Coffee House

Labour are shouting from the sidelines. It’s the Conservatives who are delivering for Britain.

5 April 2014

11:19 AM

5 April 2014

11:19 AM

Outside of a Wednesday lunchtime, most people very sensibly ignore the Punch and Judy trivia of politics. They want MPs to get on with the job: building a stronger, more competitive economy; doing justice to our vulnerable and elderly; and standing up for Britain abroad.

Today it is a Conservative team delivering those things. We are in Government. We have a long-term economic plan. And it is working.

It was not always thus. My first run for Parliament was back in 1997. I remember canvassing in the pouring rain, miserably. The mood on the doorstep wasn’t much better. The campaign was long and fruitless. A tense election night was spent hoping I had done enough not to lose my deposit.

In 2001, I got beaten again, this time in the more hopeful Hertfordshire seat of Welwyn Hatfield: which I would later win in 2005 with a majority of just under 6,000 and then again in 2010 with a 17,423 majority. But, nationally, back in 2001 we won just one extra seat. We fought like tigers, but clawed back just one per cent at the polls. The prospect of a Conservative PM seemed like a distant and impossible dream.

We must never, never forget that period of our party’s history – or how far we have travelled since then.

Today, in 2014, at Conservative Spring Forum (fully booked I am pleased to say, with a waiting list for spare tickets!) we can be proud of what Conservatives are doing for the country:

·         Having taken difficult decisions on spending, George Osborne has just delivered the biggest personal and business tax cuts for two decades. We are now at a record 30 million people in a job, working towards full employment.


·         William Hague has worked with the Prime Minister to cut the EU Budget for the first time, get Britain out of Labour’s expensive Eurozone bail outs, and press for real change Europe. As he has said, only the Conservatives will give you that referendum. Labour and the Lib Dems won’t and UKIP can’t.

·         Iain Duncan Smith is capping benefits to make work pay, and protecting pensioners with the most generous rises in our State Pension’s history. Never again will we see Labour’s insulting 75p increases. 

·         Eric Pickles is working with Town Halls to freeze council tax (having seen it double under Labour) and has relaunched Margaret Thatcher’s Right To Buy, to help families be more financially secure. Last year, 10,000 social tenants have become homeowners as a result.

·         Patrick McLoughlin has tripled the investment in Britain’s motorways and major A-roads. He is on track to resurface 80 per cent of our national roads, and is pushing through the biggest programme of road investment since the 1970s.

·         Michael Gove has given radical new freedoms to teachers in over 3,600 schools, through a huge expansion in the Academy Programme. Combined with a rigorous new focus on Maths and English, this will help more children to reach their full potential.

·         Theresa May has worked with the Police to cut crime by more than 10 per cent, and is now bringing in new laws to stamp out the appalling crime of slavery, where brothels and illegal drugs farms abuse women and children against their will.

·         Philip Hammond has eliminated Labour’s £38 billion black hole in the defence budget, and now built in a small annual surplus. This means our Armed Forces can get the equipment they need to do their jobs and have confidence for the future.

·         Jeremy Hunt is bringing back the family doctor, with named GPs and transparency for the first time in our NHS, as well as making huge strides in the battle against long-term conditions like Alzheimer’s.

There are other notable examples, from Chris Grayling’s mandatory life sentences for serious violent offenders, to Greg Clarke’s City Deals, to Francis Maude’s elimination of waste in Whitehall.

But the key point is this. Other parties are shouting from the sidelines. Barely a day goes by without Ed Miliband dreaming up some new gimmick. But it is us Conservatives who are delivering for Britain: not just in one narrow area but across the whole, broad, sweeping terrain of Government.

At the Conservative Spring Forum today, we should remember: David Cameron has rebuilt us into a party of Government again. A national party, on the side of the whole country rather than just one part of it. A party with a strong team, a plan to secure Britain’s future, and a hunger to deliver it. We have come a long way indeed.

Grant Shapps is MP for Welwyn Hatfield and Conservative Party Chairman. He was Housing Minister from 2010-2012.  

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Show comments
  • bwims

    If the people who comment on the Spectator and Telegraph blogs are a representative sample of Tory voters, your party is toast, Shapps.

    Your only hope is to defenestrate the slimy weasel and make a deal with Farage, don’t you get it?

  • ohforheavensake

    So what are you delivering? Beer? Or is it Bingo?

  • the viceroy’s gin

    Yes, you’re delivering “them” what “they” want (you imagine).

    That’s why you Camerluvvie muppets are 13 months away from being whacked, lad.

  • Rhoda Klapp8

    ” The prospect of a Conservative PM seemed like a distant and impossible dream.”

    Still does.

  • paulus

    Every battle is won before it is fought, a solid record of achievement against the blackest hole we have ever faced. More must be done to transform this country into the greatest one to live in on the earth.

    I was reading recently that workers in London enjoyed a wage six times that of the venetians by the turn of the 19th Century, Venice maybe a paradise built on a lagoon but London was a place to work if you wanted to create your own version of heaven within your four walls.

  • country_exile

    A truly appalling man. One of the reasons I left the party. Vote UKIP.

  • Chingford Man

    Why does Grant Shapps always remind me of a lettings agent?

    • Two Bob

      More like a pimp

  • KathrynBMartinez

    What could possibly have changed, I wonder. Are these new laws necessary because the last ones were repealed? I think that might have at least made the news. Funny the things that don’t get reported these days.

  • Chris Lawton

    Excellent bit of FICTION there – I give you that! I will be voting LABOUR in May 2015! BTW you forgot to mention foodbanks, suicides, increased poverty and ATOS.

  • Tom Tom

    Who are you today Grant ? Like Mr Benn you have many identities

  • Surlautobus

    Delivering for Britain.
    That sound bite has being truly mullered by Maria Miller now. Population returns to seeing Conservatives as ‘Delivering for Us’. UKIP probably gains even more voters.
    Face palm.

  • CharlietheChump

    Just think what the economy would look like if VAT was at 5% and not the crippling 20%?

  • Colin

    “Philip Hammond has eliminated Labour’s £38 billion black hole in the defence budget,”

    Yes, but mainly by eliminating our defence capability. You delusional tw@t!

  • Gareth

    Well I’m glad you’ve finally worked out the difference between being the Opposition and the Party of Government. Well done you!

  • Lady Magdalene

    Oh look. A photograph of the Conservative Quislings who want our governance kept in Brussels, where they voted to assign it – without a mandate to do so.

    • country_exile

      The guilty men (and she-persons).

  • Kitty MLB

    Athough I cannot stand Shapps myself as he is an example
    of Cameron not understanding his grassroots.
    I agree, compare Osborne, May,IDS, and the excellent
    Michael Gove with their inferior opposite numbers,
    there is no comparison, and considering Camerons
    other choices he should be grateful for there few people.
    Because by making such wrong choices in some areas
    and by defending the wrong people , he is somewhat erroneous.
    When is he going to defend hardworking high earners.
    He should be grateful that his opposition are utterly unexeptable
    and unelectable but the Conservatives must sharpen
    up their act for when UKIP defeat Labour and are the
    official opposition in the HOC.

  • George Igler

    “Theresa May has worked with the Police to cut crime by more than 10 per cent, and is now bringing in new laws to stamp out the appalling crime of slavery, where brothels and illegal drugs farms abuse women and children against their will.”

    And here was me thinking that slavery was already illegal, and hasn’t existed in this country since laws were brought in against it in about 1833. What could possibly have changed, I wonder. Are these new laws necessary because the last ones were repealed? I think that might have at least made the news. Funny the things that don’t get reported these days.

  • ButcombeMan

    Maria Miller, what is she doing?

  • jray

    I always wondered where I could find a complete list of Village Idiots!

  • Des Demona

    You forgot to mention cheaper beer and bingo.
    What wiv me increased VAT, the bedroom tax, one kid losing his EMA and the other having his tuition fee tripled, that penny orf a pint is a godsend.
    Gor bless yer Guv yer a real toff an that’s a fact!

    • George_Arseborne

      Good one. He actually delivered as a con businessman. Michael Green

  • Jim_Watford

    Delivering what for who? I see precious little change for ordinary people.

  • Frank

    Oh do shut up you ignoble little man. With just a little bit of luck you will be swept into obscurity at the next general election and then you can go back to selling your self-help books with bogus “genuine readers”.
    As for David Cameron rebuilding the tories into the party of government, one can only laugh. DC has engendered and presided over the most fractured tory party for decades

    • Kitty MLB

      How is the rebuilding of Labour going? With
      Ed Sillibland reconecting Labour Party with
      All those betrayed Old Labour voters
      Whose lives they wrecked with the failed
      multiculturalism agenda. Not too well,
      UKIP will destroy Labour…

      • Frank

        Kitty, you may think that I am pro Labour, but I am not in any shape or form. I am just an old fashioned tory who is hacked off to the nth degree with the light weight troughers currently inhabiting the upper reaches of the tory party. To be unable to see that having Grant Shapps as your part chairman is inappropriate is (to put it mildly) astonishing. The reality is that the tory party has had a major fault line running down its middle ever since Maggie over Europe. It is about time this situation was addressed (and UKIP seems likely to be the catalyst).
        As for Labour, they are an utter disgrace as the official opposition, and it fills me with horror that they might get in because that pious prat Clegg refused to let the boundary commission update the constituency boundaries (very democratic of him!). The only bright hope is that Len Mcclusky will pull apart the labour party and that is arguably just what it needs post Blair/Brown.

        • Kitty MLB

          Oh, I do apologise. You are a fellow traditional Tory,
          just so used to battling everyone now. Totally agree with
          you. Cameron appears to be a Prime Minister without a party, after spending years mowing down the grassroots,
          and yet he must some how reconnect with us.
          Also Cleggie wishes to hold all the cards and hope for constant coalition. But I cannot honestly see Miliband as PM,
          after over 3 years he has not made any inroads and now
          he has UKIP snapping at his heels and I am sure after
          the debate last week that Old Labour voters and
          Len McClusky will be very impressed with Mr Farage.

          • Frank

            Thank you. Papers today say that our esteemed leader is very cross that people are questioning his judgement!!

            • Kitty MLB

              indeed he that is always right. We even had our
              wonderful party chairman Grant Shapps waffling
              away on the radio this morning in the same vein.
              Anyone might think they wanted to lose
              an election next year…

    • sarah_13

      Mr Shapps, I am a Tory voter and I simply don’t understand why when you have a Tory MP on Questions time he completely missed the prime opportunity when Mr Farage was mentioned and after Camilla the journalist made the excellent points that politicians by attacking Mr Farage just annoy people because there are serious issues we want to discuss, whether or not we want to leave or not, Why did he not say ” …and we the Tory party are the only party who is offering that opportunity to discuss this matter in a referendum in 2017!” What a wasted opportunity. And that is the story of the Tory party.

      If as Diane Abbot suggested on This Week your strategy is to insult Mr Farage I would seriously think again, The ugly sight of Mr Clegg insulting Farage personally just put the British people off. We don’t need to be told about Mr Farage’s personal failings, like children in a bad divorce that only turns us against the messenger, we want to discuss the issues. Clegg diminished himself and only gave Mr Farage sympathy.

  • Chingford Man

    Why no mention of gay marriage in this list of “achievements”?

    • Kitty MLB

      And so he should…

    • monty61

      Or the trebling of government debt in a parliament, the creation of an unsustainable housing boom, the attempt to foist state control on a free press, the bizarre tax hike on 100-150k earners which reduces again afterwards, the pasty tax etc etc.

      That’s not to say Labour would be any better but the fact remains that barring a very few good things (some of the education changes for example) this Government has been a near unmitigated disaster, incompetents led by idiots, Shapps amongst them.

      • Smithersjones2013

        Or indeed the extension of Labour’s policy of permitting net average immigration of 200,000 per annum adding another 1 million to the population further exacerbating the pressure on and cost of the accommodation market, overloading public sector services and creating excessive demand in the labour market undermining earnings.

        Shapps is a clown in the David Brent mode and CCHQ is as dysfunctional as the Office…………

  • GraveDave

    Iain Duncan Smith is capping benefits to make work pay,

    Yes, when put like that it sounds marvellous .Shame about the collateral damage. Wanker.

  • P.chi ki wan

    Is the photo from the Muppet show

    • Chingford Man

      Now that’s unfair to the Muppets, who at least bring joy to people unlike the wretched Brussels-loving Tories.