Who won the battle of values?


This conference season has scarcely featured a significant new policy. It has, though, revealed some important new political positioning.

The Liberal Democrats branded themselves as one of what were now three - and not two - parties of government. Nick Clegg insisted they could be trusted more with the economy than Labour and more with society than the Conservatives.

Labour made the boldest move - with Ed Miliband's snatching of the old Tory slogan of One Nation and his claim to be the only leader capable of holding the country together as it confronted its problems.

David Cameron offered his response, presenting himself as a leader wrestling to head off national decline, frank about the scale of the challenge and willing to admit that confronting it was taking longer and proving harder than he'd promised. It's a candour which, the pollsters tell him, many voters like.

It was striking, however, that his speech contained a mention of neither his coalition partners, the Liberal Democrats (attack or praise), nor their leader and his own deputy, Nick Clegg, nor even a reference to the coalition itself.

Also striking was an altogether more personal choice - to stop sounding like the man from Notting Hill - modern, liberal and metropolitan - and instead to highlight the values of a boy from Berkshire who believes in hard work, aspiration and in spreading the privilege which his upbringing gave him.

Where Mr Miliband drew his inspiration from Benjamin Disraeli, Mr Cameron seemed to draw his from Harold Macmillan.

Nick Robinson Article written by Nick Robinson Nick Robinson Political editor

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  • rate this

    Comment number 542.

    It really is frightening they way that some of you dismiss war as some game played on the fields of Eton.

    When we say 'we will remember them' - we remember all of the fallen not just 'our' fallen. That is absolutely central and critical to the process of preventing war.

    If you do not subscribe to this view than you are moving dangerously close to being like Cameron a nationalist warmonger!

  • rate this

    Comment number 541.

    525. John_Bull

    You and your ultras have learned nothing from history so are condemning us all to relive it only worse.

    You have no right to do so. How dare you condemn your fellow citizens to be punished because of your bigotry!

    All recorded history shows us that the best outcomes come from working with our friends and neighbours - not to do so is insane - so you are insane!

  • rate this

    Comment number 540.

    Self defence issue seems to be putting the burden of proof on the intruder & not on the home owner. Law is not changing much in terms of right of self defence? - Is just the burden of proof to be shifted so that assumption is for home-owner defending themself (& property?) but may still not clear whether I can hit a suspected thief with a hammer at bottom of my garden for threatening my property?

  • rate this

    Comment number 539.


    “However the attempts to paint left wingers as generically emotive ...”

    Fair enough, that’s true (apology despatched) but many that come on here are, as evidenced by...

    “...(As are attempts to paint the right as generically toffs, rich, out of touch and nasty). ..”

    You have to admit there’s a lot of that, Ginge...

    See you on the next blog.

  • rate this

    Comment number 538.

    529. John_Bull
    Some Lawyers have already pointed out that the Law – as it stands – already gives protection to self defence situations.
    The Tories seemed to be suggesting a Law change, but that won’t be possible due to insufficient Parliamentary time, so it’s really a case of Political grand standing.
    I’m glad the Conference season’s over because nobody had anything new to say.


Comments 5 of 542



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