|You are in: Talking Point|
Monday, 14 October, 2002, 13:23 GMT 14:23 UK
Iain Duncan Smith's speech: Tell us what you think
Iain Duncan Smith has laid down the gauntlet to his critics in an outspoken speech at the party's conference in Bournemouth.
He defended his plans to change the party, saying that previous Conservative governments had caused "hurt" and "anger" and he called on the party to reform or remain in opposition.
The Conservative leader praised the policies on health, education, housing and crime set out by his frontbench team this week.
He told delegates the party was on the road back to power and warned critics not to underestimate the determination of a "quiet man".
Were you convinced by Iain Duncan Smith's speech? Tell us what you think.
This Talking Point has now closed. Read a selection of your comments below.
Joey Robinett, UK
I don't doubt his sincerity only his ability. The Tory wilderness years will continue until we have a leader with flair and panache. This man just doesn't have either.
Duncan Smith's speech today was really poor. He didn't show any enthusiasm or genuine belief that his bold statements would come to fruition. Lacklustre and un-charismatic to say the least, it seems he's going to ride out his term as leader and wait for someone to supersede him. I have not been a Tory fan in recent years and this did little to convince me to change my attitude.
It was speech of a leader who appears to very clear and committed. It needs to be understood that the man who does not hype around words is more concerned and more serious about his actions. Clearly a conference victory for IDS.
Richard Stokoe, UK
The only way for the Conservatives to have future success is to appeal to young voters. However I can't really see IDS and Michael Howard fulfilling this, nor a young Hague lookalike. If this isn't recognised, the membership and election results will only diminish further, no matter what mistakes Labour make.
I was both convinced and impressed by his speech, its not how he says things its what he says that matters, and he said the right things.
Robert Crosby, Nottingham, UK
If IDS thinks that past Tories caused so much hurt and anger why did he not speak up? Obviously not a very honest politician.
Dominic from Oldham rather ignorantly asks "why did he not speak up?" Iain Duncan Smith was a constant thorn in John Major's side, and was part of John Redwood's leadership campaign against him. I think this could be taken as "speaking up".
Chris Price, UK
The Tories are in a tough, impossible position - stay the same and they are criticised, try to modernise and they are ridiculed. I say let's give them a chance. I think we could be pleasantly surprised!
Promises, promises, but will he deliver?
I agree with Adrian. A party not currently in power can promise the earth, then when they are in power they can change their minds. I remember when it was once proposed that political parties be held to their promises under the advertising and trade standards acts and prosecuted for false promises. Now that would be interesting.
IDS seems quietly calculating. But are we hearing anything that will deter people from Mr 'theatrical' Blair? I am not a Labour supporter, they always run the country down then it takes the Tories to come back into power and pick us back up again. Then they are criticised for being harsh but what choice do they have? Will we never find anyone to match the great Churchill?
Myles Harrison, UK
It seems that the party has split down the middle, over social inclusion and Europe. This is a similar position to the Labour party in the early 80s which split over other issues.
I have watched and listened to Tory speeches since the 1960s. Amazing how they become more 'caring' when in opposition.
I once voted Conservative and so was hoping Iain's speech would appeal to me. But it was the worst conference speech I have ever heard from any party leader. I now know for sure he and his team are not up to it. Mr Blair, you're safe for a good few years yet. IDS must go and go now.
M Newman, UK
It's fortunate for the Tories that not many people would have seen the speech. Phil Randall is right. It was dreadful.
Ah, so he can come out fighting! Good to see. Although it was largely needed, the Tory years were tough to some people and it's good that IDS acknowledges that. As a modern Tory, I welcome IDS and his changes. Clarke, Heseltine et al can jump ship for all I care. They are the "nasty" in the nasty party.
The Conservatives need to emphasise their belief in individuality more and simply say "We want to make life better for people rather than taxing them every opportunity we have."
Iain Duncan Smith's speech has set the Conservatives on a policy collision course with New Labour. History shows that there can only be one winner in such circumstances, and that is the man with the hair!
"On the road back to power" - not in my lifetime, thank goodness.
He is spinning so much I am surprised he can stand up.
Politicians' actions always speak louder than words, so we'll just have to wait and see.
Paul Bloomfield, UK
I quite like the "Trust the people" bit, as a contrast to New Labour's 'control freakery'
but I have never seen a government voluntarily lessen its own power.
Theresa May took your questions
10 Oct 02 | Politics
The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites
Top Talking Point stories now:
Links to more Talking Point stories are at the foot of the page.
|E-mail this story to a friend|
Links to more Talking Point stories
To BBC Sport>> | To BBC Weather>> | To BBC World Service>>
© MMIII | News Sources | Privacy