Dave’s first conference in Brum as leader has been a disaster. It never recovered from the child benefit cock-up and the main focus has been about cuts, cuts, and more cuts. There has been talk of little else. Dave’s eyes have got narrower, his lips thinner. We haven’t seen this look since October 2008 when the financial crisis found him wanting.
The interesting thing about party conferences is that they have a habit of revealing weakness: weakness of both policies and individuals. This conference has been no exception.
Apart from ‘cuddly Ken’, the proceedings have lacked any gravitas whatsoever. Unimpressive unknowns spouting virtuous nonsense have done nothing to instil confidence in the party or the coalition – or us.
What really sticks in my craw is the self-satisfied gloss that was put over the misery that the cuts are going to cause, and the singular pride that they were taking in having to make ‘hard choices’. The ‘price worth paying party’ is at it again.
This should have been a conference full of new ideas and initiatives to inspire confidence and promote growth. Instead it was gloomy, boring and lacklustre.