Tuesday, October 03, 2006


I arrived here on Sunday to gales and lashing rain.

Ominously - given our adoption of an Oak tree for our logo my path to conference was blocked by a large fallen Oak tree across the road. There were press photographers there instantly, waiting for the opportunity to use the photograph as an appropriate metaphor for the week ahead. Given that the history of recent Conservative Conferences has been an orgy of self destructive and bitter infighting, you can't really blame them I suppose.

Luckily ours is a more energetic and youthful oak tree and it seems to be surviving the wild forces beating against it in Bournemouth rather well.

In spite of the sound of press knives sharpening on Sunday the tone and content of the Conference so far has been in a different league to any that I have experienced thus far in my relatively short political life.

There is a hot debate on tax policy which won't be resolved this week, there is much on social action - releasing people to take action themselves rather than waiting for a Government initiative to solve every social problem, and a very great deal about the environment, including the sound of some very tough decisions being prepared for.

Other than much disgruntlement about the missing passes (there are still several hundred delegates locked outside as I write) we are having a great time learning to be 'new'.


Barrie Wood said...

Whilst Cameron doesn't want to talk policies your grassroots do ! What they want is retro 80s Thatcherism. From a LD point of view, it's good to see Tebbitt, Leigh and Redwood to remind the rest of us why you became so unelectable.

I've summarised the 'Independent' / Conservative.Home findings here :

www.tinyurl.com/p816v and the REAL Tory policy views posting,or just click on my name.

As for compassionate conservatism - surely an oxymoron ? - try the Cornerstone Group of MPs at www.cornerstonegroup.org.uk/Articles.htm

You're party still has much to do to convincingly challenge from the centre-ground of British politics. Cameron, can't get away with this feel good, touchy-feely stuff for much longer.

Mike said...

The conference has had very good coverage in the media, even the BBC had some nice things to say.

Was that you I saw on the Ten O Clock News last night when Cameron was mingling with the candidates?