Conservative conference – not boring, not weird

Conservative conference – not boring, not weird

Mark Gallagher

All these bloggers and commentators moaning about how boring the Conservative conference has been are, well….boring.

Two immediate thoughts. First, it was meant to be. We’re in the grip of the worst economic downturn in living memory; most of the global economic variables are way outside the Government’s control; most of the economic tools that might have been available to any other Government are also out of reach because “there’s no money” left. Which party of Government would want to host a conference against that backdrop?

The Cameroons have therefore played it long and played it cool on this conference – and if Pagefield had been advising them, we’d have recommended exactly that. In comms terms, they should be congratulated for holding their nerve. Second, apart from the occasional conference car crash (this year, a squashed cat) party conferences are ALWAYS dull – at least for the pure politics.

As our Sara Price wrote the other day, the conferences have followed the same basic format for decades – and it’s all a bit tired. However, people forget that for those of us fascinated by or involved in politics, the season provides one of the few opportunities for a mass gathering of politicos – journalists, lobbyists, advisers, MPs, Peers, Ministers and party members – our one opportunity to be “all in it together”. As you all know, those of us that inhabit Planet Politics are looked upon by those that don’t with a mixture of pity, incredulity and outright hostility.

So let’s enjoy and celebrate that one time of year when we’re surrounded by people who don’t think we’re weird, just because we enjoy politics.