Sitting through so many cliché-filled speeches to conference, I sometimes wish that somebody would stand up and deliver a speech like this one:
Conference, we come together today at a difficult time for this country. People are anxious about their jobs, their homes, and their families.
The naysayers will tell you that our difficulties are insurmountable. They are right. The situation is hopeless. But we must carry on, firm in the knowledge that everything we do is futile.
I'd like to say a word about my family. Last year my son fell ill, and he received wonderful care from the nurses and doctors of the NHS. I say to you, from the bottom of my heart, that I will never, ever, let anyone else in this country receive as good a service as our family did! My wife is here today. Without her presence by my side these last few years I would still do the job that I do. In fact, I would probably do a considerably better job without her.
These are tough times for all of us. In tough times, people come together. But not everyone is pulling their weight. We hear a lot about the irresponsibility of the rich. But what about those at the bottom of society? The homeless, the unemployed, the ill? They must play their part too.
The riots that we saw over the summer were carried out by a very small number of criminals. The vast majority of people in this country are dishonest, feckless, shifty layabouts who do the minimum they can to get on in life. I call them 'Time-Serving Britons'. They have been coddled and pandered to for too long!
(PAUSE FOR APPLAUSE)
Conference, we in this party have always believed in the welfare of the few, not the many. There is no doubt we face some tough choices in the months to come if we are to ensure that the pain is spread unequally. But I relish those decisions.
Let me tell you why I came into politics - about my irresponsible core. I came into politics because I was offered work experience in my uncle's office. He was an MP. I found that I rather liked the smell of power, and soon, I would do anything to get it. Now I will do anything to keep it.
So I say to you today: I will always put short-term popularity ahead of this country's long-term interest.
Our children and grandchildren can, frankly, look after themselves.
My friends, Great Britain was built on the idea that success in life depends on where you born, not what you do. I don't want to live in a country in which what we earn is linked to effort or ability, and I'm sure none of you do. That is why this party is pledged to abolish the link between merit and reward once and for all! (APPLAUSE, EXTENDED).
I firmly believe that there is a brighter past behind us. So let us look back, not forward.
If we stick together and ride out this storm, an even bigger one will come along and blow us all away.