Wednesday, October 04, 2006


Dave's big Speech Fails to Impress

Well, I didn't think much of the boy king's speech, did you? As a left of centre person I welcomed the messages on the NHS- no reprise of the eighties atrophy threatened; liberal on gay themes- anything which makes Norman Tebbitt grind his teeth is good by me; and the distancing from America-now that really will win some votes that would otherwise go to the Lib Dems.

But, given he clearly idolizes Tony Blair- look at his image, his style, his studied vacuity - and even the pinching of TB's soundbite on 'tough on crime.. etc', I thought his speech was to a Blair speech as Shrewsbury Town(my home team) is to Manchester United. Clearly his party handlers needed a few of those cheerleaders who were so very (hyper)active at the end of IDS's speech back in 2004. You'll have to do better than that Dave to move into the Premiership.

And Tony Blair and his entourage have managed to push the boy's speech off the top news slot with his 'peace in our time' announcement. Whatever you think about him (and I know your thoughts on this matter are less kind than mine) and his team, they'll be missed...
Believe me, I used to think Blair was sent down from heaven to save us, but Iraq and the dossier affair made me think his judgement was faulty if not shot, but I know he will be missed and I'll be among those doing the missing. Ultimately so much of politics is tribalI have come to realize.
I sit somewhere on Skipper's right but I'm happy to acknowledge that the political scene as a whole will be the poorer when Blair departs - regardless of where your party politics lie. Quick back-story from me that illustrates why Blair's been so successful

I have a moderate centre-right outlook but I've felt politically homeless for the best part of the last decade. I didn't (and still don't) think the Labour movement as a whole has reconciled itself to a liberal\market economy so joining Labour didn't feel right despite my respect for Blair - on the other hand the Tories have been at best hopeless and at worst nasty for years (I could never have supported Howard).

The ascent of Cameron holds out the prospect of a Conservative party I can support with a conscience but I often feel curiously torn - I can make a case for sitting on the right of a reforming liberal Labour party (a la Blair) or sitting on the left of a one-nation paternalistic Tory party.

Although this is just a personal dilemma I suspect it mirrors something that's going on in the minds of voters up and down the country. If Dave continues the march to the centre and Brown starts to tack to the left it will get a lot easier for people like me..!
I agree the speech was awful. No doubt, in large part entirely cynical and dishonest. The bit about the useless and failing NHS was hard to take. No amount of sentimental guff will cloud the fact that it is useless and it will have to go. But the speech will work. The speech was never going to be headline stuff...last year was and next year will have to be(ie.policy). But it will be enough unfortunately, most people will swallow this rubbish and Caneron is on his way. I just hope he picks it up when he get into number 10.
The last message was me...but then you guessed that right?
This morning 5 Live did a very funny edit of Cameron's speech with some of Blair's past conference speeches. It's worth tracking down - v.funny. Talk about separated at birth . . .
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