Here’s what David Cameron said about Jeremy Corbyn during his conference speech in Manchester:
“You only really need to know one thing: he thinks the death of Osama bin Laden was a “tragedy”.”
And here’s what Jeremy Corbyn actually said:
“..there was no attempt whatsoever that I can see to arrest him, to put him on trial, to go through that process. This was an assassination attempt, and is yet another tragedy, upon a tragedy, upon a tragedy. The World Trade Centre was a tragedy, the attack on Afghanistan was a tragedy, the war in Iraq was a tragedy.”
You’d imagine, in an age when anyone can quickly check the veracity of any claim with a quick Google search, that Prime Ministers would have to choose their words more carefully.
But David Cameron was not speaking to an audience filled with people baying for fair treatment of Jeremy Corbyn.
Party activists are often further to the extremes of their core beliefs than those who lead them (Something Mr Corbyn is very thankful for). And while the delegates were delighted to hear a victory speech from a Conservative Prime Minister after an election many believed they couldn’t win, the content may not fill them with joy.
Promises to act on poverty, equality, ending discrimination, helping children in care. Hardly “the smack of firm government”.
But this is the strategy both Mr Cameron, and George Osborne, have chosen to take — especially since Mr Corbyn’s coronation left so many centrist Labour supporters feeling alienated.
This new landscape calls for a more touchy-feely approach — and while George Osborne remains the front-runner it’s still good news for Boris Johnson’s leadership ambitions.
Theresa May chose to move to the right — that could be a miscalculation, if the centre of gravity is moving to the centre. Equally, it's uncontested ground for a leadership candidate who ultimately needs the support of rank-and-file party members.
There’s a sense within the Conservative Party that this is the opportunity to complete what Margaret Thatcher came close to doing in 1983, finishing off Labour as a viable party of government — for a while at least.
So, as Labour moves to the left, the Tories will in effect follow them, a little.
Critics will point out that it’s easy to make compassionate and caring noises, but hard to pull it off when you’re busy cutting the benefits cap, and taking tax credits from millions of the hardworking families you’re supposed to represent.
But the calculation is that it could be enough to capture those centre-ground Labour voters, staring at Jeremy Corbyn and shaking their heads.
Add in the waning of UKIP, long hoped-for among Tory ranks and entirely possible after the EU referendum, and suddenly the Conservatives look secure into 2020, and beyond.
Cynical? Yes. But so is pretending Jeremy Corbyn said Bin Laden’s death was a tragedy when he very plainly didn’t.
Some things in politics never change…