speech fell somewhat sort of raising the conference hall roof and energising delegates. For that, I give him 5 out 10. Next year's speech in Blackpool will need to be far more substantial.