Monday, September 29, 2014

#CPC14 - George speaks..the nation sleeps.

There was a time when the audience at a Conservative Party conference looked like an early snowfall. But the advance of UKIP has turned the party of the nearly-dead to that - say unkind critics - of the undead.

Gone are the white-hairs and in their place, or at least in camera shot, a selection of the nation from central casting. Who better then to appear in front of them today than Chancellor
George, often accused of stepping straight out of the coffin to deliver his message.

We are indebted to the Mail on Sunday - an admission not made lightly - for discovering he has recently shed several stones in weight. So it was an-even-more-cadaverous-than-usual Chancellor who turned up in front of the faithful.

After a less than fortunate start to the conference yesterday, mislaying two MPs, today was the day to get back to bashing others. 

George has always been rather good at sticking it to those who the Tories don’t like, generally anybody not a Tory - and, if possible, foreign.

The hall was packed in eager anticipation and even the Prime Minister slipped in, to less than fulsome applause, just before the off.

Dave’s perma-tan, topped up by his travels as world leader, only served to emphasise the ghostly pallor of his Chancellor as he took to the stage. George has admitted himself that his relations with real people have not been as good as they might be. But he has always known where to throw the red meat in the Tory Party. The trouble is that the onslaught of UKIP has robbed the party of its favourite recidivists and George of his audience.

A pledge to freeze benefits for two years would once have had walking sticks aloft and zimmers on the move. Today there was applause but slight unease amongst an audience that might actually know some people poor enough to pick them up.

He promised immediate action on pension taxes, but with those most affected down the pub with Nigel Farage, polite applause replaced what once would have been standing - or at least slightly bending - ovations.

There were jokes; not a career the Chancellor will be following in later life. And there were insults; where he clearly felt much more comfortable.

Some said the speech was his marker for the future if Dave ever falls under the bus trailing him around the country. 

If it was, then Boris, who is on tomorrow and will wow them rotten, has nothing to worry about.