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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.


I think he really means what he says

Joey Robinett, UK
I was impressed and proud of the speech made by IDS. I think he really means what he says about helping the vulnerable and creating better hospitals and schools. What would it hurt to at least give him a chance and not ridicule and constantly put him and the Tory party down? Yes they have done some bad things in the past, but so have other parties including New Labour.
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.
Michael Gill, England

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.
Lenny, UK


IDS is trying to please everyone

Jigster, China
IDS is trying to please everyone and actually ending up alienating his party. I just feel they are making up policies on the hoof with no thought of practical implications. The UK needs an effective opposition and if IDS stays the Lib Dems are going to increase their support, which may be no bad thing as IDS is ineffective.
Jigster, China

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.
Anon, UK


The Tory faithful seemed unsure when to clap

Richard Stokoe, UK
It was an excellent speech - for him. Unfortunately, almost any other speech could have been delivered better. The Tory faithful seemed unsure when to clap or indeed if to clap. Considering his party is languishing away you would have thought there would be more va-va-voom, but sadly it was not to be.
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.
Tim Porter, UK

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.
Paul Latham, England


IDS is breathtakingly wooden

Robert Crosby, Nottingham, UK
IDS is breathtakingly wooden and just the kind of figure that the Tories deserve to have to lead them through their forthcoming long period of opposition. He is symbolic of their hankering after a supposed "golden era" under Thatcher, which for most ordinary people was nothing short of a disaster and which is reflected in the state of our public services today.
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, Oldham, UK

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".
Rob, UK


The only effective part of the speech was the "quiet man" line

Chris Price, UK
IDS needs to sack his image makers - they sent him to the podium with what looked like no training in delivering the kind of speech he was reading. The man isn't a barnstormer and his delivery of many of the 'applause lines' was poor. The only effective part of the speech was the "quiet man" line. The text was important in its attempt to draw a line under the past, but the awkwardness of the delivery will dominate my memories of what he said.
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!
Rebecca Stevens, England

Promises, promises, but will he deliver?
Adrian, UK

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.
Ash, UK

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?
Sam, UK


Refreshing and exciting

Myles Harrison, UK
Breathtaking in its honesty and radicalism. A lot of hard work seems to have been put in. Refreshing and exciting.
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.
Brad Cutter, London

I have watched and listened to Tory speeches since the 1960s. Amazing how they become more 'caring' when in opposition.
Mike Barnes, England

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.
Phil Randall, UK


The Tories are tough but a caring attitude will win my vote next time

M Newman, UK
A shame Phil Randall has not actually given any reasons why the speech was so bad. It wasn't the best but it was thought-provoking. I thought it was a speech that had the potential to capture disillusioned Labour voters (of which there is understandably a few). The Tories are tough but a caring attitude will win my vote next time.
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.
David, UK

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.
Russ, UK

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."
Chris, UK


The Neil Kinnock of the Conservative Party

John, Scotland
Iain Duncan Smith is the Neil Kinnock of the Conservative Party. They will have to go through his leadership and lose another election before they have any chance of regaining power.
John, Scotland

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.
Tom, UK

He is spinning so much I am surprised he can stand up.
Paolo Sammut, UK


A nice bloke but not PM material

Jay, UK
Regardless of what's said and what's promised, the problem for the Tories is that IDS just doesn't come across as someone who could lead Britain. As he said: "Don't underestimate the determination of a quiet man." Any future prime minister cannot be a quiet man. I think he's a nice bloke, but not PM material. Sorry IDS.
Jay, UK

Politicians' actions always speak louder than words, so we'll just have to wait and see.
Rhodri Evans, UK


Iain Duncan Smith has to remember that people were more fond of Major than Thatcher

Paul Bloomfield, UK
Iain Duncan Smith has to remember that people were more fond of Major than Thatcher, and he has to accept that his party's grassroots are inherently opposed to any changes he may propose.
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.
Gordon McStraun, UK


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