Monday, 5 October 2009

Conservatives in Manchester (I)

The Conservatives are as secretive about their conference agenda as Labour. If someone can point me to a publicly-available programme, I would be grateful.

It was clever of them to get one of their weakest pitches out of the way on the first morning. Sir George Young outlined some very desirable democratic changes to House of Commons procedures at length, but dismissed the allowances and expenses scandal, which arguably implicated as much mis-spending on the part of Conservative MPs as Labour ones, in a couple of sentences at the beginning.

Sir George rightly drew attention to the Select Committee system which has proved so valuable over the last twenty years. What he omitted was the name of Norman St John Stevas, the prime mover of the changes. He was not Margaret Thatcher's favourite person, which may have had something to do with his air-brushing out of Conservative history this morning.

(Given the keynote of austerity sounded by Eric Pickles, it was rather tactless to fill in the gap between presentations with a backing track which, if I heard correctly, repeated the mantra "Shop till you drop".)

2 comments:

Anonymous said...

The programme has been available on the National website since Sunday. Not overly obvious but it is there.

Frank H Little said...

I promise, I did look on the national pages. Obviously I didn't search hard enough (I tried webfetch as well). Ah well, all irrelevant now.