Though Cameron has grasped the germ of the idea that central Statism is an unequivocal evil for this nation and its people, he is resisting any real commitment to Localism. Dave's vision seems to be a sort of State Lite; individual volunteers with vertical ties to a smaller State taking the place of Socialist functionaries. Ministers will still hold budgets for local functions and direct policy, albeit through leaner and meaner mechanisms.
Cameron's National Volunteer Corps, as outlined in a major interview with the Guardian, demonstrates that he still doesn't trust people to manage their own lives and communities. Yes, there is a volunteering gap - in areas in which volunteering is part of the central State's agenda. There is no shortage of volunteers in areas prioritised by people themselves. Individuals will engage easily enough when they feel they have a real measure of control, and this means devolving tax raising and spending decisions to local level.
The radical change that's needed is not another variety of vertical tie, but the freedom for local, horizontal ties to form and bind. For a member of the political class, which is what Dave undoubtedly is, giving away any measure of power whatsoever is like having a tooth wrenched out. They hate it. Cameron has also grown up in a party structure ruthlessly centralised under Thatcher - and has shown recently a tenacious opposition to allowing his local associations any real autonomy.
Within a few weeks, the days will start to lengthen again and one hopes the increased light will start to illuminate the detail of Cameron's manifesto as we crawl closer to May. I haven't given up on him yet - he may still astonish us with an act of real vision and leadership - but he'll need to do a great deal better than this sort of dishwater 'keynote' speech.