Thursday, 19 January 2012

Cameron's speech is, er, more about "setting tone"...

There was a rather distracting Union Jack poster behind the PM as he gave his speech on capitalism just now – it almost meant I missed the new thing in his speech which was thoroughly tucked away.

The talk was the latest move in a bid to wrestle the lucrative “responsible capitalism” territory away from Ed Miliband. It’s been riling the Tories that the Labour Leader has been going round saying he started the debate on the issue in his conference speech last September.

And so to show that actually the Tories were talking about it first, Cameron claimed his party set the ground for this debate years ago, and just to make sure Eddie couldn’t trump him again he went as far back as Disraeli and Pitt, before Labour even existed.

Most of the rest of the speech was doing that thing that the Tories do quite often, where they choose a theme and then try and show how all their existing policies already link into it.

So here renewal of the right-to-buy scheme, academies and free schools all tied into moral capitalism.

Then 2,600 words into a 2,800 word speech the PM announced that there were 12million co-operative members in the UK and that their groups are governed by 17 pieces of legislation.

“Today I can announce they will all be brought together and simplified in a new Co-Operatives Bill that will be put before Parliament.”

I know he’s unable to step on the toes of Vince Cable, announcing measures on executive pay in the near future, but it’s hardly a measure to get the blood racing is it.

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