A bit of intropective retrospection
Malcolm’s lay-off, while he removed house, did serious damage to his small-but-perfectly formed readership here at Malcolm Redfellow’s Home Service.
So, Malcolm is particularly grateful to his few remaining and loyal recipients. That includes a certain Tory SPAD (or his dopplegänger) who regularly checks whether he’s again been the centre of attention. He hasn’t. He isn’t.
Memo to Malcolm: surely time for another of those “Not so great and not so goods”. Number 29 on Joe “Spud” Murphy still draws in the odd passing punter.
Any-hoo (as they may say on Slugger O’Toole, and places North), the point today is a small vote of thanks to Paul Dacre and his Daily Mail.
It has fired Malcolm to new efforts, as you see.
For Malcolm was tiring of preaching to a small band of converts, with minimal response. The game was no longer worth the candle (interesting pre-electric light era metaphor, that).
Then Dacre went rogue on Miliband.
Malcolm suspects it was those telling Rothermere quotations on “patriotism” (and the Mail is all over “patriotism” this week). Statporn leaped by a factor of two or more. Thankin’ all of ye!
Meanwhile, in the Mancunian demimonde …
When even the Torygraph‘s Political Editor (young Master Kirkup) is less-than-gushing about the almost-Beloved Leader, on this day of all days, one senses the Cameron speech was barely notches above the warmed-over left-over level:
Maybe he was tired: there were some uncharacteristic shadows under his eyes as he spoke. Maybe the Manchester hall isn’t the place for soaring oratory: ministers say Birmingham is a much better venue for acoustics and atmospherics. Or maybe his heart wasn’t in it: this is, after all, the “spare” year of a five-year Parliament. We’re still a fair way from the election, so it’s hardly surprising Mr Cameron privately regarded this as one of the less important Big Speeches of his career.
The audience seemed to sense it too: the response was dutiful, not ecstatic.
Kirkup wasn’t alone:
- Mary Ann Sieghart seconded the apathetic response:
David Cameron’s speech sounded as tired as the Prime Minister looked. Apart from a hint towards depriving under-25s of benefit, there were no new policies. If the loyal audience in the hall was bored and underwhelmed, the apathetic public will be even more so. This was a wasted opportunity.
- Ditto Gaby Hinsliff:
- By the look of it, Cameron’s “clarity” (“Let me be absolutely clear about this …”) needed … err … clarification:
The Conservative party have just sent round a briefing note on the “everyone under 25 – earning or learning” proposal in David Cameron’s speech…
Normally I do not post briefing notes like this because they are long and detailed. This one is about as thin as they come.
UPDATE: A party source has stressed that there will be some exemptions. [Continued on page 94]
It takes a worried man to sing a worried song
By the by, that dental-grinding off-stage right must be the Tory ASMs. It makes one wonder what is the point.
Lobbyists and other commercial visitors now almost outnumber grassroots Conservatives at conference.
Thirty-eight per cent of people attending the conference are party members, while 36 per cent are from commercial or charitable organisations.
The disclosure will add to fears that the party’s rank-and-file membership is collapsing, handing more power to a few wealthy financial backers and professional politicians.
That is your modern party politics.
Meanwhile, you spend all year trying to boost enthusiasm for Annual Conference; and Dacre allows the Leader of the Opposition to scrawl all over it, press-wise.
As for the Ally Campbell Death Star job on the unfortunate Jon Steafel, sit back and relish …