Conservative Conference

October 2, 2013 by  

Conservative Conference, 11.17 Cameron on the EU – And some people say a lot of things on Europe. You’ll never be able to veto an EU treaty. You’ll never cut the Budget. And if you did these things you’d have no allies in Europe. Well we’ve proved them wrong. I vetoed that treaty. I got Britain out of the EU bail-out scheme and yes, I cut that budget.

And in doing all this, we haven’t lost respect, we’ve won allies to get powers back from Europe. That is what we will do and at the end of it, yes, we will give the British people their say in a referendum. That is our pledge. It will be your choice: in or out.

11.14 From James Kirkup in the auditorium:

Maybe it’s the TV feed, but on the big screens in the hall, Mr Cameron looks tired: unusually for a man who generally looks smooth and energetic even when he’s knackered, there are dark shadows under his eyes today. A show of sympathy for those hardworking people?

11.13 There was laughter in the hall as the PM’s video illustrated the best of British business with footage of loaves on a conveyor belt in a bakery, writes James Kirkup. Anyone know how much they cost?

An audience member shouted out “Happy Birthday”. “You’re a week early”, Cameron replied.

11.12 Cameron gets the conference slogan in straightaway, beginning by saying the Conservatives are the party of hardworking people. He lists the Government’s achievements so far:

Helping young people buy their own home. Getting the long-term unemployed back to work. Freezing fuel duty. Backing marriage. Cutting the deficit. Creating jobs. Creating wealth. Make no mistake: it is this Party with the verve, energy and ideas to take our country forward.

Make no mistake, it is this party with the verve, energy, and ideas to take this country forward.

11.09 David Cameron is up.

11.02 The last of these four young speakers is just 12 years old and by far the least nervous of all. She is telling delegates about her free school and its rigorous discipline and curriculum. Her favourite subject are english, maths, and science. Michael Gove looks utterly enraptured.

10.54 Baroness Warsi, who now has one of the longest job titles in the business – Senior Minister of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs in the Foreign and Commonwealth Office and Minister for Faith and Communities – stands up to introduce some young speakers. She jokes about a “young opiniated yorshire lad that burst on to the scene” in 1977. She means, of course, William Hague.

I’m pretty sure we all went away thinking ‘now there’s a pretty old young man’, but having worked with him on a daily basis now I can tell you that he has grown up into a ‘pretty young old man’.

Warsi pays tribute to Baroness Thatcher – Mrs T – saying “there is no one that backed children like our late, great Margaret Thatcher.

She knew that if we didn’t saddle them with debt but gave them the key to unlock their future, they would stand tall.

For your enjoyment, here is that WIlliam Hague speech once again.

10.46 Davidson is making the best of a bad job, writes my colleague James Kirkup.

Her slot as warm-up act for David Cameron means she gets a rare chance to speak to a large audience of non-Scots, and she’s made the most of the opportunity with an impressive speech here.

It’s enough to make you wonder if there’s a future for her in Conservative politics at a UK level, once next year’s independence referendum is done.

After all, Miss Davidson is only 34. What odds on her one day sitting at the Cabinet table in London?

10.44 I’ll post more detail from Ruth Davidson speech when I have a transcript. She just took a swipe at Alex Salmond over his claim that Nato operations in Kosovo – in which Scottish troops took part – were an “unpardonable folly”. Salmond’s comment was an “unpardonable slur”, says Davidson.

She described before that how she had been embedded with Scottish regiment the Black Watch in Kosovo during her time as a journalist, and that they served proudly with the Union flag on their arm. As did troops from Wales, she says.

10.37 Ruth Davidson, Leader of the Scottish Conservatives, is up now. She says the choice on Scottish independence is “vital and binding” and that if Scotland leaves the union it can’t be undone. She says she wants to focus on the effect of independence on England, rather than Scotland.

10.33 Boris Johnson on LBC Radio – summary

On returning to parliament. Johnson said he he has not decided whether to stand as an MP but didn’t rule it out.

Tony will you forgive me if I just say I understand why people are interested. I would like to have a career either as a romantic novelist or a tight-end prop for England. These things are unlikely to happen. Because the honest truth is I don’t know. I don’t know and I’ve got to get on with being Mayor of London.

On the Daily Mail/Ed Miliband row: Johnson said he would have ‘fired back’ if one of his relatives had been ‘beaten up’ by the media and cast some doubt on the validity of the Mail’s piece.

I cannot accurately calibrate the justice or wisdom of what they said about Ed Miliband’s father, I don’t really have enough data to go on. Indeed I didn’t actually read the entire opening salvo. What he actually said I think as a 17 year old in his diary was some of the English are so nationalist that they could do with a kick in the bands, or something like that. Whether you want to hold someone’s teenage scribblings against them ever afterwards, and indeed to impute a lack of patriotisim, I don’t know.

On Cameron’s speech: Boris agreed with the briefed-out bit in which Cameron says “profit is not a dirty word”.

I think the reason David Cameron is having to make that elementary point in his speech today is because the Labour party is moving so far to the left now and taking on such a strong anti-business rhetoric, that you really wonder how on earth they think the welfare state or our schools or hospitals and everything else is going to be financed.

Quotes two and three from Politics Home.

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