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March 3 - 9 2010 No. 971
THE WEEKLY WORLD EDITION OF The Daily Telegraph AND The Sunday Telegraph telegraph.co.uk/expat
Carling Cup heads to United
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By Andrew Porter Political Editor in Brighton DAVID CAMERON insisted this week that he has what it takes to run Britain, as he sought to reinvigorate his party’s push for power following damaging poll results.
The Conservative leader set out why he was the right man to be prime minister in a patriotic speech that acted as an appeal to voters and a battle cry for activists.
Speaking confidently without notes at the party’s pre-election conference in Brighton on Sunday, he said: “Every day that goes by I feel I have what it takes to turn this country around and get it moving again. And that is what we badly need to do.
“It’s an election we have to win because the country is in a complete mess and it’s our patriotic duty to turn it around.”
Mr Cameron warned of an “incredible dark depression” if Labour held on to power. He said that Gordon Brown and his ministers’ inability to work together had locked them in a “dangerous dance of death” which was “dragging our whole country down”.
The spectre of another term with Mr Brown in No10 has become the main focus of Mr Cameron’s campaign after the Prime Minister gradually wiped out what had appeared to be an unassailable 20-point
Tory lead 18 months ago. Despite the emergence last week of claims that he had bullied staff, Mr Brown continued his revival and appeared to have clawed back enough support to lead a hung parliament. A YouGov poll for The Sunday Times gave the Conservatives just a twopoint lead over Labour.
Mr Cameron disclosed on Sunday that the Conservative manifesto would be the most family-friendly and said that voters would know before the election what tax breaks he would offer married couples. Pensioners could also look
Reports page 4 Matthew d’Ancona page 20 Boris Johnson page 21
forward to having the earnings link restored to pensions, he said.
He told his audience: “Another five years of Gordon Brown will be a disaster for our country. I want you to think of the incredible dark depression of five more years of Gordon Brown and say ‘no, we are not going to do that’.”
Acknowledging the increasingly close fight with Labour, he said: “They don’t hand general election victories and governments on a plate to people in this country, and quite right too.
“And this election was always going to be a real fight for our party, a fight to make sure we serve the country we love and that’s the fight we are going to have.”
He admitted, just 70 days before the expected election date, that the country still had questions he needed to answer. He tried to explain what he and his party stood for, in direct response to accusations that he had not made it clear to voters.
Mr Cameron set out four areas: what sort of party the Conservatives were; what the party stood for; what specific changes he would bring about; and how driven he was to lead Britain. He said the party had modernised and was “never going back”. The change “was not some airyfairy concept”, he added.
Finally, he attempted to address the issue of his own values and why he was ready, after four and a half years as opposition leader, to become prime minister.
Mr Cameron promised a “sense of urgency” coupled with a “frankness” that would see the party confront issues such as immigration and the energy crisis head-on. He also promised that his government would bring radicalism and a “sense of optimism”.
Responding to the polls, Liam Fox, the shadow defence secretary, said: “We have always known that to win this general election would require a big swing, bigger than we have had at any time since the 1930s.”
David Cameron takes a run before Sunday’s speech. He told the audience: ‘I have what it takes to turn this country around’
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