Exhausted from watching BBC News 24 coverage of the collapse of the financial world last night, and reluctant to borrow any more shares from my local vicar in non-banking sectors to short sell, I decided not to flog up the motorway to listen to David Cameron today but to do it the easy way and wait for The Blue Blog to send me an email.
So, I report to you tonight, from the Boat, a glass of Rioja to my right and a pack of Britain’s finest woodbines to my left. The Blue Blog Email arrived about fifteen minutes ago. David, I was told, “promised that we will do everything possible to help the Government protect our financial security.” I listened to his unscheduled speech. He wants to get a couple of things straight – I paraphrase….. we must not let anger cloud judgment, easy to see why people are pissed off with bankers who come to us to bail them out… will be a day of reckoning…. but not today. Must do everything we can to protect the stability…. and then a huge amount of clapping. Today is a day for safety, security and protection. Cameron then, perhaps succumbing to omnipotence, told us that he would always do the right thing to protect our future.
All good guff, of course… but it was at this point that I started hunting around The Blue Blog to see if there were any Conservative policies lurking in dark corners. I could not find any – but I did come across a blog post by George Osborne, written… possibly in a moment of post politico-coital tendresse, shortly after Cameron’s impromptu speech. A beautifully and sensitively photographed Osborne… looking composed and serious, almost grave…. wrote: “We are in the eye of a global financial storm, and people across Britain will be worried by the events they can see unfolding on the news. We will not allow party politics to get in the way of tackling this crisis. That is why David Cameron has just made a special address to the Conservative Party offering to work with the Government to introduce new powers to save failing banks, protect savings and break the cycle of liquidity drying up by temporarily suspending mark-to-market accounting. Our principle is clear: we must protect the taxpayer where possible and stabilise the system where necessary.”
I could hear Jerusalem in my head, triggering images of our sceptred isle, of the recent summer season, the Henley Regatta, Glyndebourne…. the sounds of the English middle classes clapping at Wimbledon and shouting “Come on Tim!” – and then I realised I was reading what is supposed to be a serious blog. I made a point of reading both comments – one from a chap called No Display Name… who started his comment with.. and I quote:
Firstly, congratulations on delivering one of the most effective and honest speeches I have ever heard made by a Politician of any persuasion. I have been and will remain a life long Conservative but the issue you Sir and Colleagues face is regaining trust.”
This was a man or woman, a lifelong Tory, proud of his party but either to thick to write his or her name or who perhaps does not wish, yet, to be identified as one of the faithful publicly.
I enjoyed the use of the greeting “Sir”…. perhaps the writer recalled the good old days of fagging and the lash…. who knows? but his words appeared on the page to have come from another era in terms of the style of writing. There is a hint of this when the anonymous writer goes on to say “The British are a nation still of famously long suffering but, they possess an inherent, almost in-born sense of fair-play.” I could almost see Tom Brown smiling approvingly. Labour may do the Hovis metaphor well… but you have to hand it to The Tories… their new website and blog is slick… and the smooth looking photographs of Osborne and Cameron, subtly hinting at efficiency and the demeanour of those born to rule, is more Eton Boating Song than Keith Allen’s song ‘Vindaloo”.
It was at this point that my eye was caught by the words on The Blue Blog… “Show your support Join the Conservative Wall.” I just had to click the link... and while things are bad under labour (I have always voted Labour)…… I began to feel a shiver down my spine… it was not one of patriotism or new found zeal… it was one of pure horror at what may come to be.
So… on that note, as I don’t need to sit on a train getting pissed on my way back from Birmingham… I shall bid you goodnight and spend a little time with my cellar as the tide comes in.
This is Charon, reporting on Day Two of the Tory Conference, from The Boat.