Here is my favourite section of a speech that delighted the Tory faithful:
"Some of us stood here thirty years ago with Margaret Thatcher. We, Gordon, backed her when she rescued our country in the face of every denunciation and insult from the likes of you. Margaret Thatcher would never have devastated the pension funds of this nation, nor kicked its small businesses in the teeth. So you may fawn now at the feet of our greatest Prime Minister, but you are no Margaret Thatcher. Gordon Brown is not a conviction politician. He is a calculation politician. He calculates that people will forget who caused the current crises in our health service, our prisons and our pensions. He calculates that he can pretend to be a new government. But he is the old government, and after ten years of failure and disappointment, he cannot be the change the country needs. So, now, Conservatives, this is our opportunity, to show this week the real change that Britain needs. We live in a new world, and the old politics of Gordon Brown are no longer enough."
Caroline Spelman has told the Sunday Express that a good proportion of the party’s £10m election warchest will be used to expose Gordon Brown. The idea of painting Gordon Brown as a ‘calculation politician’ is a good one. I think it could resonate.
William Hague’s speech will have only increased his credibility as a ‘comeback Tory leader’. A poll in today’s Mail on Sunday found that 19% of the public favoured William Hague to succeed David Cameron. Boris Johnson with 10% was next. David Davis and Ken Clarke were both on 7%. Liam Fox enjoyed the support of 4% of the public. George Osborne was on 1%. Mr Hague, although 3/1 favourite, told Sky News that he never wanted to be Tory leader again.