John's Jottings for November 2005

John Ward

Please note: these Jottings are purely personal comment, and do not necessarily or directly represent the policy of either the Conservative Party or the Conservative Group on Medway Council.

Now is the Time for All Good Men... come to the Party Conferences!

Just a few weeks ago the three mainstream political parties' autumn conferences were held—two (Liberal Democrat and Conservative) at Blackpool, and one in between (Labour) at Eastbourne.

Now, these tend to be very much media events, and there isn't usually much real meat in amongst all the razzmatazz—but this year was a bit different...

The Liberal Democrats started the season with what I thought was a very good conference. Well done to them! As regular readers of my Jottings columns will already be aware, it is my hope that the LibDems really will clean up their act throughout the nation and sort out their wilder policies so that they can become a fully credible party.

I look forward to that day, and feel it would then be most healthy for Britain to have the new-style LibDems as the official opposition to a Conservative government, with Labour rightfully in third place.

Next it was Labour's turn, but theirs was a very lacklustre event, dominated by Trades Unionists and other Old Labour notables for the most part—those who proclaimed how proud they were to have come from the mines, and that sort of almost Victorian outlook. The Union folk (and others) were largely fixated on the Gate Gourmet business, which up to a point is fair enough, but it was way over the top and, frankly, boring.

There was one high spot, however, which was the Olympics presentation and the young folk coming onto the platform behind the Minister and Lord Coe (Conservative!) who, with his team, had put in most of the work to secure this superb achievement. It is a mark of Lord Coe's commitment to the 2012 London Olympics that he was prepared to attend a Labour party conference and appear on the platform with Labour Ministers and others...

Last of these three major conferences (there were others afterward—UKIP, Green, the SNP et al) was the Conservative party conference, which was:

No: this event was so alive, so fresh, so good that even the most hardened journalistic hacks sat up and took real notice of what was happening that week.

It is a quality of humankind that we can be at our best when brought together in common cause during difficult times, and nowhere short of major disaster areas has that been seen in recent times than in Blackpool that week. The Conservative Party actually needed this situation, after a general election that had been for them broadly successful though obviously disappointing overall.

Those from Medway who were there report that there was a real atmosphere, almost an electric tingling of anticipation and excitement, which few if any attendees had expected beforehand. The whole feel was of one of those serious modernisation exercises that the Conservatives have successfully done several times in the past, most notably under Churchill and Thatcher.

The way I perceive the post-conference scene, having followed all three conferences, is that Labour is on the way out, the LibDems are (hopefully!) getting their act together properly—at last!—and the Conservatives are beginning a true renaissance—and about time too! .

Next time: Upon Closer Inspection