Cameron’s conference speech was written by former ice cream seller Clare Foges. Whether you believe in what Cameron’s saying or not, there is some good writing. I am, for fairly obvious reasons, rather chuffed with this extract:
“Nobody wants false optimism. And I will never pretend there are short cuts to success. But success will come: with the right ideas, the right approach, the right leadership. Leadership from government: to set out the direction we must take, and the choices we must make. But leadership also from you. Because the things that will really deliver success are not politicians or government. It’s the people of Britain, and the spirit of Britain.
Some say that to succeed in this world, we need to become more like India, or China, or Brazil. I say: we need to become more like us. The real us. Hard-working, pioneering, independent, creative, adaptable, optimistic, can-do. That’s the spirit that has made this United Kingdom what it is: a small country that does great things; one of the most incredible success stories in the history of the world.
And it’s a spirit that’s alive and well today. I see it in Tania Sidney-Roberts, the head teacher I met in Norwich who started a free school from scratch, now four times over-subscribed. Her ambition? To set up another school and do it all over again. That’s leadership.
I see it in the group of GPs in Bexley who have taken more control of their budgets, and got their patients – some of the poorest in the country – free care on Harley Street. Their ambition? To cut waiting times, cut costs and improve care – all in one go. That’s leadership.
And we all saw it this summer. Dan Thompson watched the riots unfold on television. But he didn’t sit there and say ‘the council will clean it up.’ He got on the internet. He sent out a call. And with others, he started a social movement.
People picked up their brooms and reclaimed their streets. So the argument I want to make today is simple: leadership works. I know how tough things are. I don’t for one minute underestimate how worried people feel, whether about making ends meet, or the state of the world economy. But the truth is, right now we need to be energised, not paralysed by gloom and fear.”
PS this is the published version – Cameron slightly fluffed the lovely rhythm of ‘I see it/ I see it/ we all saw’
PPS David Cameron saying my name out loud doesn’t automatically make me a Conservative party member. If you want to find out about my politics, take me out for coffee and I’ll tell you.