Gordon Brown’s old politics has been on show in the last 24 hours. He promised to tell Parliament about troop withdrawals but made his announcement in Iraq. He implied 1,000 more troops would be home by Christmas when only 250 extra troops would be returning from Iraq. He failed to take print journalists with him to his Basra photo opportunity – unwilling to expose himself to their scrutiny.
In his speech today – drawing on the themes of this video – David Cameron will attempt to contrast Brown’s old politics with his own programme of long-term change. This extract from David Cameron’s speech has been released to the media by way of preview:
"This is a new Conservative Party with new priorities. There’s been a lot of talk about lurching, so let me make it clear – no lurch to the right, no lurch to the left. There’s only one direction for me and that’s forward to the future. A clear balanced programme of change for the long term, optimism about what Britain can be, hope for the next generation. That means understanding that we live in a new world and that the old politics isn’t working."
I’ve written about my own hopes for the big speech in today’s Guardian. I’ll judge the speech by its ability to (1) rally the grassroots; (2) demonstrate that David Cameron hasn’t abandoned his change programme but that recent events have been a rebalancing not a rightwards lurch; and (3) present David Cameron as the candidate of hope and progress.