Alex Massie

The Boy Dave Done Good

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It's just like old times, ain't it? The Sun wading in behind the Tory leader. The paper's leader today has a headline Tory HQ would have written themselves: He's Ready. The Sun says:

DAVID Cameron finally stood up yesterday and showed what he is made of.

Gone was the show pony politician. In his place emerged a tough leader, a young but credible statesman with potent ideas for rebuilding our nation.

Mr Cameron said the words his party wanted to hear. He echoed their hero, Margaret Thatcher, calling for “strong defence, sound money and the rule of law”.

The Tory leader insisted there would be “no new dawns, no overnight transformations”.

“I am a man with a plan, not a miracle cure,” he said.

He addressed the concerns of many voters outside the conference hall — State meddling, the welfare culture, the explosion of “senseless, barbaric violence”.

But it will be the reaction of Sun readers that counts in the end.

This speech could have been lifted straight from a Sun editorial — from backing Our Boys on the front-line to mending Britain’s broken society.

Our readers want more classroom discipline, support for families and tax help for married couples. That, said Mr Cameron, is what they will get...

This was a powerful, coherent speech, addressing hard economic questions with sensible solutions.

Is he up to the job? The Labour-leaning BBC was not impressed . . . always a good sign.

Far from looking like a “novice”, Mr Cameron delivered the most confident and compelling speech of the political season.

“You can’t PROVE you are ready to be Prime Minister — it would be arrogant to pretend you can,” said Mr Cameron.

And he’s right. The Tory Party has come a long way under his leadership. There is much still to be done.

But with this nail-hammering performance, he showed he is more than qualified to give it a try.

Newspapers - not even the Currant Bun, despite it's claims otherwise - rarely define elections. But The Sun's backing can't hurt. And, more importantly, it's another sign that Gordon is leading Labour off a cliff.

PS: How effective was Cameron yesterday? Well, even Simon Heffer loved his speech.

Written byAlex Massie

Alex Massie is Scotland Editor of The Spectator. He also writes a column for The Times and is a regular contributor to the Scottish Daily Mail, The Scotsman and other publications.

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