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Conservative conference: Shapps pushes ‘shy’ Tories to shout out about their achievements

7 October 2012

4:58 PM

7 October 2012

4:58 PM

Grant Shapps used his speech this afternoon to the Conservative party conference to encourage Tories to not be shy. It’s not a charge you could level at the Conservative party co-chair himself, especially after he devoted the first section of his speech to talking about himself and his own election battles. He also revealed to the conference ‘exactly’ what David Cameron had told him on reshuffle day:

‘The day of the reshuffle I went to see the Prime Minister in Downing Street, and today I can reveal precisely what he said. “Grant, you’ve got one task as chairman, get out there and kick-start our campaign, rally the troops, take the fight to Labour and help us win in 2015.”‘

One of the things Shapps wants to do is to build up the confidence of the Conservative party to go out and boast about its achievements. He listed policy victories that the party was failing to sell to the public:

‘Why don’t we spend enough time explaining the good things we’ve done, in impossible circumstances? Why are we the shy tories? How many people know we’ve cut a quarter off the deficit? Cut tax for 24 million people? Taken another 2 million people out of tax entirely? Do they know that 457,000 people started apprenticeships – not since the last general election – but in the last year alone? And how many people , even in this hall, let alone the country, know that, at last, thanks to Iain Duncan Smith’s Universal Credit, work will always pay?’

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It’s interesting that he emphasised the Budget announcement that the personal tax allowance will be raised: that’s something the Lib Dems like to brief was as a result of their input in the Treasury this March. And on the deficit, polling by Lord Ashcroft in July found that voters are ‘pleasantly surprised’ when they discover that it has been reduced by a quarter. So there is a lot more shouting for the party to do.

He is also mindful of the effects that shouting will have on another group of shy people. As James reveals in his column today, Shapps and his colleagues working on strategy for 2015 suspect that the phenomenon of ‘shy Tories’ – voters who are instinctively Conservative but afraid to say they will vote for the party – is back. Trumpeting the party’s achievements on policies such as tax cuts for the low paid is an important part of attempts to coax those voters towards voting blue in 2015.

But asking ‘why are we the shy Tories’ was as much a little dig from Shapps at other members of the Cabinet who stay well away from the Newsnight studio as it was a rallying call to the grassroots. He has often been branded the Minister for the Today programme: clearly he expects his colleagues to do some of the legwork, too.

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Show comments
  • Daniel Maris

    Hi, my name’s Michael Green – I want to talk to you tonight about timeshare investments…the royal road to a secure and prosperous future…. 🙂

    • Daniel Maris

      Judging by the Channel 4 news tonight, I was not far wrong with that post.

      His website was selling out of copyright books freely available on the web.

      Now his wife, who took over this supposedly legitimate business has suddenly closed it down.

  • 2trueblue

    Firstly you have to get the media to report things as they are, not with a totally left slant. Very hard to get past the BBC and most media who are so far to the left, and a lot of it we are forced to pay for.

    Last week we had Liebores conference lauded as the greatest thing since sliced bread. Fantastic bits of journalistic skills were used to present us with their opinion of how the party shaped up, having destroyed anything decent in this country over the 13yrs they had the opportunity to make it a better place. That was fantastic.

    Youth employment rocketed. teenage parenthood rocketed, education standards plummeted, child poverty grew, and they totally wrecked the economy thereby ensuring that every age group in the UK will endure falling standards of living for a generation. They presented us with a now type of accounting which unfortunately all of us are unable to employ. Off line is not a situation our bank managers accept.
    They also signed us up to daft carbon emission levels that will ensure that we will not be able to go forward in the slump using our own fuel choice. that is what Liebore did for us. That is part of their legacy to you, me, my children, and my grandchildren. The media in this country are partly responsible as they let it happen, and did not take a level view. There is a real void of journalistic skills in this country.

    The above are rarely mentioned by the media.

  • 2trueblue

    Firstly you have to get the media to report things as they are, not with a totally left slant. Very hard to get past the BBC and most media who are so far to the left, and a lot of it we are forced to pay for.

    Last week we had Liebores conference lauded as the greatest thing since sliced bread. Fantastic bits of journalistic skills were used to present us with their opinion of how the party shaped up, having destroyed anything decent in this country over the 13yrs they had the opportunity to make it a better place. That was fantastic.

    Youth employment rocketed. teenage parenthood rocketed, education standards plummeted, child poverty grew, and they totally wrecked the economy thereby ensuring that every age group in the UK will endure falling standards of living for a generation. They presented us with a now type of accounting which unfortunately all of us are unable to employ. Off line is not a situation our bank managers accept.
    They also signed us up to daft carbon emission levels that will ensure that we will not be able to go forward in the slump using our own fuel choice. that is what Liebore did for us. That is part of their legacy to you, me, my children, and my grandchildren. The media in this country are partly responsible as they let it happen, and did not take a level view. There is a real void of journalistic skills in this country.

    The above are rarely mentioned by the media.

    • telemachus

      It’s always the media
      I remember reading that in franco’s Spain
      Mind Rupert tried
      He joined the Chipping Norton set thru the delectable Rebecca
      You do not trumpet the trippling of the NHS budget
      The abolition of hip waiting lists for the thousands racked with pain

      • 2trueblue

        You do not mention the PFI. off line spending, the falling of standard, the worst figures for teenage pregnacies, youth unemployment explosion, hospital managers that contributed nothing to efficiency of health care…… I really haven’t got the space………

        • toni

          “George Osborne, the chancellor, is pressing ahead with private finance
          initiative (PFI) projects on a multibillion-pound scale despite having
          dismissed the infrastructure funding mechanism as “discredited” when
          he was in opposition, research has revealed.

          …61 PFI projects, worth a total of £6.9bn, have been taken forward since the
          general election. This is despite claims that private sector borrowing costs
          currently make PFI particularly poor value for money.

          Of the 61 projects being negotiated, 39 are due to be signed off this year,
          against 32 in 2008 and 38 in 2009, when Gordon Brown was prime minister.”

          Youth unemployment explosion – really Remind me of the current numbers?
          Hospital managers contributed nothing…so the answer is to close the hospitals? Sorted!

  • 2trueblue

    Firstly you have to get the media to report things as they are, not with a totally left slant. Very hard to get past the BBC and most media who are so far to the left, and a lot of it we are forced to pay for.

    Last week we had Liebores conference lauded as the greatest thing since sliced bread. Fantastic bits of journalistic skills were used to present us with their opinion of how the party shaped up, having destroyed anything decent in this country over the 13yrs they had the opportunity to make it a better place. That was fantastic.

    Youth employment rocketed. teenage parenthood rocketed, education standards plummeted, child poverty grew, and they totally wrecked the economy thereby ensuring that every age group in the UK will endure falling standards of living for a generation. They presented us with a now type of accounting which unfortunately all of us are unable to employ. Off line is not a situation our bank managers accept.
    They also signed us up to daft carbon emission levels that will ensure that we will not be able to go forward in the slump using our own fuel choice. that is what Liebore did for us. That is part of their legacy to you, me, my children, and my grandchildren. The media in this country are partly responsible as they let it happen, and did not take a level view. There is a real void of journalistic skills in this country.

    The above are rarely mentioned by the media.

  • AnotherDaveB

    “the good things we’ve done”

    Would that be the increase government spending, the increase in taxation, or the increase in government regulation?

  • AnotherDaveB

    “the good things we’ve done”

    Would that be the increase government spending, the increase in taxation, or the increase in government regulation?

    • Daniel Maris

      …not it must be the increase in immigration…

  • telemachus

    Shapps is the Torie ghetto creator
    Remember as housing minister he backed plans to sell off social housing in “expensive areas”.
    Grant Shapps said that only “a perverse kind of leftwing dogma” would make you against this.
    As we all know he aims to drive working class people from “affluent areas”.
    Social cleansing is this man’s creed

    • anyfool

      You are only working class if you have worked, working class cannot afford to live in the areas he is talking about.

    • toni

      Shirley Porter started the trend, Shapps, alias shy tory Michael Green, continues it.

  • anyfool

    It is not a matter about shouting out aloud what you have done, you need to get out and shout about the lies Labour tell the same day as they spout them, not as an afterthought at a party conference.
    Whether the Tories are any good or not, they are still a better bet for this country than the Walter Mitty party of Miliband and Balls.

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