Cameron Live: Personal impressions

David Cameron’s speech live at the Conservative Conference

2.48 Gentle start

2.50 D.C. started by recalled waking after two hours sleep on day of election day in May, knowing the country needed leadership. Recognized he could work with Nick Clegg. Steady defense of the coalition. Long list of achievements already. Quite convincingly delivered. Poor Gordon Brown relied on long lists not to support an argument but to make one.

2.59 Still a low-key presentation. And another long list, this time of Labour party failures. Worked again. Just a hint it was a bit of rhetoric.

3.08 Spirit of working together (wait for Big Society mention). Jokes seem a bit thin (last of three jokes of the £1 donation from a little girl fom her tooth-fairy money). ‘From Big Govt to Big Society’ [15.11]. To his audience (in and out of the hall) claims the moral high ground over the feckless untrustworthy socialists.

3.13 “There is no alternative” to our cuts policy ..thanks to George Osborne … Credit rating is [best] mark of trust. [T.R.: but trust in institutions differs from trust in a leader].

3.17 Attacks labour. Tempo and emotional shift. Returns to tough issues of cuts.

3.19 Explains (defends) the Benefits Cuts controversy.

3.23 Back to the Big Society. Success through ‘wealth creators… not the tycoon … we must build an entrepreneurial society’ [will he mention the Nobel Prize winners?].

3.26 You banks have to replay the favour by lending to small businesses. Our special weapon is [who will he mention?] Eric Pickles. Eric is a major catalyst of The Big Society. I rather think I agree with much of what he says but the delivery is now too directed to the converted and relies on “The Common Enemy”. It is a vision, but not working for me.

3.32 Policing. State has to punish, but far more involvement needed from people power to improve inefficiencies. [Is there a rather puzzled mood around the hall? Not the usual number of orchestrated burst of applause. Not a lot to choose in its impact with the Ed Miliband speech. Say 6.5/10? He’s going to need a great finish].

3.39 Oh, he has finished. So 6.5/10

So before I get my first impressions influenced by the various evaluations of others here they are: A good performer but a low-key performance.

For what it’s worth

For what it’s worth, the BBC’s John Pinaar [Five Live Drive] later also summed up the speech as ‘about 6.5 out of 10’.

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One Response to Cameron Live: Personal impressions

  1. Matt says:

    Note that no one in the audience clapped his repeated mentions of Big Society. The whole speech was totally patronising. He started off the day by telling the media he was sorry he forgot to put child benefit cuts in his manifesto and ended it by evoking Kitchener. Aditya Chakrabortty’s analysis in the Guardian is absolutely spot on:

    “So here is Cameron’s recent economic history of Britain. The mess we’re in now has got nothing to do with bankers – who got barely a mention in the speech, apart from a plea to them to lend more. The debt is all because of feckless Labour – whose economic policy David Cameron actually supported until the winter of 2008.

    The IMF and the EU back his massive spending cuts – and we all know what economic geniuses preside at the IMF and the EU. Let us be clear: this goes way beyond the usual conference grandstanding – it’s a cynical rewrite of the past couple of years. A massive failure of the private sector has been Photoshopped into the fault of the state.

    Well, we were all there when Lehman Brothers fell over, and that’s certainly not how I remember events. And if voters can’t trust Cameron to be straight on how Britain got here, how can they believe his justification for the cuts?”

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