5 Oct 2009

The Tory conference – full of known unknowns

It’s clearly not the Brighton train – at least, not the one I caught to Labour this time last week. This is unmistakably the Virgin tipping train to Manchester.

It may be 6.17 in the morning, but the differences are palpable. There’s a lot of Louis Vuitton bags aboard. More Dell than Apple. The overall presentation is more quaffed, more Jacqmar. More tied around the throat… clean, dull, more white-shirted (like me, I suppose – well, if you leave out the tie).

Yes, I’m en route to the Tory conference – a leap into the unknown in a kind of a way. What is the Conservative party now? Who is David Cameron?

I’m not sure I can remember a UK political party gathering that has been so full of unknowns. Europe, inheritance tax, cuts, slashing incapacity benefit…

They don’t add up to quite the ideology that propelled Thatcher into power. And yet we are being told that Cameron is set on a course that will deliver a scale of triumph she can only have dreamt of.

Let’s see how it pans out this week. Deadpan it won’t be. Pre-coronational, I slightly doubt. The “None Of The Above” party is still with us, I suspect, rendering the conventional battle rather tighter than some of my fellow hacks like to imagine. Don’t forget.

On Thursday the Channel 4 News website will be providing extended live coverage of David Cameron’s speech to the Conservative conference, including film extracts, expert analysis and Twitter commentary.

To watch and contribute, go to www.channel4.com/news from midday on 8 October.

Tweets by @jonsnowC4

5 reader comments

  1. Steve Willis says:

    …and amongst the unknowns:

    1. What is the Conservative position in relation to the creation of a President of Europe?

    2. What will the Conservative Party do about the extortionate interest rates being levied upon credit card users?

    3. If Tony Blair becomes President of Europe what is the impact upon his wife’s role in the Judiciary? I’m thinking of how the separation of powers will be maintained between the Executive (Mr. Blair) and the Legislative (Mrs. Blair).

  2. Saltaire Sam says:

    I’m always amazed how politicians of all parties, but currently mainly Cameron et al, promise they will get people off welfare into work, but don’t explain where the jobs are coming from.

    If we accept the Tory position that there are a load of spongers out there living off the system and not wanting work, that still doesn’t explain the high unemployment rate at the moment.

    It certainly doesn’t apply to ALL the unemployed, many of whom are doing their damndest to find jobs that simply don’t exist, especially at the moment when companies are firing rather than hiring.

    In the next breath Cameron is promising to cut public expenditure – for which read jobs in the public sector thus ADDING to the unemployed.

    And amid all this talk, nothing about clawing back some of the cash squirreled away by bankers etc while causing the chaos in which we find ourselves. The public sector must pay for the failings of the private it seems.

    The only good thing I’ve heard so far is Cameron saying he doesn’t think non doms will leave the country if they have to pay more tax.

    As that’s been at the heart of all Tory excuses for not taxing the very rich int heh past, presumably we can hope for a fairer tax system overall now.

    Gosh, a pig just flew past my window.

  3. Ryan Gavan says:

    Impressed with the get Britain working presentation, but think Krisnan Guru-Murty wasn’t, he walked out halfway through!

  4. margaret brandreth- jones says:

    And I being “the mother earth type” add a question to Steve’s list.

    4.a) Do the CONSERVATIVE party have any of their own targets to try and control global warming. ?

    4 b) Are they willing to look at European proposals for rapid action . Those proposals being High power voltage cables, which could be internationally connected , thereby using all natural resources the planet has to offer?

  5. acko says:

    if tory eliteist fascists get back into power i promise you there will be riots on a scale never seen resulting in a total class war. great.

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