Browse Category: political speeches

Gove Vote Leave

Conviction politician Gove puts country ahead of his leader

Conviction politician Gove Goes for Leave

He did it. He actually did it. Deputy Editor of The Times. Friend, ally and Lieutenant to David Cameron on so many issues. Reforming Minister within a Cameron government. And, stealing shamelessly from Andrew Neil, he has decided to go out on a limb and put his country first.

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Debate Prep for the Leaders Debate

Leaders Debate

At last the Great Debate or the Great Bore-a-thon is with us. Guy Bentley has a useful rundown in City AM on the format and the logistics for the night, who stands where, who speaks first etc.

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eam Peter Botting CPC2014 Curryphoto

Conservative Party Conference – guest post by Danny Bowman

A Guest Post by Danny Bowman who is interning for Peter Botting.

This week in Birmingham was my second Conservative Party conference and the last conference before the General Election in 2015.

We arrived on the Saturday – Sam, myself and Peter. We joined the councillors and activists, the blue rinse brigade, the ambitious/naive/thirsty CF’ers, the lobbyists, charities, businesses and the media. The Hyatt was busy from the first night with old friends meeting up, everyone offering their shiny new business cards (I did that a lot too!) and most people enjoying a good drink. Or two. 🙂

The first day saw the annual “Hate the Torys” march – happily I didn’t hear of any violence this year. We didn’t get in the hall as Peter was focusing on the fringe events and it was my job to get him from one event to the next – which was not always easy as he keeps meeting people and I have to chase him to keep to his schedule.

Mark Reckless’s defection actually invigorated the conference and the mood seemed very buoyant from day one – and then improved. Dunkirk spirit etc.

Then saw the start of the real action with major speeches from all the Ministers. Theresa May, George Osborne, William Hague (his last speech to conference) and David Cameron were always going to be the big ticket speeches for conference. And they were all top quality. Theresa and George were serious people giving serious speeches about serious jobs. Boris was very funny and very cheeky – teasing both Theresa May and David Cameron. William Hague was classic William Hague – funny, self-deprecating and grown up. David Cameron gave the best speech he has ever given – most notable about his speech though was the huge difference between him and Ed Miliband. One is Prime Minister material – one is not. In fact, if Miliband was a Conservative it is doubtful that he would even be a PPS.

The final day saw David Cameron’s speech started with referencing the successful Scottish referendum then moved onto a fierce warning to British citizens fighting for Isis/ISIL as being “enemies of the UK”. He teased and praised William Hague, showed real anger about Labour’s attacks on his attitude to the NHS and outlined a series of significant tax cuts for people earning less than £50 000 including no income tax for people earning the minimum wage.

This was my second conference. I was working instead of playing. I drank less and listened more. This conference was very different to last year. People were much more accepting of mental health and accepting of me. In fact, for many of the people I spoke to, mental health seemed an absolutely normal and non-stigma issue to talk about.

We managed to find time to go for a curry – at Sam’s insistence. It was the best curry I have ever had. I asked for the mildest curry while Peter and Sam tried out something much hotter! Even Sam rated his curry as the tie-first place curry he has ever had and he is quite fussy and critical about food!

eam Peter Botting CPC2014 Curryphoto

Conservative Party Conference – David Cameron speech: Unanimously approved.

The David Cameron speech was eagerly awaited by his critics. He disappointed them. David Cameron’s speech was a speech of balance and political stability. It was not an aggressive table thump nor was it a dull and uninteresting lecture. Cameron’s speech was not an unrelenting attack on Labour, nor was it an unimaginitive list of policy details. It was a well written and well executed speech. Personal details were used to back up arguments, not to score points. He rightly got angry about Labour’s deceit about his attitude to the NHS, he applauded the saving of the United Kingdom and Ruth Davidson’s role in the campaign. He aggressively made it clear to British citizens fighting for ISIS that they had declared their allegiance, that they were enemies of the UK and would be treated as such.

He warned off defectors. encouraged with tax cuts for all who earn less than £50 000 a year, claimed back Conservative territory when speaking about modern day slavery, zero hours contracts and the NHS.

It was a Prime Minister giving a Prime Minister’s speech and luckily the media are now noticing and reporting on the difference between him and Miliband. Miliband is not even a competent socialist. He is a kid pretender. Without even charm or bravado. Just union money and uninspired Labour members. God help us and the world if he ever gets into Downing Street with anything more than a Visitor’s Pass.

I saw David Cameron’s first major speech – when he was bidding to be Leader. That was a great speech without notes. IT won him then leadership of the Conservative Party. This time he spoke from notes. This was a serious speech about serious times – a Prime Minister’s speech. He may well have changed the outcome of the General Election in 2015 with this speech.


Conservative Party Conference – Jeremy Hunt NHS

Jeremy Hunt NHS.

Jeremy Hunt walked out on the stage and looked and sounded a little like a wooden puppet when he started. He is in charge of a huge organisation that has huge emotional connections with the majority of the population. It also has a huge, powerful, educated and articulate union of Doctors who also has its own agenda. No surprise really then. A scary gig.

He warmed up, he told stories about real people. I have worked for Aidan Burley who is the MP for Cannock Chase and we have met patient survivors from Staffordshire Hospital and relatives of those who didn’t survive. I have heard their stories first hand and seen their pictures and their files. They are shocking in a visceral physical way. They are a shame on the NHS and the guilty people who worked there and it is right that these issues are being addressed by this government. They are also a shame and indictment on the Labour government that saw those things happen.

I was pleased he also mentioned dementia and mental health – although I think we could and should do more in these areas. But at least – because of David Cameron’s priorities – we are spending more on the NHS than Labour promised to do last week.

Conservative Party Conference – Philip Hammond: Foreign Secretary but never party leader.

Philip Hammond: Foreign Secretary but never party leader.

Like a lot of conference speeches Philip Hammond’s speech sounded more like a wannabe party leader than a cabinet member. To be fair to Hammond this is a difficult thing to avoid when discussing foreign affairs. A Foreign Secretary is required to discuss Britain’s role in the rest of the world and what the country as a whole can do to help others. When discussing the country in relation to the rest of the world it is very easy to begin to sound more like the leader of the that country – whether they wish to or not.

However Philip Hammond has an air around him that feels that he considers himself a front-runner for the party leadership. Obviously anyone as high up as Hammond is expected to at least get a look in as the next party leader, but when it comes down to it and he is facing the likes of the formidable and strategic politicians such as May, Gove, Osbourne and Boris, he is likely to be left in their dust.

There is no doubt that he is competent and is a self-made man outside politics. But unlike the Labour Party, the Conservative Party has a few football teams full of self-made people. The competition is so much tougher in the Conservative Party – the calibre of MPs and Ministers is simply higher. Hammond is the sort of guy of guy you want in Cabinet – but not necessarily leading it.

Conservative Party Conference – Boris and his Brick

Boris and his Brick

Boris Johnson’s speech at Conservative Party Conference was the kind of speech we have all come to expect from Boris. Both Boris and his Brick were funny and energetic. He simultaneously attacked Miliband and poked fun at Cameron – perhaps the only mainstream Conservative politician who can get away with that unscathed. He teased Theresa May too – cheeky and naughty kid style.

As in previous years he discussed how grand and  inspiring London is via amusing quips and anecdotes – he is a great ambassador for the city. Boris has never been one to talk about policy detail, he prefers to focus on the positives and the future and the trajectory, rather than macroeconomic policy – never mind microeconomic!

He may be called a buffoon by the opposition and the ignorant but Boris is exceptionally bright, ridiculously hardworking, very funny and is a master of delivery and playing to his strengths. He has personality and the much sought after authenticity. He is the closest thing to political Hollywood Britain has – even the most dreary conference events had queues outside if Boris was speaking at them. Many lobbying groups could save their dubiously named “refreshments” (aka expensive awful wine and mediocre-even-when-they-left-the-kitchen canapés) if they could only secure Boris as a speaker.

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