Thursday, October 08, 2009

Up Close and Personal With Dave

Cameron got up close and personal in a solid speech to the party faithful with an owl-like eye on voters, blasting Brown and his fag-end government for a decade of disaster and failure.

Mr Ambition still has a steep hill to climb to prove he can be trusted as 'the man who can'. Time will tell if this is the 'Audacity of Hype', turning Tories into one-term wonders.

But after a long road from leader of a defunct Party to a prime minister-in-waiting, Dave is certainly 'ready to govern'. Like his side-kick Osborne, he's not the only one who's grown up. Suddenly they are the 'government'. New Labour the 'opposition'. Get used to it.

Today it was down to Dave to raise the bar with a personal vision for the future. But that's where the danger lies. Too much had been invested in 'Cameron's conservatives'. Changing to 'modern conservatives' doesn't have the same snappy appeal.

Discredited Blair spin doctor, Campbell, reckons Cameron's speech was like Blair on a bad day. He should know. Two-faced Blair had quite a few of those. Dodgy Iraq dossiers and "blood on his hands" over the death of David Kelly and the Iraq war still fester away.

Cameron's speech certainly rattled New Labour's cage. Dave's got mealy-mouthed ministers on the run and boy do they know it.

How the Gang must hate Dave and 'Boy George' who's grown up into 'Honest Osborne' with a grim message of no shared pain, no gain. 'Dave the Chameleon' has transformed into 'Dave the Man Who Can'. Spiteful 'Tory Toffs' jibes cut no ice with voters.

But the Orange Party's big concern is still whether the heir to Blair will turn into the man himself. Talking the talk, walking the walk, all things to all men. All style and no substance.

The politics of false hope are coming to an end. The illusion of dreams are being shattered by doses of reality. Years of a political narrative that conned the country during the Blair years, promising the earth and delivering nothing has been shown up as a sham. The shine has worn off. Reality has kicked in.

Voters want a new breed of trusted politician who will get to grips with a country in the grip of a social and economic crisis. Not a bunch of political wannabes and their cronies who highjacked a traditional political party for their own selfish ends.

With Beaten Brown bent on saving his own skin, it fell to the Tories to spell out the grim financial realities that await the country over the next few years, not least tackling a grotesque national debt. The public is savvy enough to understand the Thatcher housewife argument rather than all the Brown sauce.

Fraser Nelson over at the Spectator reckons it was "one of the best speeches I have heard David Cameron give", alluding to Cuba's revolutionary Che. Both from privileged backgrounds fighting a corrupt regime with a revolutionary manifesto, sure, but taking it a tad too far.

The public have been living in New Labour La-La Land in a cosy unreal world for too long. Now they're waking up. Shallowness revealed a rotten inside, corrupt to the core.

But a decade of New Labour failed policies have taken their toll. The economy has been ruined. The public is weary. All that's left festering away is big government, a crony culture and MPs' gravy train.

Some trade union leaders have predictably likened Cameron's speech as a return to the 'Thatcher' days. Cameron certainly made his mark on the Tory welcome home party like Thatcher in '78, just months before an election. Oborne reckoned "the similarities are uncanny". This is not Blair '97, he argued, more Thatcher '78.

But Cameron still has to contact and convince voters that caring conservatives, not just Dave, have got what it takes and are up to the job of turning things around and confronting inherited failures.

Cameron has at last stood up and told voters what he stands for and where he stands. Reality won't go away, despite New Labour's cunning plan to dupe the public into more false optimism.

Opinion polls in a few days time will show whether Cameron has managed to pull it off. But only when the dust settles on conference bounces will voter intentions start to harden in the run up to the election.

What will linger is his passion, emphasis on the family and attacks on New Labour's poverty record. Moves to clean up politics and get to grips with big government squandered waste were much more muddled.

The public knows it will be a long, hard slog. After Honest Osborne's grim austerity, Cameron's speech was always set to be upbeat. A vision of a country when the gloom finally lifts on recession depression.

The Orange Party is no Tory and certainly no fan of Thatcher. But like so many voters and the Sun is starting to bang a drum for Dave. Not least to rid Westminster of the disreputable New Labour deadbeats who have brought the country to its knees.

Mid picture: Sun

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