Did interview with World at One. Turned down Simon Mayo. Journalists arrived en masse by tube. Lots of jokes that this would be the most important Conservative speech ever… in Tooting. Will Woodward of The Guardian was unimpressed at me listening to James Blunt on my iPod. Sam then showed him around his Facebook account. Had a pleasant chat with Melissa Kite. Agreed to meet her for reconciliation lunch. Took call from Newsnight. Sat with Telegraph’s Brendan Carlin. Lots of young people present. Tree logos everywhere. Started 15 minutes late.
Francis Maude chaired the event. Local candidate Mark Clarke speaks first and says that men with ten earrings are now joining party. Recruitment for one Conservative Future branch apparently increased 1000% when a Union Flag was replaced with a banner promise on global poverty. Sutton and Cheam PPC Philippa Stroud says policy review process is thorough and serious about helping most disadvantaged. Grant Schapps says Tories are winning again because they are real community champions. Michael Gove says change was necessary after three big defeats. Clintonian promise from Gove to never stop thinking about tomorrow. Sniggers from journalists. Frenetic scribbling on notepad by Quentin Letts.
David Cameron delivered the text you could read on ConservativeHome last night. He wore a purple tie. Then took questions. Activist called for emphasis on science in every policy. DC mentions Ian Taylor’s science taskforce. Michael Crick asks about grammar streams. What if people don’t want these streams? Cameron says streaming is good for children but parents could reject it. Lots of applause. Winston Mackenzie announces himself as leading Tory candidate for London Mayor. DC answers his question on crime amongst black youths. Attacks gangsta rap lyrics. One questioner asked what exactly is social responsibilty? Cameron says it’s about pubs not selling alcohol to kids, neighbours looking out for each other, business acting against crime. Gary Gibbon quotes a new Channel 4 poll showing that Tories are seen as twice as far to right as Labour is to the left. Cameron says look at the candidates that the party is selecting. Look at the NHS and green campaigns being run by local Associations. The party is changing.