This morning I was woken up by an email from the Conservative Party, offering me an exclusive “behind the scenes footage” of David Cameron preparing for his conference speech, due to take place later on today. Presumably this is not recent preparation—it was all cut and edited much earlier. But since we’re on the subject of Mr Cameron’s speech, here are a few predictions of my own.
My strong suspicion is it will be almost, if not completely, policy free—Mr Osborne did all the “heavy lifting” (for which he is lavishly praised in this morning’s Economist) already. And although Mr Cameron may talk of “tough times” needing “strong leadership,” he will hardly offer us more economic policy.
Moreover, I suspect that the speech will be a rallying cry to the party to “get out there” and campaign. That really must be the focus of it since, remarkably, no other major speaker on the main platform has done that.
But studied humility is a double-edged sword. While every sinew of loyal delegates have been strained to toe the party line, and the leadership has been at pains not to seem triumphant, the troops have not, yet, been roused to fight an election. That itself is a symptom of the party’s extreme confidence.