David Cameron addressed the Conservative Spring Conference in London this morning. It was a wide ranging speech but he started with the topical news about lower taxation.

“From tomorrow….millions of people will open their pay packets to find they are paying less tax – or no income tax at all….and that’s because we are raising the tax threshold – so you will not pay income tax on a single penny you earn up to £10,000.

From tomorrow….almost every business and charity in the land that employs someone will get a tax cut too.

I have written to more than a million of them to say: keep more of what you earn, grow, invest, take on more staff…because we are cutting your National Insurance bills by up to £2000.

This comes at the end of a week when we cut corporation tax to 21 per cent…the lowest for any G7 country, making British the best place to invest.”

Later he said that “governments who waste your money, as they have in the past, are little more than white collar thieves.”

Certain cabinet ministers were singled out for praise by name – George Osborne, Michael Gove, Theresa May, Jeremy Hunt and William Hague. In a shift of tactics UKIP were criticised rather than ignored.

Margaret Thatcher was also menntioned amidst a rallying message for the local elections warning of the consequences of Labour rule:

Like the Labour council in Derbyshire.

Last May, they won the council.

Just weeks later, they awarded themselves a pay rise of £3,000.

And then, to top it off – they gave £40,000 to a left-wing group which had printed T-shirts celebrating the death of Lady Thatcher.

A despicable, disgusting act.

Let’s remember what she said: “The trouble with Socialism is that eventually you run out of other people’s money” …

On the Scottish independence referendum, Mr Cameron’s said of Alex Salmond:

“He says it’s going to be all change…then he says he wants to keep the Lottery, the pound and the Bank of England.

It’s like someone asking for a divorce and then saying “but do you mind if I keep the joint bank account and credit card?”

While he repeated some familiar themes about the “long term economic plan” he added “we’re just high-powered bean counters.” The message was not just about competence but morality:

“As Edmund Burke said: society is a “partnership… between those who are living, those who are dead, and those who are to be born.”

We’re Conservatives.

We pass on something better – not an I.O.U note and a load of debt.

So if my children ever ask: “What did you do in the Great Recession Dad?”….I won’t say we were cowards who passed the buck…but that we did the difficult thing, the right thing – and cleared up the mess.

The conclusion was one of Reaganesque optimism adapted to the cause of British patriotism. “Great Britian is coming back,” proclaimed the Prime Minister:

We always recover from adversity

.…whether it was Churchill standing up to the Nazis

…or Thatcher nursing the sick man of Europe back to health.

…this is the come-back country of world history – and we’re doing it again.

…coming through a hard time and coming through stronger…

…brilliant, brave, buccaneering, beating the odds…

No new policy announcements but certainly letting in plenty of sunshine.