3.24pm final words:
CALL THAT ELECTION.
WE WILL FIGHT.
BRITAIN WILL WIN.
3.23pm: Massive cheers at call for Gordon Brown to call a General Election.
3.21pm: The great service that people can give this country is to go out and fight for change.
3.19pm: I am the son of a magistrate and a stockbroker. The great privilege of my upbringing wasn’t wealth, but warmth. It was my family. I had a great education and I want others to have that great education, too.
3.18pm: I’ve talked about Labour – not because they’re bad but to understand why they’ve failed.
3.17pm: National Citizens Service idea will bring nation together.
Speech now an hour long!
3.16pm: We’ll heal society in the ways Iain Duncan Smith outlined in his "great" speech yesterday.
3.14pm: Crime is number one social challenge. We won’t follow Labour’s approach of announcing things but not of seeing them through. We’ll scrap early release. We’ll reform the police. We’ll scrap targets and performance assessments so that communities get beat-based, zero tolerance policing.
3.12pm: It may not always be popular to be green but it’s right. We
must be the party of sensible, green leadership and that’s what we’ll
3.11pm: We’ll ban extremist organisations like Hizb ut-Tahrir.
We’ll scrap ID cards. We’ll replace the Human Rights Act. We’ll
defend essential liberties like jury trials.
3.09pm: There is no foreign and domestic policy anymore. There’s
national security policy. Pauline Neville-Jones gets tribute. She
helped with security policy in the days before the dodgy dossier.
3.07pm: If I become Prime Minister my top priority will be Afghanistan. He’s wrong on this in my opinion – Iraq should be number one priority for the reasons discussed here.
3.05pm: You’ve broken the nation’s covenant with the military,
Mr Brown. Conservatives will improve the leave arrangements for
servicemen. We’ll improve their families’ housing. We need separate
military wards. We’ll restore the cuts to three battalions made by
3.03pm: Big cheers as Cameron pays tribute to bravery of British troops in Afghanistan.
3.02pm: On international security we must never put party before
country. I’ve always believed in Britain’s independent nuclear
deterrent and I’m proud to have supported Labour on Trident’s renewal.
3.00pm: Immigration has brought many benefits to Britain but there
must be transitional controls on immigration from new EU countries and
controls on economic immigration from non-EU countries. Let’s always
talk about this issue in a measured way. Sensitively done.
2.59pm: If there’s an election we’ll fight Labour every step of the way on NHS cuts.
2.57pm: We need to give NHS professionals freedom from top-down controls.
2.56pm: The NHS has cared so much for my son. The extra billions
haven’t delivered because of the constant reorganisations and controls
that have demoralised nurses and doctors – the waste of projects like
the NHS super-computer.
2.54pm: Families don’t just need a tax cut but a time increase.
They need more time for helping children with homework etc. We’ll give
employees the right to work flexibly. We’ll become the party of the
2.52pm: We will end the couple penalty in the benefits system. We will recognise marriage in the tax system.
2.50pm: Best welfare provider of all is the family. It looks after
children, old people. It looks after us when we’re sick. Britain has
the worst family breakdown in Europe. The evidence is overwhelming
that family breakdown hurts children’s life chances. We can’t ignore
it. We must tackle it.
2.47pm: More people are on extreme poverty. People aren’t being
lifted out of poverty in sustainable ways. Conservative change will be
built on successful models in Wisconsin and Australia. People who get
offered a fair job and don’t accept it, will lose their benefits.
2.45pm: Freedom is not enough. We may be getting richer but our
society is getting poorer. Our second great belief is a stronger
society and stronger families.
2.44pm: Sustained applause for promise to never let Gordon Brown
escape responsibility for the damage he caused the nation’s pensions
system. Promise to introduce a lifeboat fund for people who’ve lost
2.43pm: Handsome tribute to George Osborne and his pledged action to help first time homebuyers.
2.40pm: Has a party leader ever said "pissed" in a speech before!?
DC used the word to quote the attitude of a pupil that a school
couldn’t exclude. There’ll be no ifs or buts. The Appeals Panels will
have to go. Headteachers will be able to exclude.
2.36pm: Labour have failed despite their good intentions. They’ve
failed because new schools haven’t been allowed to start up. The City
Academies are good but they need more freedoms. They’ve failed because
they don’t respect the differences between pupils.
2.35pm: Nothing is more important for our future than education. We
need discipline in schools. We need schools with setting by ability,
schools which stretch the best and we need special schools for children
with special needs.
2.33pm: Other countries in the world are cutting tax. We’ll share
the proceeds of growth to relieve the burden of tax on business.
2.32pm: I favour elected mayors and less controls on local
government. I favour abolishing Regional Assemblies and giving their
powers to local government. Bigger cheers for that than vetoing Treaty.
2.31pm: "Stop Wasting money On Pointless Gimmicks" is my advice to Gordon Brown and his citizen jury idea.
2.30pm: In the internet age – a revolution of freedom and control –
people will not be denied their say. We will give people a referendum
on the EU Treaty.
2.25pm: I believe that things can be better. I’m an optimist. I
believe that people should be given more responsibility and control
over their lives. I believe we must make our country greener and safer.
2.23pm: Brown was very cynical last week – promising things he knows
he can’t deliver. People want the politics of belief. Today I want to
say what I believe, what’s wrong with our country and how we can put it
2.22pm: Last week in Bournemouth the old politics was on display. We’d heard it all before. Lots of people in America had heard it all before!
2.21pm: Big tribute to William Hague – thanking him in terms of the friendship he’s provided.
2.18pm: The party has changed. More candidate diversity. We’ve
campaigned on the environment. We’ve put the NHS centre stage. Keeps
repeating: ‘I didn’t do that. You did that and you should be proud.’ This already starts to achieve two of my hopes for the speech: Confirming that the party is changing and that the grassroots are part of that change.
2.17pm: Begins with tribute to Margaret Thatcher.
2.16pm: He’s on stage. No autocue. No script. ‘This speech may be a bit messy but it’ll be me’.
2.15pm: Speech about to start – expected to be long (sixty minutes).
Do return at 2.30pm for a live blog of David Cameron’s speech to a very
successful Conservative Party Conference. I’m also staying in
Blackpool tonight so that I can blog the TV and radio reaction to the
speech throughout the evening. Please keep me company!