Friday, October 9, 2015

The North by North Westminster Diary: Tony Cameron Begins "New Tory" Project

Monday 5th October
The Conservative Conference is under way in Manchester, and today it is the opportunity of real, living ventriloquist doll George Osborne to make his case to the nation. Painting a picture of the steady construction of a new Britain, he frequently repeated “We are the builders”. And who can deny that the Tories are? I mean, look at all the spare houses they’ve built.
Controversies remain over the changes to tax credits though. Jeremy Hunt lurches to George’s defence by saying that the new policies will encourage Britons to work hard “like the Chinese”. It is claimed that he has been wilfully misquoted, but he definitely drew the comparison. Pity the little children of the Hunt household, for theirs is a childhood of early starts, late finishes and homemade Nike trainers.

Tuesday 6th October
This morning, the Prime Minister is spending time insisting that his “great team” are focussed on the job of governing, and not on who’s going to succeed him at the end of the Parliament. Though, with key members of his “great team” working together to suggest that they would be a great successor, currently DC is to team management what Stuart Lancaster is to team management.
Today, Theresa May is trying to get some momentum behind her in the party by performing her new Concerto for Dog-Whistles. In her Conference speech, the Home Secretary delivers a staggering rejection of the worth of immigration which flies in the face of her department’s own figures, dodging the complexities of the issue which it is her job to master. Oh, and she crowbars in a disparaging remark about Europe as well. Just to get some hard right juices really flowing.

Wednesday 7th October
And so we come to David Cameron’s conference speech. It begins as one might expect with triumphalism and attacks on Labour, particularly their “security-threatening, terrorist sympathising. Britain-hating,” oft-misquoted, cycling, gardening, seems quite nice on the whole, leader.
Labour say this attack is a sign that Cameron is “rattled”. Which seems odd because he then calmly proceeded to move the Conservative Party to Blairite ground. Not just a little bit. Almost utterly.
This is "New Tory". The speech contained numerous liberal passages, delivered with apparent conviction, on issues such as discrimination, equality and prisons. Cameron even made proud mention of ministers who are the children of immigrants. To which Theresa May applauded, apparently with no sense of irony
This was the most lefty speech the Tory Conference had heard for… well, possibly ever. They applauded it several times, though there was no mention of the tax credit cuts (how’s that working for your “party that helps the poor”), and there was no mention of the environment, but I understand that that’s because those huskies got a restraining order.
Centre-left commentators on Twitter were in a full-blown identity crisis, whilst Corbynistas expressed outrage and heavy scepticism, arguing that his sweet words were betrayed by his harsh reality.
Cameron won’t mind though. His speech was very well-received. Even by Tony Blair, who sent him a short text simply saying: “You have done well, my apprentice.”

Thursday 8th October
One thing we can be sure of in this strange new age is that Jeremy Corbyn hates Britain. The Prime Minister told me so.
But, perhaps I was misinformed. So, I turn to the right-wing press, and I am told that he thinks he’s better than the Queen. The traitor.
He’s skipping today’s Privy Council meeting, where he would have to meet HMQ in what is largely a formality, because he has “prior commitments”. The Britain-despising bastard.
He’s not like David Cameron. When he became leader, he took three months to go to a PC meeting. Whereas Corbyn still hasn’t knelt before the hereditary Head of State, and he has been in the job for… less than a month.
It occurs to me that…
this story is bollocks.

Friday 9th October
The Leave the EU camp, which Nigel Farage declared to be unified two weeks ago, has achieved ever closer unity with the creation of yet another rivalling campaign seeking the designation of official campaign to leave.
This is “Vote Leave”, a cross-party campaign with the support of, amongst others, UKIP’s only MP Douglas Carswell, because his party is so unified. They have millionaire donors, and a flashy ad where an economic case is made, but the key image is the spectre of St Thomas’ Hospital evaporating into the sky if we stay in. Which seems like an extravagant policy even for Brussels.
Surely we’re able to agree that forced vaporisation of healthcare facilities must be stopped?
Well, we are, but I’m not sure that the disparate Leave camps can. They appear to hate the European Union so much that they have taken against all forms of unity in general.

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