Thursday, 6 October 2011
His speech, delivered at the Conservative annual conference, was peppered with WWII rhetoric and imagery, as should be hoped for at a time when, as Vince Cable alluded, our country is facing the economic equivalent of that opening scene from Saving Private Ryan.
With gutsy gusts, he winded that we must not be “paralysed by gloom and fear” but find that “spirit of Britain” that will help us run up those bleak shores of job cuts, face the hissing barrels of pension losses and chuck grenades of Big Society in the face of depressing market figures.
I can just see him now – a Lurpak man dressed in combat fatigues – hulking a fatally wounded Nick Clegg toward the promised land of financial stability as George Osborne provides covering fire from, heck, an ivory tower.
The metaphor he chose was more prosaic (and less fun to picture). Likening the economy to building a house, he said: “the most important part is the part you can’t see – the foundations that make it stable. Slowly, but surely, we’re laying the foundations for a better future.” He continued with another metaphor – damn, I love these visualisation aids: “Remember, it is not the size of the dog in the fight, it’s the size of the fight in the dog. Overcoming challenges, confounding the sceptics, this is what we do.
It was all delivered with boyish optimism and a sense that, if we’re prepared to suffer, we can make it all ok.
And the boy’s got teeth. Teeth, perhaps unlike the traditional bulldog, but of a flabby beagle raised on a sunny Home Counties estate with, most likely, peacocks and daisies to growl at. He briefly flashed these teeth at critics of his planning reforms: “To those who oppose everything we’re doing, my message is this: Take your arguments down to the Job Centre. We’ve got to get Britain back to work.”
Easy to say, Dave, but you try telling that to the face of a BAE Systems worker, or a Bombardier engineer who’s about to lose his job, or a group of nurses about to lose theirs. Yep, we need to get back to work but the public needs more answers as to how. Woof!