Heartstrings and Pursetrings - Dave's 'Big' Appeal to Britain

10/10/2012 13:04 BST | Updated 10/12/2012 10:12 GMT

An appeal to wallet, heart and flag - the cornerstone of David Cameron's message to the Tory faithful in Brum - in the heart of Middle Britain.

This week the Prime Minister discovered the 'strivers'. They used to be called 'blue collar' Britain. The complaint has been he has not spoken to them up until now.

Of course his speech is an attempt to shake off current polling which suggests voters think the Conservatives are the party of the rich. A theme which Ed Milliband hammered across last week and will continue to do so.

But authoritative polling a month ago showed 'middle Britain' is keen to see radical welfare reform. It wants everyone who can work - to be striving to do so. This is the centrepiece of the new Cameron narrative through these economic woes.

This week Tim Montgomerie's Conservative Home launched It taps into that theme. David Cameron would do well to deepen that big idea.

Cameron talked directly about a smaller state. The left has always attacked Cameron/Osborne as using the recession to rebalance the economy. He 'came out' today on that idea. As the jobs flow into the private sector - and with unemployment holding steady the jobs clearly are - Cameron is betting on more voters getting that idea of a smaller state by May 2015.

People know times are tough - middle Britain experiences that day by day. They see that the economics are rough for any government. They remember Labour and they see France, Italy and Spain in turmoil.

But they want to know the team in charge know what they are doing. Since the Budget the Government has not landed that idea. Today - Cameron showed a firmer grip.

Steve Hilton - I'm told was back to help with the speech. But I'm not sure quite how or why this line got past his red pen when Cameron said: "I'm not here to defend privilege - I am here to spread it" Mmmm I don't know if that resonates beyond the Tory faithful.

And that's the issue. The Prime Minister need to say more and do more to attract those strivers. It can't be just about political optics - it needs to be real and backed up by policy delivery.

He can do that.

In my blog following Labour conference - I asked David Cameron to grab back One Nation from Ed Miliband. Today he set out a way to do that. But it can't just be about one conference speech. He needs to land that idea in the electorate's mind day after day until May 2015.