David Cameron’s Leader’s Speech 2007

Comment at end

8th October, 2007


This is fun. Read this article by Martin Kettle, without looking at the date – hard to do, I know. But I started reading it without clocking the date fully. Only when I was well into a few paragraphs did I realise we were in the wrong year.

So, much had changed THEN in the Tory party, when Cameron wowed ’em with his speech. Then things slipped a bit. And suddenly, much has changed again. Wonder if there will be another slip before the 2009 conference season, or the next election, whichever comes first?

“There’s mony a slip …”

Plenty of time, plenty of time.

Addendum to the below:

I notice I said below that I thought David Cameron’s 2007 conference speech would make little difference to Brown’s election decision. Looks like I was wrong. Although, then again, it wasn’t the speech that changed Brown’s mind, but the way the speech was received by those polled in the marginals. So I suppose I wasn’t completely wrong.

It’s not what you say, it’s the way that you say it ;0)

I know, I know. I’m a loss to politics.

3rd October, 2007

CAMERON SAYS “Britain Will Win”

As someone who feels disenfranchised, because I feel leaders are important, and we’ve just lost the best one we had, I’ve just watched David Cameron.

He spoke well, but in the end – well – no, sorry. Despite the fact that he comes over as a nice man, a good man, and STILL reminds me hugely of Tony Blair (see video here), I don’t think it will impact much on Brown’s decision on election timing. And on its strength alone he will not yet win the election if it is called any time soon.

You have to give it to him, he coped very well for over an hour without notes. He tried to let us see how well grounded he is. But, but … there was very little he said that Brown, er Blair couldn’t have said.

Apart from the call for a referendum on the EU “constitution” – and let’s be blunt about it – if the Tories had agreed to the amendments as did Tony Blair, they would NOT be calling for a referendum. But apart from that there really wasn’t all that much that differentiated him from Brown; not enough anyway for enough of the electorate to get their teeth into.

He’s going to make the police’s job less target and paper bound so that they can go back to catching criminals. Ye-e-es. Good. And he’s going to give headteachers the right to be rid of badly behaved children, with no recourse to an appeals panel. Ye-e-es. Good again. He’s more in favour of Blair’s Academy Schools than is Brown. Ye-e-es, probably. And he was proud to support Blair’s nuclear power vote, which highlighted where many in today’s Blairless Labour party still stand. Good for Cameron … bad for Brown.

Over terrorism – well, at least he said he’d ban Hizb-ut-Tahrir – which is more than Brown has said. You will recall that when Blair wanted to ban it after 7/7 he was ‘advised’ against. WRONG advice. Wonder if the then MI5 Chief Dame Eliza Manningham-Buller gave Blair any advice then? Or perhaps the recent (?) Tory recruit Dame Pauline Neville Jones, former head of the Joint Intelligence Committee, seated on the platform during Cameron’s speech did.

I wonder if DC/PM would really do better than GB/PM whose excuse was that he’d only been “in the job 5 ” … (er 7 actually) days when Cameron mentioned banning HuT in Brown’s first PMQs as PM? (Where he’d been for the last ten years or even when Blair’s cabinet was discussing it, heaven only knows! Presumably dreaming about his forthcoming job!)On Iraq, Cameron was probably more generous to Brown that he need have been. And he made it clear that Afghanistan was his priority in the region.

So, will the polls show any great movement towards David Cameron? Well, I think they might, given a fair press coverage (!) He should claw back another 4 or 5 points from this, which might just give Brown pause for thought. After all, why risk a hung parliament when there is no need?

Cameron was not dogmatic – and most of us booted dogma out with Lady T.

He did not attack Labour mercilessly, and I don’t think he even mentioned the Lib Dems.

He wrapped himself in the cloak … I almost wrote ‘shroud’ – [definitely still mourning Blair here] – of generosity of spirit and straightforward Britishness without having to tell us that all the time.

But, and I suppose there are only so many phrases available … but why oh why did I keep hearing Blair’s voice behind so many of Cameron’s phrases and thoughts? Except, of course, Blair did it better.

Sorry, Mr Cameron – you haven’t yet won it – but I think you have moved some of the voters over to your side, if that’s any consolation. And that should include, almost definitely, with your promises of greater immigration controls, those waverers in the Kentish seats. And those are exactly the ones that Brown MUST win to retain power.

Over to you GB/PM.

5 October, 2006

Is David Cameron REALLY Tony Blair?

I’m beginning to wonder. You never see them together, apart from at Prime Minister’s Questions – and the reflective smoke and mirrors trick works here regularly. Click on the video arrow to see what I mean.

Ch-ch-ch-ch-ch-ch- changes

Same gestures, same phrases, same delivery, same policies. Same difference? Er … no.

OK, David Cameron gave quite a reasonable speech. Granted it was based on the kind of speech and delivery that his hero the PM has perfected, and Mr Cameron seems like a decent human being. But it left me confused. Could this be the first example of on-the-fly body and soul transfer? A kind of political splicing?

In this day and age when all parties cross-fertilise their policy ideas, this “image” thing takes on even greater significance. They’re all chasing the same rainbows such as social cohesion, global warming, containing terrorism, and rightly so. David Cameron knows he doesn’t have to win people over with too much policy at the moment, which is just as well! He only needs to paint a kind of background wash of what he and his New Liberal Conservatives are all about. (How’s that for pinching a bit of all the parties’ names? I’m not sure if he mentioned all three words together, to be fair, but we got that message nonetheless.) He did mention a few unmentionables to the Tory faithful and for that he should be applauded. Don’t know what they’ll make of it in the constituencies though. They would never have had Michael Portillo (who is someone I have quite taken to since he got out of politics) for all the reasons hinted at by nice Mr Cameron today.

Still, he mentioned Tony Blair’s name several times. Haven’t counted how many, but I expect someone has; please let me know if you know. I think a lot of people are still to be persuaded that it’s worth getting rid of the real article for the cloned one though.

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5 Responses to “David Cameron’s Leader’s Speech 2007”

  1. Karen mckenzie Says:

    as far as i am concerned there is only one tony blair david cameron will never come close.I thought his speech without notes was quite impressive
    but lacked tony’s warmth&feeling&charisma which is unique to him
    I hope an election is not called until the spring next year the last one was only in 2005 i think personally it is too soon.
    Anyway i would just like to add conference season has lost its sparkle since tony left he has the gift of holding people in the palm of his hand.
    gordon has’t got it. &neither has dave never mind.

  2. keeptonyblairforpm Says:

    Hi Karen,

    And thanks for your comment. Only one Tony Blair … ABSOLUTELY. And some might say, as my Dad used to say to me, “I’m glad there aren’t two of you”.

    I wouldn’t say that. EVER! Not about Blair anyway.

    Labour’s conference was DREADFULLY boring without TB, wasn’t it?

    NONE of them, not one of them has “got it”.

    And personally, I DO mind.

  3. Tony Jarrett Says:

    It would take more than a 4 or 5 point clawback for a hung parliament, MacCamaroon needs a ten point lead for a majority.

    Why do so many people imagine that getting rid of competantly carried out paperwork is bad for the objectives of the Police, or any other organisation? With better organised records the Yorkshire Ripper, for example, might have been caught much sooner.

    I wonder why so many people want the targets removed from their occupations . . . ? Hmmmmm . . .

    When Tony Blair spoke of the punishment meeted out to his back I bet that imposing targets against the wishes of those expected to meet them was a lot of what he had in mind. Takes a while to get the right sort of targets though, as we have seen most especially in Education.

    MacCamaroon spoke for his political life, as the Daily Telegraph has diagnosed. If the election comes on Nov 1 he will be the most Etonian turkey this Christmas.

    While speaking for over an hour is remarkable, his speech, which he knew very well in advance, was flawed, and unbalanced. He dwellt on details of scant importance, I understand.

    Lincoln, when asked to make a speech, repled “How long?”

    “If you want 5 minutes I shall require a months notice, if 20 then a week should be enough, and, why, if you want an hour, I can begin right now.” (Or something like that)

    There is a strong case for Appeals Panels in cases where Head Teachers are trying to permanently exclude a pupil. My experience of Headteachers is that they are ferquently quite dictatorial enough, and excluded kids get on the street more often and commit more crimes. This policy is by no means straightforward imho, another simplistic piece of tabloid friendly populism.

    A couple of weeks ago I spoke with soemone who had been teaching in one of the “new” Academies in Bromley, and who had very recently retired.

    He had actually lived in the catchement area of his school and was on good terms with the kids, who asked why he had left etc. The sort of teacher we wish taught all the difficult kids.

    It had been a failing Comp and now is a failing Academy.

    His view bourne out of much experience? The new status brought more money, but no other real benefits.

    Academies are not anything like the panacea Tony Blair hoped they would be

    If Tony Blair didn’t get advice from the Head of Security on banning particular groups after 7/7 he would have been in grave dereliction of his duties. Not likely, is it?

    Much more likely not banning some groups makes it easier to keep track of what their members are up to. Not exactly rocket science, and MacCamaron must be aware of that.

    Banning is best a tool to be used, not a gesture to appease the tabloids and the like.

    Nope, MacCamaroony looks like the Black Knight in Monty Python and the Holy Grail.

    ‘Armless, legless and belligerant, the earth dragging him down:

    “Closer . . closer . . . I’ll nut yer . . .”

    Impressive in a bizzarre sort of way.

  4. keeptonyblairforpm Says:

    Well, Tony – give the Academies a chance, why don’t you? Labour has sunk plenty of money into the old system – and it is clearly not producing what they or we want. I hear different stories about their comparative success from you, obviously.

    I’ve been involved in education, btw, and since we are on the tales bit – let me tell you about a school near Blackheath in which I was involved 6 or 7 years ago.

    A boy – 10 years old – had been bringing knives into school. They were confiscated but he kept bringing in new ones. One day, he got it out in the playground and stuck it in another child. Not a serious injury, as it happened.

    The headteacher excluded the knifer. Then the boy’s parents went to Greenwich Education Authority Appeals Board, and the head was hauled in front of them. The first question the headteacher was asked was, “how far did the knife go in?”

    She was flabbergasted. The point being that THIS was not the point!

    Of course, Greenwich had their way and the knifer was allowed back. Knifer was hailed as the BIG MAN, who’d beaten the teachers. And the kids all got the message that you can stick a knife into someone as long as they don’t die!

    Talk about a moral maze!

    As to this:

    “If Tony Blair didn’t get advice from the Head of Security on banning particular groups after 7/7 he would have been in grave dereliction of his duties. Not likely, is it?”

    Of course he would seek advice. And the advice would have been that we are limited by the Human Rights Act and conflicts between other domestic laws.

    So, to be fair to Cameron, whether you interpret it as populist or not, he’s now doing what Blair wanted to do – look seriously at the Human Rights Act.

    The very idea that we can’t ban HuT, which is banned everywhere else in the world, apart from Australia – as I understand it – is CRAZY.

    We are now a a hostage to fortune in this country, imho.

    I do notice how you have gone quiet on your “Islamo-Fascists” tack, Tony. Is that echoing the silence of GB/PM on the issue?

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