First thoughts: the Tories will hate it

CAME straight back to to my hotel room from the conference hall and have a few minutes to offer my first, brief reaction to The Speech before heading to my next meeting at four.

Some pretty impressive commitments – I was particularly delighted at GB’s promise to make our child poverty elimination target a statutory obligation. Very clever. Let’s see if ‘Dave’ votes for it or commits to repealing the Act. This is a move that is so going to wind up every Tory – and especially every cyber-Tory – in the country.

And I loved the George Osborne quote about the financial sector. How on earth could anyone ever vote for that lot?

Anyway, I’m heading downstairs to the bar for my next meeting. No doubt I’ll get some reactions from colleagues and members of the fourth estate while I’m there. I predict a very upbeat mood at tonight’s gala dinner, where I’m hosting a table.



Filed under Conservative Party, David Cameron, Economy, Gordon Brown, Labour, Media, Politics

15 responses to “First thoughts: the Tories will hate it

  1. Brian Hall

    Does this mean we will all be legally obliged to shed cash to the teenage pregnant mums so that they are richer than us so that their children are not in (relative) poverty?

    Oh dear!

  2. I agree, the Tories have left the door open here, because they have left a policy vacuum, Gordon Brown has been able to make up policies for them. In that sense, it serves David Cameron right; we all need to know what the conservatives stand for, if it is only to ensure that Gordon Brown does not put words in their mouths.

    In terms of the speech, it was well delivered, but the public will judge results, not rhetoric. If he has made one policy misjudgment, it is to completely ignore the hard working majority, that is, those hard working families who earn too much to be able to benefit from any of the freebies and insufficient to be able to shrug their shoulders at the economic downturn. In other words, the people that shall be expected to pay for these initiatives and, most likely, the floating voters who the Labour party will need if they expect to win a fourth turn. This is fundamentally where there is a disconnect between the party and the people, but it is not entirely a Labour problem, it is a fundamental political issue.

  3. richard

    Speaking as a non-Labour party member I can honestly say that I found his speech competent but completely vacuous.

    1) Having his wife introduce him and then claim that his children aren’t props? Whose idea was that?

    2) Free nursery places for all two-year-olds is a good idea but the ten year timescale to implement it ensures that a) he doesn’t have to pay for it and b) It won’t benefit anyone now and can easily be cancelled if it proves too expensive.

    3) Labour’s promise to end child poverty made a law – Sounds good on paper but surely the targets (based on relative poverty) will still have to float and hence can be ignored if inconvenient.

    4) £300m plan to offer free computers for more than a million children from low income families – Sounds like an ebay bonanza to me.

    5) Free prescriptions for people with chronic illnesses – A genuinely good idea that he pinched from the SNP.

  4. John

    Promises, promises.

  5. Andrew F

    I was shocked to find that I didn’t hate it! I thought there was a lot for us lefties to get excited about, lots of stuff I’d be willing to fight for. Free prescriptions for cancer paitents, for example: that’s the kind of compassion I want to see from my party.

    Technically, of course, it was far from flawless. He was clearly ticking boxes in between policy announcements. Our armed forces are awesome! – check. Yay for the NHS! – check. Dig at Miliband – check. On the other hand, maybe those platitudes aren’s so conspicuous to someone who doesn’t follow politics.

    My main gripe was the immigrant bashing. You could feel him building up to the “but” as he complimented their contribution. Hardly anyone in the Labour party likes the pseudo-nationalism, so why leave a bitter taste in our mouths?

    But yes, much better than I expected.

  6. An OK speech, shame everyone has stopped listening to him.

  7. richard

    I did enjoy the coordinated flurry of increasingly effusive quotes about how this was perhaps one of the best speeches ever made.

    From reading the press-releases you’d assume that his speech was definitely a rival to Maggie’s “The lady’s not for turning” or Churchill’s “We will fight them on the beaches…” rather than instantly forgettable partisan tripe and tractor-production statistics.

  8. Johnny Norfolk

    Its just more spending taking the country into an even more difficult future. I am just sick of what you are doing to our country. You have got away with this sort of thing in the past, but it just wont wash any more.

    For him to say nothing about the current mess we are in and what Labour is going to do about was just shocking.


  9. Has he stopped talking yet? I fell into a deep sleep about 10 minutes into Brown’s speech and was woken up by an angry Mrs Diablo (returning from one of her classes) switching off the TV and shouting at me “We don’t let that man into our living room, ever!” And boy, she means it, young Tom – she really means it. Ford Fiesta Woman is what I call her.

    I think you may have put finger to keyboard a little to hastily to praise Brown’s speech. In the next few days it’s all going to be exposed for the smoke and mirrors job that it was. Apart from the blatant mis-quoting of George Osborne, there are many other claims and “pledges” that will be shown to have no substance.

    Hope you enjoyed the gala dinner.

  10. S Jamieson

    Trouble is the quote attributed to George Osbourne is not incorrect but changes its meaning. According to the FT, George O said, “Well look, no one takes pleasure from people making money out of the misery of others, but that is a function of capitalist markets.”
    but the PM claimed he said, ““That it’s a function of financial markets that people make loads of money out of the misery of others.”

  11. Frank Davis

    Good speech for a change. The bits I heard anyway. Did it really last an hour? I liked the bit about ‘fairness’ being at the heart of Labour values/ I found myself casting round for an example of Labour ‘fairness’. Oh yes. I remember. They banned smoking in all pubs, not just in pubs that sold food. That’s Labour’s ‘fairness’..

  12. Ani

    “The tories will hate it.”
    You’re right. They do.
    Small illustration here, plenty on the other blogs.
    Tory dirty tricks revealed on CiF. Tut tut.

    JN. Tories will appreciate your alerting them to the poll in the ‘G’.

    And with reference to your ‘stop spending our money’ – in case you hadn’t noticed, there are millions of people and a huge country that stretches way beyond your own front door that need supporting and funding.

    You really should set up your own website –

  13. John Doole

    It was a joke. Brown’s a joke. NuLabour is finished. They don’t and never have cared about child poverty, pensioner poverty, inequality or environmental issues. If they ever cared they would have done something about it over the last 11 years rather than introduce policies which made everything worse for everyone in this country other than the very rich, whose arses they frequently disappeared up.

    The NuLabour project has failed.

  14. Prentia Clove

    “This is a move that is so going to wind up every Tory – and especially every cyber-Tory – in the country.”

    Of course, it’s going to do absolutely nothing to end child poverty. Typical Brown, all politics and screw the people.

    His ‘apology’ for the 10p tax deceit was to say how it had stung him. Not half as much as it stung the poor. Really, since Blair went you lot are hopeless.

  15. The problem with government definition of “poverty” is that it isn’t about poverty It is about income inequality which is not the same thing.

    If children’s income goes up 2.5% while the economy stays still inequality is reduced. If the child’s income goes up 5% while the UK’s economy grows 7% (as Ireland’s has been doing for the last 19 years) then inequalty has increased. By the English language definition in both cases poverty has reduced because everybody is better off. In the PC redefinition of “poverty” the child in the second case, while richer is also suffering from more “poverty”. In exactly the same way there is less “poverty” in North Korea than the South because (almost)everybody is starving equally.

    It would be better for the country id Gorfon were more interested in combating real poverty than in combating redefined “poverty”.

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