On the final morning of the Tory Conference in Manchester, a relaxed British Prime Minister gave the speech everyone was waiting for. After a summary of the May election successes and having a go at Twitter, David Cameron continued with the election themes of Conservatives being the party for working people and for uniting all citizens into the One Nation concept. He praised the intake of new young MPs, specifically black, minority ethnics and women.
The nub of his speech was social reform, promising an all-out assault on poverty, a national crusade for affordable housing, improving the lack of opportunities and the “lack of social mobility” that are the reality for many. He defended the choices and decisions he has made about extremism, he inferred that the Leader of the Opposition was a security threat — rumour has it that he cannot be named within Conservative circles. Cameron seconded the Home Secretary’s stance on immigration and firmly denied that UK should subcontract the battle with ISIS to the US; instead he is beefing up UK’s military with the biggest aircraft carriers in UK history, a new class of Hunter Killer submarines, new joint strike fighter jets, improved Apache helicopters, a new fleet of drones and the ultimate insurance policy of four new Trident submarines.
Cameron acknowledged the increasingly roaring debate around UK’s membership of the European Union, by saying, “It’s got too big, too bossy, too interfering… I have no romantic attachment to the European Union and its institutions.”
The nub of his speech was social reform, promising an all-out assault on poverty, a national crusade for affordable housing, improving the lack of opportunities and the “lack of social mobility” that are the reality for many.
Cameron wants to maintain foreign investment flooding in and mocked Labour’s new economic guru Richard Murphy, who plans to print more money. Murphy’s book is called The Joy of Tax (a pun on the book The Joy of Sex). Cameron, who has read it, said, “It’s got 64 positions — and they’re all wrong.” He continued the clueless-Labour Party theme until his allocution about enabling equality (a word used more often now in Conservative vocabulary) for all without distinction. His final conviction was against extremism and all its extremities: radicals, forced marriage, segregation, FGM, and some madrasas. “No more passive tolerance in Britain,” he avowed.
Chancellor George Osborne persisted with his project of defibrillation of the northern economy, creating wealth by selling off Lloyds Bank shares to any member of the public and by his new closeness with China.
Home Secretary Theresa May laid out her asylum and immigration plans in minute detail, distinguishing carefully between economic migrants and genuine refugees. She invoked, for the first time, the “Spanish Protocol” of the Amsterdam Treaty, which allows EU member states to treat any asylum claim by a citizen of another EU country as automatically inadmissible, thus avoiding claims in Britain from people from other EU countries — like Poland and Spain — which have cost the British taxpayer over £4 million. May desires other European countries and the United Nations to review the international legal definitions of asylum and refugee status, while still letting Britain lead in standing up for the displaced and the persecuted.
Zac Goldsmith’s maiden conference speech as Conservative candidate for Mayor of London was full of charm and good ideas. He referenced Britain’s outstanding record of freedoms: free speech and the best literature in the world, freedom of religion with London’s many faiths living peacefully side by side, the freedom of thought and the endless advances in medicine and technology therein. He brandished his environmental credentials, promising attractive affordable housing developed from brownfield sites, aiming for a greener and greater London.
Boris Johnson mocked the twice beaten Labour Party by saying “They are trots and militants with vested interests and indeed interesting vests… They have the same ruthless methods as the old colonialists that they purport to despise in that they believe in divide and rule.”
Cameron reminded party members that he was not going to fight another election. Although many made much of a leadership contest, it will not take place before 2020, as Cameron says he intends to stay the full term.