David Blackburn

Live blog - Cameron’s speech

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13:50 JF: I am in the conference hall which is already filling up. Word is that various candidates will be sitting behind Cameron.

14:02 JF: The backdrop for the speech is blue sky and fluffy clouds. Message: optimism.

14:04 DB: To emphasise an optimistic future, the Tories are playing ELO's Hello Mr Blue Sky. What a pity New Labour monopolised Things can only get better - a mantra that has never been more true.

14:12 JF: We have the text of the speech now and it looks like Cameron will set out his vision for Britain post recovery. One thing the speech does is make clear that Fox will be defence secretary.

14:18 JF: The theme is family, community, country and why big government is hurting all of them.

14:20 DB: The video has started. The message is vote Brown and get an apocalypse. The Tories will lead Britain from recession to recovery.

14:23 DB: No Sarah Brown 'My hero' moment. But oh God! Bono, via videolink, praises the ring-fencing of  the International Development budget. Turn up for the books; I wonder how the Statesman of the Year is taking that. Real coup for the Tories to bag the man who likened Brown and Blair to Lennon and McCartney.

JF: Who can we vote for to get Bono out of our politics? One big news line in the speech, IDS will serve in a Cameron government: that means that ten members of the shadow cabinet won't make it into the actual cabinet

14:30 DB: If IDS will serve in a government, does that mean the leadership might be considering his radical duopolistic welfare system?

14:32 JF: Huge applause for the footage of Boris being elected, not Mowlam levels though. And here is...

14:33 DB: Cameron is tough as well as toff: this will be difficult "we know how bad things are", but the view from the summit will be worth it. There is an intensity and seriousness about his delivery. As Clegg did, he kicks off with Afghanistan.

14:37 DB: Pledge on equipment. Here comes the ill-kept Dannatt secret. Dannatt will serve because the country and Whitehall are at war. Sustained applause for 'Our Boys'., very sustained.

JF: A standing ovation in fact.

14:38 DB: Cameron implies that the death of his son Ivan has focussed his ambition and his beliefs. The state is your servant not your master - there is a society, but it exists free of the state. Community and the family are most important aspects of British society "and Britain needs those values now...that is why I am in politics.

Brilliant sideswipe at the criticism that he's privileged: I want everyone to have the opportunities I had.

14:44 JF: When Cameron speaks about his family you get a sense of the emotional connection the party feels it has with him

14:45 DB: Cameron couches the debate on traditional battle lines: Labour's answer is more government, the Tories' is a society of responsible individuals. Sharp gag about the Attorney General being living proof that more government and more law is destructive. Repeal will be the order of the day but he doesn't elaborate - this is a rhetorical exercise and a good one.

14:48 JF: Responsibility has long been a favourite Cameron word and it does sit well with his countenance. The economics lesson is clear and well done.

14:51: DB: His detirmination and seriousness are speaking to an audience outside the hall. The contrast with Brown's rabble-rousing is very stark. No flourishes as yet - the mood is sombre. There's probably a bit of yawning going on in certain quarters.

1453 JF: Indeed there is: Ken Clarke keeps coming into shot on the big screen but he looks like he would rather like an afternoon nap

14:55 DB: Bit of red meat about the Saviour of the World: it was Brown wot did lost it. That'll wake 'em up.

14:58 DB: Onto Welfare. Cameron is angry that single mums who return to work are paying 96p in the £1. Callous Labour have left the poor poorest. "Don't you dare, Labour, blame that on the 'wicked' Conservatives." He's extremely angry and the language is brusque - powerful stuff, but has he overstepped the mark?

JF: The section on the huge marginal tax rates for those coming off welfare into works gets a huge standing ovation. And they are on their feet again for Cameron's denunciation of Labour's record on poverty.

15:06 JF: Restrained applause for the line that you should not live off the hard work of others. In years gone by, that would have had them on their feet

15:08 DB: Plan to set the NHS free from targets, management and reorganisations and give it "back to people". Still sticking to the hostage to fortune real terms spending increase. The pledge undermines the Tories' claim to complete honesty and realism in economic matters.

15:12 DB: More of the usual lines on crime and terrorism - with specific reference to Grayling and Grieve unfortunately...

15:15 JF: More good school places was the name of a pamphlet written by the head of policy for the Tories for Policy Exchange. Birth should never be a barrier is the message.

15:16 DB: "I am passionately in favour of out United Kingdom"

15:18 DB: End of ID cards gets a huge round of applause

15:19 DB: Passing reference to Climate Change and its importance.

15:22 DB: References to the broken politics. It is polticians who must change to effect a change in the nature and size of government; it's an extension of the individual and collective responsibility argument. But he doesn't elaborate beyond the spare remarks of Clegg and Brown on the subject. Missed opputunity to reach the dissatisifed national audience.

15:24 JF: Did Cameron just commit to trying to repatriate powers from the EU?

15:30 DB: The last section is a forceful piece of rhetoric - despite all the pain, the view will be worth it. Cameron is tough, serious, realistic and honest. Not at all a novice: "I am ready to be tested".

This was a sombre speech that matches the mood of the nation, but it was visionary. He repeated "I see..." a number of times. It's philosophical underpinning is that government contributes to decline and is actually driving it. Collective responsibilty is the solution. It was an audition to be Prime Minister; I would be amazed if it's unsuccessful.