This post s out-sourced to the almost-always-brilliant Hopi Sen who, despite being an incorrigible Labourite, has written a speech for David Cameron to deliver at next week’s Tory conference that is almost certainly better than the speech the Prime Minister will actually give.
Among the many choice cuts:
Mr Miliband spoke of Disraeli’s speech in Manchester.
He spoke about it. I read it.
I understood then why he was inspired. It must have sounded oddly familiar to him.
Here is Disraeli on a dying radical government:
“Extravagance was being substituted for energy… The unnatural stimulus was subsiding. Their paroxysms ended in prostration. Some took refuge in melancholy… their eminent chief alternated between a menace and a sigh.”
Well, some things never change, I suppose.
Left wing governments end in extravagances, menaces and sighs. Then Conservatives are faced with the hard task of national reconstruction – and are savaged for their pains.
It’s always the way, I think. Tory traditions are praised, old Tory heroes beatified. But the Tories cleaning up current mess today? Well, they are lower than vermin.
If our opponents think we Conservatives govern out of malice, I can only shake my head at their childishness.
But I won’t return the insult.
The choice we face is not really between left or right.
Not between cruel or compassionate.
Not even between toff or marxist.
The choice is between a nation built to last or a country on the never-never.
It is between an economy built on real growth, or one always reliant on perhaps, perhaps, perhaps.
Whatever we get wrong, the way forwards cannot be the reckless desperation of the gambler playing with other people’s money.
That’s why we’re in this mess.
The way we choose instead is the steady path of nurturing, helping, supporting the long neglected, hard pressed, too long ignored entrepreneurs, innovators, technologists and business men and women of this country.
Is this way easy? No.
You have to actually make hard choices, not just talk about them.
We reduce the deficit, so we do not burden businesses with higher interest rates in years to come.
We cut pointless regulations, not because we blame workers but because workers need job creators.
We protect spending on science, on research because these will create the products we need to sell to the world.
We spend on infrastructure, we start the green investment bank the last government only talked about because these are the keys to the future.
We cut taxes on businesses, so they can prosper and create prosperity for others. We help investors in innovation. We take every chance we can to bring new business to Britain.
And I tell you in all candour: We even put up with Brussels so we can keep the Single Market.
And where we can, where it’s responsible, and careful, we cut taxes on the lowest paid, so people have a little more money in their pocket.
We make mistakes, I freely admit.
Only a con-man tells you he’s perfect.
We sometimes do things in the wrong order, or not enough. I know that. I feel it when people wish we could do more.
Some people say “You cut tax too much”.
To which I say, but should Britain really tax more heavily than Socialist France?
Some say “You don’t cut enough”: but we need to spend on innovation, on infrastructure.
Have we got everything right? No.
Some cuts were too harsh, and we have reversed them.
But in government you don’t get to avoid painful decisions with a catchphrase. You have to stand up.
Yet for all the difficulties, because of all the choices we made, we can now see the first foundations of a rebuilt Britain emerging.
A million more private sector jobs. Tens of thousands of new businesses. Unemployment falling. Inflation falling. Interest rates low, our credit rating secured. New Academies and Technical Schools opening. Apprenticeships increasing. Investment slowly recovering.
Is this task easy? Of course not. Nothing worthwhile is ever easy.
We have had to disappoint people.
There’s lots more that’s really rather excellent. Do pop over to Hopi’s place and have a read of the whole thing.