Tuesday, October 02, 2007

Postcards From The Pleasure Beach

Live in Baghdad

Who would have thunk it? After all our apprehension, up here in Blackpool it turns out the sun is shining, we’ve had a stunning pledge from George on Inheritance Tax, a promise from Duncan to cut at least two existing regulations for every new one introduced, some attractive stuff on localism, and a vicious attack on a BBC hackette.

True, Gord Chubby Brown is staging his spoiler show in Baghdad. But so what? Here in Blackpool we've had Eric Even Chubbier Pickles who's had us all in stitches. In a highly physical routine, he rammed home the Tory commitment to localism. More directly elected officials, less central direction, less ring-fencing of central government grants, and – don’t faint – a commitment to allowing local authorities to keep additional receipts from growing their local business tax base.

But weren't we the ones who crushed local independence back in the days of you know who? Hmm. Well, who better to exorcise that discomforting ghost than Lord “Hair Day” Hezza. Yes he'd been there in the cockpit when Mags took on Red Ken and localism died in the cross-fire, but he sure knows how to please a crowd. The many councillors in the hall loved it.

Hague gave a brilliant performance as usual, whacking Brown for fawning over “our greatest” prime minister.

As for whacking the BBC, that was during their World At One debate on whether Cameron had lost contact with his party. We’re all very well aware that’s the story the media really want to run- the Independent’s Steve Richards tried the same thing in a later session with George.

But the audience here turned on Martha Kearney. They wanted to know why the BBC always presents Tory ideas on things like law and order and immigration as right-wing extremism, whereas when Labour coat-tails exactly the same ideas (eg the Tony Martin issue), they get reported straight, or even supportively?

Poor Martha looked very uncomfortable, and drew the session to an early close.

And with George - George! - getting cheered to the rafters, the mood is much more upbeat than Tyler had ever imagined possible.

To celebrate the moment, I’m going to treat Mrs T to a night out at the I Should Be So Lucky 80s Karaoke Bar, followed by an elegant supper at Pies and Fries.

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