Tuesday, October 06, 2009

Day Two at the Conference

I am sorry for the lack of blogposts today - it's been a busy one at the conference. I always find it difficult to blog during conferences. No facilities have been provided for bloggers so I have to rely on my Blackberry rather than my laptop. I think I ought to get one of the small laptops with permanent Wifi in future.

What did you all make of George Osborne's speech and what he had to say? This afternoon I spoke to a range of political and media personalities to ask for their thoughts. Listen to Michael Crick, John Pienaar, Shazia Awan, Ken Clarke, Jon Craig and Suzanne Moore.

Click HERE.


Anonymous said...


Salmond’s insistence on participating in a leaders’ debate throws the nationalist cat amongst the British pigeons

Posted on 5 October 2009 by David

A truly comical row has broken out over SNP leader Alex Salmond’s insistence that he should participate in any debate between the party leaders broadcast in Scotland ahead of the next general election. The three main parties are insisting that as Salmond isn’t even standing for parliament – and therefore, by definition, is not a candidate for PM – he has no business taking part in the debate. By contrast, the SNP argues that it is entitled by law to equal air time to the other parties and that, as the party leading the opinion polls and the government in Scotland, the SNP should be represented by its leader in the broadcasts. Otherwise, according to SNP Finance Minister John Swinney, “it deprives the voters in Scotland of hearing the breadth of political choice that quite clearly exists here in Scotland about the input of Scotland into the UK General Election”.

On the one hand, the national-UK parties are right – but not in the way intended – when they say, as did Shadow Scottish Secretary David Mundell quoted in the BBC article linked above, that it is “not appropriate for Mr Salmond to take part in a debate about who should be the prime minister of Britain”. But this is only true in the case of one of the three main meanings of the word ‘Britain’ in contemporary political discourse: when it means ‘England’. It would indeed be entirely inappropriate for Alex Salmond to debate matters such as education, health, justice, communities, housing, planning, the environment, etc. The other parties want to con English voters into thinking that their policies in such areas relate to an entity known as ‘Britain’, whereas in fact they relate almost exclusively to England alone. If Salmond took part, he would continually be pointing out that he had nothing to say on these matters, as they had nothing to do with Scotland. And the parties want to prevent the electorate from being aware of this fact as much as possible. So yes, ‘it is not appropriate for Mr Salmond to take part in a debate about who should be the prime minister of England‘


David from Ealing said...

Some interesting messages not very interestingly presented.

The Grim Reaper said...

Iain says "No facilities have been provided for bloggers so I have to rely on my Blackberry rather than my laptop."

You're always telling us that Tories are better at blogging than anyone else. The Tory Party itself clearly still has some learning to do on the subject.

Anonymous said...

The arrogance of you political types seems to know zero boundaries.

As a Gay Scotsman living in Wales, its easy to see yet again the arrogance of the political class.

The divide and conquer nonsense.

Why don't people like you just stop the procrastinating tripe and do the bloody job that your constituants pay you for and expect you to do.

That would be a first.

Would it not be of value to just
be their for those who voted you in and stopped all this self interest and advetisment.

Alan Douglas said...

Well, to parallell Suzanne Moore's comments, all I noticed about her was the haystack on her head.

Alan Douglas

True Belle said...

I think the whole kerfuffle of the Tory conference has appeared very muddled and by and large seems to be one drunken b(w)inge again!

Please ask dear Ken Clarke to modify his laugh ,he sounds just like Graham Norton or just another braying Tory member!

What on earth are the Tories thinking of re retirement- this country thrives on ageism - Some professions have to retire early/depending on fitness and health checks etc. Pilots are just one example.

This is such an ill thought out idea, doesn't it show their lack of understanding for the real world?

golden_balls said...

I do find it interesting you were able to post countless times about the Labour party conference.

most of it was rumour gossip or misinterpretation of policy i hasten to add.

But at your own party conference you find little time to post at all.

Stop quaffing Champagne at these party events and you might just have time.

gustavus said...

I think you can probably skip Suzanne Moore's 'insights' in future. Great reports, though - real meat. Keep them coming.

Martin S said...

I got a Blackberry Pearl. Nice phone, but not big enough to use for blogging on the move.

Anonymous said...

A pre-ratification referendum in our time!


Anonymous said...

Nice to see you on Newsnight tonight (on the Michael Crick spot.)

3 appearances!

You're looking well. The new diet's obviously working.

Victor, NW Kent said...

That tatterdemalion lady seemed to be more concerned with Osborne's hair and elocution than with the problems of the country. What does she do at the Mail on Sunday? Perhaps she writes on fashion.

Even Michael Crick couldn't find anything really patronising to say about Osborne's speech.

I know that maths is not a strong suit for most journalists but "only £7-billion" saved amounts to "only" about £540 a year for the average family of 4. Money not squandered, money not borrowed. Hardly worth the trouble as Crick implied.

Max Atkinson said...

I was so distracted by the bizarre backdrop, wondering what it all meant, who's idea it was and why on earth the Tory high command had bought into anything quite so barmy that I didn't manage to listen to much of what he said - for more on which, see http://bit.ly/uAJ8t

Anonymous said...

I found George honest, but his message rather depressing. Still, if there's a mess to be sorted, at least he's being straight about how to sort it.

I then heard all the business team talk and Ken Clarke and wow! All I can say is: reduced quangoes, reduced red tape, less employment law, also the NI breaks for new company employees; BRING IT ON NOW! (And why haven't these business proposals had more publicity?)

Anonymous said...

Thought his speech made sense, told everyone there were on easy and painless solutons.
Positive news that at last someone is doing something to stop the public spending nightmare.

Anonymous said...

Today's Telegraph


Tapestry said...

There has been a collapse in decent blogging this year. no wifi either according to carswell.

it seems like the media have decided to put the frighteners on cameron with endless bullingdon exposure and anti-Tory propaganda in an attempt to bury all referendum talk.

it seems very depressing that Boris' efforts to cheer and hannan's texts sound so unconvincing now.

my take is the eurosceptic movement should back Brown's coming Proportional Representation referendum offer.

Taking the numbers from EP election results, the potential coalition between UKIP and Conservatives with other eurosceptic parties (Greens, BNP, ED etc) would hammer a Labour Lib Dem coalition 2:1.

Anonymous said...

George Osborne is never going to stir the blood, but in the end content is more important than presentation and I thought he gave a solid, meaty speech. I'd trust him, with his sidekick the excellent Philip Hammond, to make a better job of the economy than Brown/Darling could even dream of.

I enjoyed the entire Business session and loved Ken Clarke's speech. Not only for its sound common sense but particularly for his generous-spirited high praise of Cameron & Osborne as the new torch bearers, so to speak.

I watch as much as I can of the confererences on BBC Parliament, where you get the whole thing not just the parts BBC News, Daily Politics or Newsnight want you to see, with their distracting interviews. I watch those later, when I can spot the misrepresentations!

Anonymous said...

I thought George came over very well and was altogether more believable - and more easy to relate to - than Dave. But you could have shut your eyes and imagined you were listening to Blair. I still believe Dave has blown it by playing the referendum issue long in deference to the Poles and Czechs.

Paddy Briggs said...

So Osborne's given up on the public sector employee vote. Fair enough. Not sure that he was going to get any of it anyway.

No the really courageous thing would have been to make proposals that would hit the pockets of those who voted Labour in 2005 but who the Tories need to vote for them next year. No chance!

"Le jeu de la politique" - as Alan Clark might have put it!

So much for the post-industrial economy said...

Being ask to susidise all those 4x4driving champagne charlies with their braying laughter about how the 'poor' were the cause of this financial mess and not their greed in the city makes Osbourne's speech a Labour election saver.

Anonymous said...

Let me explain it to you then, Iain.

The actual content of the speech would count as a plus for the tories as everyone knows that Nulab are liars, failures and traitors; also, everyone knows that serious things have to be done to get us out of the mess the liblabcons put us into. Doesn't mean anyone is going to trust the tories, though.

The difficulty is all the things young George ("a French aristocrat looking out of a carriage") didn't say. One issue is how does raising the retirement age for men necessarily result in saving money? Mass unemployment remains an instrument of policy for tories and NuLab with the result that lots of men over 60 have no chance of being offered a job or even a job interview. (Much like lots of men below 60.)

Those unemployed men of 60 or over are then entitled to pension credit, which is worth no less if not more than the state pension. Are the tories going to scrap pension credit? And leave them on JSA looking for the jobs that don't exist?

Then there's this 'the most vulnerable' stuff. Who are they exactly? Camera-on used to say that the unemployed would be penalised if they refused to accept good jobs. Haven't heard much of that recently. You now going to say that blind, armless, legless and brain damaged people may get some assistance but the rest of the unemployed can just go live on the streets just like in the good ole u s of a?

You seriously think that, after the Thatcher years, anyone is just going to trust tory goodwill?

Alan said...

Victor, NW Kent said...
"I know that maths is not a strong suit for most journalists but "only £7-billion" saved amounts to "only" about £540 a year for the average family of 4."

A curious calculation. Why not state that it is £280 per household (25 million households in the UK)?

True Belle said...

George is mistaken, we are not all in this together. I will never be punished by a Tory government ever again.

I lived under Tory austerity for many many years, and watched our manufacturing and agricultural background slide away.

I support many Tory principles and small government but the very principles that are laid down as a safety net for less fortunate members of society should not be sacrificed

Many people are detecting a very arrogant streak running through this conference.

They have to be very careful you know.

There are many more people on the minimum wage in the countryside who are struggling along. Now it is very wrong to assume that hard working families who need a top up are parasites! If George thinks that deducting £25 pounds form families who need it achieves applause he must think again. He must address the black economy first and foremost.

I have huge doubts about this conference and the PR spun. They may just be talking themselves out of a result.

Hawkeye said...

My, the Labour trolls are busy on here today...

Oh well, I'll put on my nom de plume and nip over to some Labour sites and do some trolling.

Dimoto said...

Low key, but interesting and practical speech from Gove on education this morning. Worth watching.

Ben Bradshaw reckons the BBC's "Tory bias" is "scandalous" - that's giving Osborne and Cameron a smidgen of airtime to you.

Labour look well rattled, there have never been so many desperate Labour trolls on the Web talking to themselves !

lloyd said...

Is that you interviewing Mr Pienaar? Journo and journo - isn't what they call 'out of the loop'?

And, trying not to giggle, the photo-op with the furry thing sticking up between you beats Fraser Nelson's champagne moment with Cam. Millipede's banana springs to mind.