There is no rest for the Prime Minster. After delivering his speech on immigration in
Romsey this morning, there was another to deliver, 62 miles away in Woking, this afternoon. This second CamSpeech of the day was billed as a scene-setter for the local elections — and so it
proved. Rather than dwelling on a single policy area, the main purpose was to rattle through 101 reasons to vote Tory on 5 May.
If there is anything to be taken from the text, it is just how upfront and unapologetic it is. There is little room for nuance, but plenty of room for sweeping, and forceful attacks, on Labour.
This passage stood out:
"I think we should remember how far we’ve come. We inherited an economy built on the worst deficit, the biggest housing bubble, the most leveraged banks, the most indebted
households, the most out-of-control public spending, and the most unsustainable immigration. And you can add to that an education system dumbed down and a welfare system messed up.
Once again Labour didn’t so much run our country as run our country into the ground. And once again it has fallen to this party to come in, to clear up the mess and to give our country
the leadership she needs."
But there are many more like it. On the public finances, "we’ve got to get a grip on this debt before it gets a grip on us." On pensions, "the scandal of Labour’s 75 pence rise in
the pension will never, ever happen again." On the military … well, you get the picture.
Cameron also bashed the "wrong, wrong, wrong" option of AV, which is unsurprising given the proximity of the referendum. But it’s still fairly strange, after a year of coalition, to see
the Prime Minister flipping back into campaign mode. When it came to dishing out credit to coalition ministers, he highlighted George Osborne, Michael Gove and Philip Hammond — not a Clegg,
nor an Alexander, among them. Party hostilities have clearly resumed, even if only temporarily.
UPDATE: PoliticsHome have spotted some funny similiarites between this speech and Cameron’s
effort in Wales recently.