Wednesday, October 04, 2006

Cameron's Second Speech

The response elsewhere to this speech has already been positive. There were two things I disliked:

1) The Minimum Wage

The Conservative Party should be highlighting new ways of helping those on low pay which act as a subsidy on their employment and lower its cost rather than a price floor which raises their cost to employers. That way we can spread the responsibility for keeping those in work living comfortably more widely through society instead of punishing employers who employ the poor.

2) The NHS

The principle Cameron set out for why we have the NHS, making it that people do not have to fear the financial cost of illness, was a noble one but is it really only the NHS which can provide this? Are the French, with an insurance based system, excluding more people?

I hope the campaign he is launching to stop NHS cuts is somewhat more imaginative.

Lots of stuff I liked:

1) Foreign policy

Still nothing much that was new but his rhetoric was much closer to the, very convincing, Fox than to the less impressive Hague. Correctly identified that this is not Northern Ireland and these are not people to negotiate with.

2) Crime

Very, very good. Highlighted the right causes of crime, social breakdown, and the right responses to crime once it had happened in making sentences count among other things. I like the Bill of Rights idea and look forward to seeing what the bill they come up with looks like.

3) Civil Partnerships

Highlighted that these should be seen as a celebration of the benefits of marriage rather than as an attack on it as an institution.

4) Tax

Hit the same notes as Osborne.

5) Restoring cabinet government

Very good. A presidential style is a thing to be careful of with the term Cameron's Conservatives being used so often.

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