Posts Tagged ‘Conservative conference 2012’

The Sunday review: conference season

14/10/2012, 08:00:33 AM

by Anthony Painter

The two main parties have raised their game. Admittedly, this wasn’t difficult after last year but it is the case nonetheless. Conference season 2012 has defined the 2015 fight and was, unusually, consequential. The Liberal Democrats sunk without a trace. We now have a traditional fight between a party of enterprise and individualism and a party of the people taking on unjust elites. There is real choice in politics again.

On their own terms both Ed Miliband and David Cameron delivered very good speeches. The script for Labour’s conference was that its leader would deliver another vague, unfocused, holier-than-thou address. He didn’t. It had a clear and appealing message and it re-defined him as a political voice with an ability to cut through.

Equally, the script for the Conservative conference was that, having failed to establish a convincing economic recovery, the party would simply shift back into 2001/2005 mode. In fairness, the party did shunt right with all the old classics on abortion, the right to shoot at will, human rights and fantasies about workers being traded as if they were grains of wheat. Its leader did something different: he articulated a centre-right vision of the mainstream; one that is recognisable from the Thatcher years. It was full of many of the same bogeymen: intellectuals, teaching unions, the work-shy, and so on. But its aspiration nation message is a mainstream one nonetheless.


Facebook Twitter Digg Delicious StumbleUpon