Many of us can remember the PM’s speech at the 2017 Conservative Party conference: she lost her voice and the letters fell off the screen behind her. It was not her finest hour and it created a wobble in her support at Westminster.
What a difference a year later. This strong, confident woman made a powerful and compelling speech. I very much hope it will be enough to get the whole Parliamentary party behind her. I have a sense that she will grow stronger and stronger as we go forward. All we need now is a decent deal from the EU and achieve a sensible Brexit, and the sky is the limit.
And there is much to be done. Our armed forces desperately need to be reformed to meet the nature of modern threats, which are changing at an alarming rate. Our police forces, slow to embrace modern technology and working practices, need to be updated and better resourced.
Local government has been pruned as far as is sensible and we now need to see more resources released to tackle some deep-seated local problems. The PM effectively announced the end of austerity during her speech, and not before time. I am all for encouraging efficiencies in local government, but I am now convinced that this has now reached its limit, and it is time to see more investment.
We need a massive investment in our national infrastructure including: road, rail, ports, airports as well as education. We need some bold responses to some of the major technological challenges we face. Artificial intelligence and robots are coming down the track faster than we might think.
Whether we love them or not, major international conglomerates are part of modern life and dominate our economic landscape. Government needs to find a new way of working in partnership with these giants to ensure that they pay their fair share of tax and look after employees properly.
We need to do more for those who are profoundly disabled and the growing number of people with autism and similar conditions. We need to build many more houses for Generation Rent (our children and grandchildren.)
The next election should not be for another three years. There is much to be done in the meantime, and I very much hope that the “bloody difficult woman” who stood at the podium last Wednesday will be given the opportunity to make a real difference to ordinary lives.