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’.