Tuesday, September 30, 2014

#CPC14 - Boris - The clown from town.



If they could have found a palanquin out the back, they would have borne Boris into the streets of Birmingham.
It was candidates day -again - at the Tory Party conference as those who would be Dave lined up to show themselves off.
You can always tell when the leader’s job is up for grabs by applying the mathematical equation loyalty x name-checks = ambition to any speech.

Yesterday, Chancellor George said the present Prime Minister was the only man to lead them into the election. Today, Home Secretary Theresa May elbowed her way into the already crowded blue corner with similar protestations. And just to make his day complete, Boris popped down from the day job as Mayor of London to remind everyone he was on his way.

Theresa had opted to follow George and lay on impending grief with a large trowel. Delegates who were only there to get a good seat for Boris squirmed as she asked them to imagine being a black man subject to stop and search. You could see that imaging either was not why they had booked tickets for the conference of the Conservative and - thankfully still - Unionist Party.

As UKIP stood by for the phone calls, she said militants remained on the march. But they relaxed as she made it clear that they would have to get past her first. Having lasted four years in a job she was expected to fail in, Mrs M now confounds the party.

They cannot quite forgive her for calling them “The nasty party” ten years ago and she still does not booze with the boys. But even as she was making her mark in a speech with real content, the audience was getting the balloons out for Boris.

It’s not that they came to Birmingham for a laugh - even Brummies don’t do that. But they had hoped for a better start to the week than a desertion to UKIP by one MP and the resignation of another for forgetting to zip his pyjamas.

George threatening to turn the screws on the working poor had cheered them up a bit. And Theresa, suitably dressed in funereal black, was hardly a barrel of laughs with her reminders that the UK was forever a multicultural society.

So it was with relief that could have been bottled and sold that the moment
they had all been waiting for finally arrived - the clown from the town.

It must be a matter of constant wonder for the PM, attacked for being ex-Eton and ex-Bullingdon, that Boris treads the same path without picking up anything on his shoes. By now even he had taken his seat, as had George, both practising straining their smiles through their teeth.

Dave had made an early foray onto the Today programme to make sure they whole day wasn’t lost to his competitors. Chief Whip Michael Gove had been booked early in the hall to make notes on anybody demonstrating over-enthusiasm.

But as soon as Boris bumbled on stage, he had them all by their extremities.

Any “quitters, splitters or Kippers here”, he bellowed. 

“This is a fantastic time to be a Conservative”, he shouted.

In a speech almost totally devoid of content he brandished a brick to demonstrate his success in expanding London, mumbled and fumbled through his notes and was cheered to the rafters.

He thanked Dave at least four times, George, three and even Theresa, one. They were just the right team to lead into the election that he too will be standing in - and the one for which he will have no responsibility. 

Had not he done well in little old London, he reminded them as they smiled and laughed their way through his application.

“No content”, said the chatterati.

"No contest”, said the delegates.