Wednesday 5 October 2011

Conference season finally ends. Good, it was rubbish.

Conference season is over.

This underwhelming event is given great prominence in the media, making it appear a national issue rather than the local one which it really is. Parties have a conference for the same reason corporations do. To let different strands of the organisation meet each other. To woo backers and clients. To give a veneer of a voice to people who don't normally get one. To boost morale. To present some new ideas that may or not come to fruition. To set out the framework of the coming period and to let the leader make his/her speech about their vision. Like any conference the message is for the people who work there.

Only Cameron, being the actual CEO, has to really consider how its going to play with the shareholders.
And if you think of the last three in those terms, then they were better than they appeared to be.

The Liberals went for morale. They wanted to reassure their workers that they knew what they were doing and that they were in no one's pocket. So they were combative with everyone and behaved like an opposition without hope of gaining power. Which, is basically, what they are.
The Liberals are going to struggle much more than the other two parties to retain the votes from 2010. So Clegg & co decided to remind the troops that although they may well all get slaughtered come the next big push, it sure was worth it to stand up for one's ideals, eh chaps?

Miliband's party made some feeble excuses to get them out of the way. The Blair, "we've said sorry, now let's move on" strategy. Its important to get that done. It wasn't convincing but it doesn't need to be. Brown's people hated to say sorry for anything and he was bullied by the press at every opportunity to apologise for something. Mainly because they knew he wouldn't.
Miliband's speech was a disconnect of sound-bites. A speech of one liners for the 10 O'clock news. It was too long and I thought it very poor overall.

But, having seen Cameron's, I realise he had the same idea. Soundbites for the media but message for the faithful. 'We are here. We cocked up before. But I have a lot to offer. And as I'm not quite sure what that is I'll list everything I can think of and you pick out the bits you like and forget the rest." So, for who it was aimed at..those who were slightly worried by his leadership, it was good enough. Even if he did have to spend the next three days explaining across the networks what he'd said and what he meant.

Cameron went for Prime Ministerial. He has to. He's the PM. It was an OK, if dull speech. More for the country than the party. And that's his job. To tell us, what they are doing. It was a Keep Calm and Carry ON speech from the ministry .

The Tory conference media management was a disaster. The cock-up PM briefing was a big mistake. All the TV and radio had programs discussing what he had said in his speech many hours before he never said it. It was a Brown sort of cock-up. Tony Blair would not have had such sloppiness. And the moggy story!! Worthy of a Vince award for fastest fail.
And walking around with women MPs. Another patently transparent Brown style PR stunt that is so obviously a trick it just irritates the viewers. Cameron desperately needs a Campbell/Coulson.

The media did their usual trick too. They went in search of stories they wanted to report, instead of any that were there. So they were desperate to find coalition splits at the Liberal's do. Leadership challenges and dissatisfaction at the Labour one. And Euro anger, Liberal wets anger and women's anger at the Tory one. And they were frustrated in all as they { and if you saw any of Newsnight you'll know who was principally behind this} found bugger all worth reporting, despite the best and most provocative efforts to do so.

Which you could have predicted before the conference began. Nothing too controversial. No open splits. No spats. A score draw bore for everyone.

The leaders of all three parties must be delighted.


Electro-Kevin said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Electro-Kevin said...

Of course there's not enough excitement going on already in the world today.

The palid looks on the Tory's faces were not fake and were, in fact, probably the most genuine thing I've witnessed during conference season.

(Excepting Norman Tebbit's bravery
at the Brighton bombing)

They're laying off Ed Miliband as he may be the only way the Tories will get elected.

Scan said...

I watch/listen to the conferences every year (yes, I'm sure I probably do have something better to do) and I have to say this year was by far the worst "season" I've ever had the misfortune to endure. They're generally vacuous anyway but they have exceeded all depths this year in speakers' content and presentation.

The Lib Dumbs hated the bankers and pretended that even though they've reneged on most of their promises that they give a sh*t about anyone but themselves. Neo Labour had to be turned off on numerous occasion to prevent me having an enraged heart attak through their sheer supercilious fascism. And the Tories...well...they were like their leader. Pretty wet and crap.

The only saving grace was Boris Johnson - who I did have a sneaky bet on a few years ago to become Tory leader by 2015. He's "in touch", he's intelligent and can think on his feet - contrary to popular belief - and most of all he sounds human.

Overall my message would be:

Dear David Cameron,

You're crap and you're not a Tory. Please F... off!

Kind Regards

Elby the Beserk said...

Does anyone remember the conferences a week after the season is over? I think not.

Mind you, it is all very well Labour claiming they have apologised, but until they formally apologise for foisting that bastard cretin misfit Brown on us, it's a no go. That's the real apology that has to be made.

Bill Quango MP said...

EK - start of the breakdown. Its looking shakier by the day. Hope there's more faux 'euro is saved' announcements from the Merkel in time for Xmas.

Scan: How are you?
Yes, it was dismal even by the low standards of these things. BBC was desperate to make up a story. The Boris / Paxo interview was just embarrassing for everyone. If we had to award marks

L - 3
La - 2
C - 3

Elby: They shouldn't really be televised. They are a lobbying and face shower event.

Timbo614 said...

The euro is saved! - The Germans will buy it if you give them a 67% discount. Then they will give it 4 wheel drive, more voorsprung and more tecnik then force everyone else to buy it back at a profit! Ve hav vays... getting long in the tooth that one, like the "common market" that we actually voted for in 1973 - nearly forgotten.

Bill Quango MP said...

I didn't vote for anything in 1973.
I WAS 8.

CU wasn't even an embryo.

Maybe it is time for a referendum withsome decent options. In-out&shake it all about.

Timbo614 said...

OK, that I stupidly voted for in 1973, I was 20 and did not know any better. That's my excuse and I'm sticking to it!

Timbo614 said...

[After thinking back]

In my defence I was only 20 - I had two small children, an old house to rebuild (from it's last decoration in around 1920-30 in would guess) outside loo, scullery with one cold tap etc. (no Niolins I was very lucky to get that!)

It was a busy time and in ex-60's happiness & hippyness thought that anything that brought people closer together was worth voting for.

Remember, when I was small the war was only just past (I have a WWII ration book somewhere with my name on it even though I was born in '53) war books and comics were typical and we were always shooting the Hun or some other dastardly enemy. Britain still thought it was Great Britain.


At 13 or 14 I read "The scourge of the Swastika" by Lord Russell of Liverpool, not your average 14 year old reading. It seriously changed my outlook back then (must have because I remember my horror so distinctly) a grisly account by any standard. Probably what made me a pacifist or at least a pacifistic(sic?) thinker. So motivation, the time, the history. How was I supposed to judge the eventual outcome at that point.

[Paranoia Mode]

It's all my fault, go on , blame me, I just knew it would be! :)

Electro-Kevin said...

Class of '65. Ditto, BQ.

I had you pictured as being more mature.

Bill Quango MP said...

Like yours EK, that's not my real picture.

At least, I hope that's not your real picture.

You look more like 'The Edge' IIR

Nick Drew said...

it wasn't 1973 !

Timbo614 said...

well spotted 1975! well I was 22 had 3 small children and a half built house..... :) F***ing memory!

Your turn will come ND (to misremember that is)

Bill Quango MP said...

Its interesting that all cabinets up to Blairs had men who mostly had school-war-record-business in them. Some of them had national service if not WW2, but still.

School, service, money making.

Might be worth a post on Cameron';s cabinet if i can get the intern to do the googling.

Electro-Kevin said...

Military service doesn't prevent chaps from joining the LibDems.

Nick Drew said...

Your turn will come ND (to misremember that is)

too late Timbo old chap, my memory is already like a sieve

(it's just that I could remember exactly where I was when I *ahem* voted on that one)

coincidentally (given BQ / EK strand above), military service comes into that story as well ...