So how radical is David Cameron and the modern Conservative Party?
On the basis of what I have seen in the last 4 days ...VERY.
The interesting bits in Manchester were the issues that are now taking centre stage:
- welfare reform based on the centre for social justice report by Ian Duncan Smith
- schools reform can transform parent choice - Michael Gove will clearly be given free rein to change secondary education
- prison reform - I was at the CSJ Prison reform fringe meeting and the number of interested groups desperate for change to the shoddy prison systen that does so little to rehabilitate was amazing
- and economic change - we have gone some way in Osbornes speech but need to go further because the debt is off the scale
You can tell that the mood is shifting. As Labour collapses there is a window for us to jump through - but we need to be radical.
The public debate is turning. People are really begining to realise just how bad a situation of debt and difficulty we are in.
We are in for a very interesting next 12 months.