Saturday, April 08, 2006

Turn and face the change....

If this post could have a soundtrack it would be David Bowies 'Changes'. Change being the word that Cameron used a not insignificant 24 times in Manchester today.

The Conservative spring conference being held oop north was a fact on which Mr Cameron seized. He declared his cabinet awash with ' good, gritty, northern common sense'. This before proceeding to procur messrs Davis and Hague as guardians of this intuitive gem.

You can read the full speech here. Not that it actaully contains much. The longest paragraph consisting of two sentences. The rest rhetoric laden stuff about change, challenge and Britain's future. It's all painstakingly Blair. I'm sure thats the last thing we want.

There were one or two inklings of policy in the speech. Pensioners will have been pleased to hear Mr Cameron focusing on the plight of carers. The ears of teachers will have pricked up at talk of empowerment. Working families will have nodded in agreement at the difficulties of arranging and affording childcare. Also Mr Cameron hit a nerve with quite close to home for myself, talking about the worry of rising house prices for first time buyers.

However the mentions of policy did not sound very new or very changed. Infact whilst Cameron chastised Labour for jumping on his campaigns I feel it would be only far to point out the following. Shared home ownership, devolution, raising the retirement age, education reform, childcare credits are all Labour government initiatives. If Cameron wishes to proceed with those then this will not represent too much of a change.

So still we see no real and different policies from Cameron'd Conservatives. He echoes the Labour policy of the noughties with the media strategies of the 90's. Spot the second politician 'in the driving seat'. Many people feel frustrated that Blair has not delivered enough change from the Tory years. Not satisfied by steady economic growth, low unemployment, a minimum wage they want more. With Cameron it seems they will get more, of the same.

The only real change might be a right wing hue to government policy compared to todays arguably left wing one.


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