5 Oct 2009

A party caught in the glare of its headlights

It hits you like a tidal wave. No sooner are you through the doors of the Manchester Exchange than you are amid a morass of suited, white-shirted, tied-up business folk.

Or that’s what it appears.

But closer inspection finds that most are here at the Tory party conference as lobbyists. Only a minority of the 12,000 anticipated visitors are actually attending the debates on the floor. The rest are milling around outside, anticipating change.

Yet the event itself, so far, has been cautious. Kenneth Baker, long ago home secretary; Ken Clarke, long ago chancellor of the exchequer (still on the front bench); a relatively muted George Osborne; and even David Cameron not in his maximist form.

In truth, this appears to be a party caught in the glare of its own headlights.

In amongst the strange micros-shopping centre, hard by Harvey Nicks and M&S, squats a Christmas shop. Christmas has come early to the Manchester Exchange, and there seems to be a slight fear abroad in this place that the opinion poll lead is a little early for comfort too.

But we shall see. It may be even the best is yet to come. But on today’s produce, judged against last week, it will be hard to say which party was talking more realistically about the future.

Just a couple of facts you might enjoy. The clouds around the wall of the conference centre really move. And the screen behind the stage is claimed by the Tories to be the biggest ever deployed by the party conference – beat that!

Tweets by @jonsnowC4

8 reader comments

  1. acko says:

    torys are the devils spawn

  2. margaret brandreth- jones says:

    Define ” a channel 4 type question”

  3. tom Mercer says:

    It would be nice to believe that the humility and reality about the future would continue after the next election. However I believe that the next election will be another landslide result away from the current corruption and lies. This opens the door for a massive swing in power and the buisiness as usual corruption and complacancy.

  4. Una Gillespie says:

    Jon, you report the news so brilliantly. I always rush in to see your programme. I think you are just wonderful. Absolutely my ideal man – just wish there were more of you around.

  5. margaret brandreth- jones says:

    At 6ft 4 .. you couldn’t manage with any more.

    Ist rhetorical question. Why is a big screen advantageous and who backed it ?

    If Incapacity benefit is going to be cut and jobs seekers allowance is going to be put in place it means that people will be living on £200-300 per month.

    It would be an improved approach to only target those people who are offered jobs and refuse to take ,because of preference.

    The labour goverment brought in the minimum wage to ensure social justice .This antithetic argument to social
    justice displays a lack of insight into the intelligent resource available .

    Thousands out of moral obligation and necessity are being forced to take jobs with menial tasks ,when if they were allowed to progress would proably make a significant change for the better to our country.

    As a personal example I am myself on a lower wage than those on benefits and have a mortgage to pay. This situation arises out of private concerns more interested in taking money out of a situation , parasitising intellectual resource and placing that knowledge in the arena of the public schools and oxbridge. In other word they transfer credit, but not a credit that has to be payed for for those who receive the goods , rather from those it was taken away from in the first place.

    The thesis they posit is that ,( for example) that the learning of a subject which is the same in content and understood by all in a similar way is superior by virtue of it being taught in one building rather than another.

    These proposals in the light of the vulgarity already displayed are a cruel glimpse of how things would be.

    I would be interested in What Ken Clarke has to say . European economic convergence is well on it’s way with the Euro now being at 92 p.

  6. Saltaire Sam says:

    And don’t they shuffle uncomforably in the headlights?.

    Cameron wants the people to have a referendum on Europe (he knows he would win) but thinks MPs should decide on fox hunting (he would probably lose). And why not a referendum on the balance between cutting public services and hammering the wealthy who created the problem?

    They claim tough decisions have to be made NOW to save the economy but they will put off decisions on pensions so as not to frighten the voters too much

    I may be an old cynic but it seems very much like the old tory party to me (listen to the rank and file talk about Europe) and if they get into power they will be as divisive as ever

    Problem is there is no one to oppose them.

    It’s going to be a tough time for ordinary people and at 64 years old, I’m beginning to think I may have seen the ‘good times’ for the last time.

  7. margaret brandreth- jones says:

    HIP packs out good.

    Beginning of economic speech…… arrogant….. couldn’t watch.

    I have had it for too long now the mentoring by the arrogant few who want to hold on to the power. We can hear the bufoons over the top of our daily interactions.. the controllers.. there isn’t any difference between the parties for the same people have the influence whichever party is in power, which is why Gordon Brown always gets a bashing.

    Tell me that economics is powered by party politics ????? It is powered by the Boys. and they have their scapegoats as it suits them when they have cocked up.

  8. adrian clarke says:

    true economics is living within your means . like it or not margaret thatcher believed that .All labour parties of the past and present believe the state is the ruler , the money is theirs and when it runs out they can squeeze the rich. gordon brown should go to zimbabwe

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