The Cameroons are leaving Birmingham with a spring in their step. David Cameron’s conference speech was the best he has delivered in years. He finally got off the mat and took on Labour’s argument about 50p and him being out of touch. His willingness to engage Ed Miliuband on his claim that he is writing cheques to millionaires was a refreshing sign of confidence in the power of Tory arguments about the relationship between the state and the individual.
Crucially, Cameron — for the first time — gave a really clear explanation of what his government is doing. He linked together education reform, welfare reform and his economic measures as part of a broader effort to make Britain more competitive.
The sentiment that ‘I’m not here to defend privilege, I’m here to spread it’ is the key to the Tories becoming a majority party again. This is, though, going to require Cameron going far further on planning—which will not be popular with many Tories. But there is no better example of the defence of privilege today than our restrictive planning rules.
Cameron paid Miliband the compliment today of replying to his speech from last week. But he did so confidently and in a way that reminded his party that he is one of their best assets.