Thursday, 8 October 2009

Cameron speech - on the runway but no take-off

Just out of the Cameron speech, and my immediate reaction is that it wasn’t a good one. He set the bar high and didn’t sail over it. A flat six out of ten.

On health, we know we can trust him. His family, we know he loves them. On defence, we know he will be strong and determined.

But when it came to resolving these contradictions - how to be compassionate and look after the poor while savaging public services he didn’t have the the language or the rhetoric to pull it off.

And on that deeper contradiction at the heart of “modern Conservatism” - his assertion that he has changed the Conservative party into a defender of the poor - I don’t think he took the hall with him. They weren’t sure about clapping on that one, just as they weren’t sure they were allowed to clap about limiting immigration.

It will be spun that Cameron didn’t want to appear triumphalist (in fact I can see them doing just that in another part of the hall) and was calibrated, but this was a flat speech, a cut and paste of previous announcements in the week and over the years.

Beforehand we were told that Cameron would use biblical allusions to deliver a vision of a promised land beyond the age of austerity. Well, remember Moses looked down on from Mount Nebo but the never made it out of the desert.

And that Bono "hostage video" at the beginning? What was that about - vote Tory or we release him for another world tour.

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