Well the Conservative Party Conference here in Birmingham has wrapped up after 4 very eventful days. Overall I would say the Conference was a great success and Birmingham should be rightly proud of the reception the Tories recieved and the great show they staged. There was a feeling of genuine warmth to the Tories as they passed through Birmingham City center. I myself was stopped on many occasions by different people who spotted the conference pass. What I found was a genuine contempt for Labour and hope that a Tory government would be different. Whilst the mood was quietly confident, the conference delegates were taking nothing for granted. We all recognise we have much more to do to prove we can lead the country with the same courage and conviction of the 1980’s.
As Daniel has rightly stated our first event had a fantastic showing with representatives from all over the country. We had the privellage of welcoming a number of Shadow Cabinet members throughout the evening aswell including Patrick McLoughlin, Andrew Mitchell and Alan Johnson. I was also impressed by the turnout from local councillors, CF Chairmen and PPC’s who joined us until the early hours. In all we estimate the turnout was somewhere between 140-70 which went beyond our wildest expectations. I would like to take this oppourtunity to thank the Committee for helping me organise and stage the event, in particular Dom who was kind enough to bankroll the bar!
Whilst Labour spent their conference looking at themselves we were looking at the country which frankly is in a mess. We recognise where Labour have got it right but that won’t be enough to save them. Getting it right yesterday is no good if you aren’t getting it right today and tomorrow. The Tories learnt this lesson in 1997 and I am quietly confident that Labour will learn this most painful of lessons in the next General Election.
David Cameron showed in his wrap up speech that he has the courage and conviction to lead this country with the same distinction of other great Tories like Thatcher, Disraeli and Churchill. He delivered what can only be described as an epic speech. Gone were the fluffy soundbites and in came true conservative conviction and grit. The speech, quite rightly, is being billed as his most right wing, most ‘conservative’, to date and it went down a storm (In particular his reference to a certain Tory Icon who has just been named the Greatest Tory Hero) In particular he outlined his devotion to the Union, his determination to end the ‘something for nothing culture’, his refusal to continue to allow police to be bogged down by bureaucracy and his committment to the NHS, ‘sound money’ and low taxes.
For me by far the greatest line of Cameron’s speech was:
“Experience is what they always say when they want to stop change. In 1979 James Callaghan had been home secretary, foreign secretary and chancellor and then prime minister. He had plenty of experience. But thank god we swapped him for Margaret Thatcher.”
I am confident that in time David Cameron will join her at the top of what Disraeli dubbed ‘the greasy pole’ and turn this country around socially the way Thatcher did economically: with a tough tonic and the courage of his conviction.