David Cameron, the leader of Britain's Conservative Party, delivered a barn-burner speech (PDF) to his party's conference, taking the fight directly to Britain's lefty Labour Party.
With an election about seven months away, and Labour discredited with massive deficits and swelling unemployment, Cameron's party is proposing major reforms to government education and government welfare. But that is not all. He is blaming Labour directly for failing to educate children and failing to give the poor a hand up.
Who made the poorest poorer? Who left youth unemployment higher? Who made inequality greater? No, not the wicked Tories… you, Labour: you’re the ones that did this to our society. So don’t you dare lecture us about poverty. You have failed and it falls to us, the modern Conservative Party to fight for the poorest who you have let down.
I wonder if a GOP presidential candidate will be saying that to a roaring Republican National Convention in 2012 after a disastrous Obama term in office when the economy fails to respond to "stimulus" and fails to generate jobs.
Cameron's peroration is one for the ages.
I can look you in the eye and tell you that in a Conservative Britain: If you put in the effort to bring in a wage, you will be better off. If you save money your whole life, you’ll be rewarded. If you start your own business, we’ll be right behind you. If you want to raise a family, we’ll support you. If you’re frightened, we’ll protect you. If you risk your safety to stop a crime, we’ll stand by you. If you risk your life to fight for your country, we will honour you. Ask me what a Conservative government stands for and the answer is this, we will reward those who take responsibility, and care for those who can’t.
Who says that conservative is dead, or brain dead, or losing its way? I predict that you ain't seen nothing yet. And we will see in the US, in 2010 and in 2012 such an explosion of generous, patriotic, optimistic conservatism as you never imagined was possible.