OK, the UK has some difficulties due to the financial crisis and is struggling out of recession, but does Cameron really reckon that people think the place is “in a complete and utter mess” as he has termed it in today’s speech that’s supposed to be part of his fightback as the Tories are suffering in the polls? Even if that were to be believed does he reckon anyone things things are worse with Labour than they would have been with the Tories in control? I’m really astounded – is that the best the Tories can do – claiming Britain is a mess and appealing to the hearts of people by claiming it’s a patriotic duty to oust Brown?
It strikes me that the overall essence of Cameron’s speech in Brighton today, delivered it seems with an edge of nerves, was to try to kick Labour still further when they are down. Has no-one explained to him that’s not a very handy strategy just now? Yes, regrettably, we know that Brown is none too popular, but keeping on ranting about bad things are is no good at all. How, Cameron, is a Tory future for the country going to be any better? That, significantly, has not even remotely been achieved today.
The only aspects of any substance were Cameron’s 6 key themes: dealing with the deficit, boosting enterprise, shoring up families, backing the NHS, raising standards in schools and cleaning up politics.
On the first that’s an issue where Labour should be ready to take on the fight – it’s cut now versus cut later / more slowly, and Labour’s rhetoric for the latter seems to be getting through. On the second, if you were to compare the climate for business in the UK with anywhere else in Europe then things are still remarkably healthy (although I suppose a patriot would be blinkered to such arguments?)
As for families idea, is this a follow up on assisting married couples in the tax system? On the NHS and schools there has clearly been steady progress under Labour, and as for cleaning up politics, does anyone believe the Tories any more than they will believe any other party? I suspect not.
The problem for Cameron is that in 1997, Blair looked genuinely good in comparison to Major. Today Cameron might slightly beat Brown in the eyes of the population, but on policies then it’s surely the inverse, leaving everything so finely balanced. Today was for sure not Cameron’s hoped-for bounce back.