Iain Dale: "I think this speech struck the right balance, It wasn’t heavy on detail on the issue of what the Conservatives would do to prevent the recession. In my view it is too late to do that anyway, all any government can do is to mitigate some of its effects. Cameron outlined a few measures but didn’t go further. I understand that there will be further speeches doing this over the next few weeks. If you are a wise politician you don’t announce everything all at one, because if all you do is repeat announcements, the media loses interest."
Fraser Nelson: "Britain is facing a tsunami of unemployment, two years of recession if we’re lucky and what do the Tories have to say? They’ll set up a new quango, and try to tinker with council tax."
Guido: "There is no "responsible" route out of recession – we need radical action to rescue the economy. We need a growth package and we need it fast, the sooner it is in place the quicker we will be out of recession. On the back of an envelope Guido reckons raising tax thresholds £1000 will cost £20 billion or so per annum. It will boost household incomes accordingly, putting money into the economy the best way, not via the state, but from spending decisions by those hard pressed families politicians are always on about."
Iain Martin: "The immediate difficulty the Tories have is that they seem to have too little to say about measures which might mitigate the impact of the recession. This was illustrated on the Today programme this morning when Shadow Chancellor George Osborne got something of a doing, in Glaswegian parlance, from the usually mild-mannered Sarah Montague. Yes, yes, she said but what would you do differently right now from the government? Er…"
Paul Waugh: "Perhaps more interesting, was his attempt to redfine Toryism in relation to the state. He said: "The central political idea underlying my Conservatism is the idea of responsibility". So far, so Cameroonian. But then the Tory leader added: "Not freedom, which some may wrongly assume is the animating force of Conservatism, but responsibility." That sounds like a pretty sweeping re-writing of Tory history – which has long had a tension between liberty and authoritarianism. Thatcherites may not be pleased to hear that Freedom is being relegated. Why couldn’t he say that BOTH freedom and responsibility were central to Conservatism?"