George Osborne warned the Tory faithful hard work not tax cuts will rescue Britain's economy.
The Chancellor left them in no doubt that tax cuts are not an option.
And he made it clear to the world's money markets the UK is sticking fast to its deficit reduction plan.
But he stressed a dose of hard work and determination will get us through the dark years ahead.
Osborne appealed to his party's right wing to drop their calls for slashed taxes by saying "together, we will ride out this storm."
The Chancellor accused Labour of abandoning middle Britain.
And he insisted bashing the banks is a pointless exercise - when focusing on their governance is the key to safety.
Osborne also devoted a chunk of his speech to the female vote.
He spelled out why the cost of living is crippling families nationwide.
The message is aimed at women voters who the Tories need to win a clear majority at the next election.
Osborne - the greatest gag writer in Tory ranks - kept his speech as flat as possible to deliver a sombre tone.
But he couldn't resist the odd dig at Labour - singling out Ed Balls and the Miliband brothers for ridicule.
It wasn't a speech aimed at raising the roof.
The Chancellor was keen to deliver a sober message that hard work is the only solution to Britain's problems.
Extending broadband to six million people was part of a series of measures to put growth at the heart of his agenda.
New employment rules will make it harder for bad workers to sue their bosses.
The Tory faithful liked a tougher climate change message - insisting Britain's firms won't be saddled with unfair carbon emission costs.
They filed out after the address without a spring in their step - but ready to dig in for the hard times ahead.
George Pascoe-Watson is a partner at Portland Communications. You can read the latest of his monthly columns for Total Politics on the leaders' conference speeches here