Saturday, October 02, 2010
Heading For The Honey Pot
By all accounts this year's Tory Conference will have the highest attendance for years. Despite the recession, commercial sponsorship has reportedly boomed. Now why might that be?
Anyway, Mr and Mrs T are heading to Brum wondering whether senior Tories will be as accessible to us ordinary members as they were before inheriting their ministerial limos. Will they still need us, will they still feed us, when they're the masters now? We rather suspect not.
George in particular will be keeping his head down. Whereas you could once ask him direct what he would do about sharing the proceeds if growth failed to materialise, the chances of a similar opportunity this year are zilch.
Not that you can blame him really. He's in the middle of the toughest public spending round ever, and he's not about to show his cards to us.
This will be our sixth conference, and they've all had a slightly different flavour.
The first back in 2005 was gripping because it had the leadership horse race featuring Cam's famous noteless speech.
But the most memorable by far was 2007 in Blackpool. We all went up there expecting imminent annihilation at the hands of the Big Clunking Fist (see this blog). But then on Monday morning George stood up and sensationally announced his intention to slash inheritance tax. The entire world changed in an instant. The Clunking Fist imploded, and by the time Cam made his second famous noteless speech on the Wednesday it was all over - Labour were finished. An unforgettable week aboard the Blackpool roller-coaster.
So what does this week hold?
Not triumphalism surely. Cam may be PM, but only courtesy of the LDs. And for most Tory activists the LDs are still indistinguishable from the anti-Christ.
IRA/Islamic bomb plots aside, Tyler suspects it may actually be a bit dull. Yes, there are suggestions of crowd pleasing policy announcements from IDS, but as we blogged yesterday, he's still short of substantive detail. And ahead of the cuts announcements there are limits to what any of the spending ministers can promise.
Still, the sun always shines in Brum, and this year there should be plenty of free honey.