David Cameron's touchy-feely, "the Tory Party is for everyone" performance at his party's annual jamboree in Birmingham was never very convincing.
But the revelation of his government's intention to force through a worsening of terms and conditions for all civil servants lays bare the hollowness of the Prime Minister's comments.
Cameron told party representatives that the Tories were now the party of the "want-to-be better off" rather than the better off.
Explain that to the civil servants who, on top of a continued pay freeze, degraded pension scheme and worsened redundancy terms, will now face a generalised assault against terms and conditions negotiated with governments over decades.
The letter sent by Civil Service human resources and capability group director William Hague to departmental human rights directors makes clear that they are to leave no stone unturned in looking to cut expenditure by attacking workers' rights.
Many of the terms and conditions enjoyed by civil servants reflect the historical trade-off between careers in the private and public sectors.
Private-sector jobs were often higher-paid while workers in the public sector settled for lower pay but better pensions, annual holidays, sick leave and family-friendly working arrangements.
Hague's letter leaves no doubt that relatively lower pay will be complemented by a dragging-down of conditions to those in the private sector, many of which have been further eroded recently.
Sugaring the cyanide pill, Hague claims that the Civil Service will continue to be a "good employer," although he insists that civil servants' terms and conditions should be "comparable with but not beyond what a good modern employer would provide."
Workers know that there is a mile of difference between what politicians understand by "good modern employers" and what workers experience.
The reduced level of trade union membership in the private sector, together with rising unemployment, has assisted companies to reduce workers' entitlements. Major employers have closed or restricted decent occupational pension schemes, replacing them with glorified savings clubs that do not guarantee a decent living in retirement.
Some industries have seen the growth of individual contracts, zero-hours employment and a growth of agency labour to fragment the workforce, undermine workers' solidarity and boost profitability.
That is what the Tories and Liberal Democrats have in mind for the public sector.
This is partly because of the conservative coalition's inbred hostility to the public sector, but it is also fed by an unremitting hatred of trade unionism.
They understand - more than many unrepresented workers do - that union-organised jobs are more likely to be decent jobs, with above-average pay, good terms and conditions, including a civilised approach towards workplace justice, including anti-bullying, anti-racist, gender equality agendas.
Tory politicians see such agendas as political correctness gone mad and no matter of Cameronian platitudes about a "caring conservatism" will dispel that reality. In effect, the Tories and Lib Dems believe that they have three years left in office to drive through a programme of reactionary change in the interests of the corporate and wealthy elite they represent that would take a determined labour movement decades to reverse.
Rather than watch that happen, working people from all sectors have a vested interest in fighting together.
They should unite first in support of the TUC A Future that Works events on October 20 and then in co-ordinated action to frustrate the cuts agenda and bring the government down.
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