Donald Macintyre's Tory Conference Sketch: David Cameron found both his inner rap artist and passion


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Indy Politics

Never mind whether David Cameron has discovered his inner passion; he’s certainly discovered his inner rap artist. Step forward Davey C, boss party rhymer. “History... is written... in the decisions we make today/and that starts next May/I say, let’s not go back to square one/let’s finish what we have begun/let’s build a Britain we’re proud to call home, for you, for your family, for everyone.”

Or warning against voting Labour: “Go back now and we’ll lose all we’ve done/falling back into the shadows when we could be striding into the sun.” This can only mean one thing: the pre-election hip-hop version of the speech is already coming down the track!

But will it be a chart-buster? Yes, this was a reinvigorated, focused Dave – probably thanks to the Scottish referendum. The run-up, he confessed, “was the most nerve-racking week of my life”.

Recently The Economist charged him with being “so wilfully slapdash as to suggest a lack of regard for his own high office”. Today, however, like a man who suddenly discovers the joys of life after a near-death experience – which politically Scotland was – he seemed to have a quite intense regard for his “high office”. As in being pretty keen to stay in it.

A goal he threw everything at. Including a promise of some whopping – and so far unfunded – tax cuts such as raising the threshold for 40 per cent payers. Which the conference loved, unsurprisingly, since  lots of them went home knowing they will be  a few grand better off after an election victory which they seemed scarily confident will be their’s next May.

And he was a lot more personal. “I didn’t come into politics to make the lines on the graphs go in the right direction,” he said. (Just as well, since not all of them are.)

Then there was the NHS passage in which, “as someone who knows what it’s like to go to hospital night after night with a child in your arms”, he said: “How dare [Labour] suggest I would ever put that at risk for other people’s children!” Which was obviously a thumper. But defining “madness” as voting for “this high-spending, high-taxing... shower, and expecting anything other than economic disaster” came perilously close to suggesting Labour voters were actually mad.

His one slip was when after listing “children from the poorest estates and the most chaotic homes, the young woman who wants an apprenticeship, the teenagers who want to make something of their lives”, he said: “These are the people we resent” – instead of “represent”. Nothing “Freudian” about it, of course – though that’s the term repeatedly used this week about Ed Miliband’s deficit gaffe in Manchester. But they need to sort it before that rap version comes out.