Results tagged “conservative party” from Liverpool Daily Post - Outside The Bubble
George Osborne's praise for David Cameron at the start of his speech yesterday was enough to churn even the hardiest of stomachs. Maybe the man once billed the Conservative's election superbrain (that worked out well didn't it) was so gushing on purpose. Maybe he hoped it would make millions feel less sick when confirmation of the change to child benefits was delivered moments later.
But that would probably be giving Osborne, and the Tory Party spin doctors, too much credit, pardon the pun. Rather like the Lib Dem conference a fortnight ago, the belief appears to be that if you say something forcefully enough, then everyone will buy into it. Show you believe something so much, and then the country will forget it didn't actually vote for the government which now rules, and certainly didn't vote for the hotch-potch of policies which now appear set to be delivered.
When he was leader of the opposition, I suspect William Hague used to dream of being able to topple Tony Blair as they day's hot topic of conversation.
Almost a decade on from being replaced as leader of the Tories, and Hague today did exactly that, arguably creating a political first in the process. And I can't help but feel very, very sorry for him.
Apparently, rumours have been rife about the sort of relationship he was having with his special advisor Christopher Myers for a while now. On the internet, the rumours have been articulated in some detail, while in the Press, apparently it's been more about innuendo.
Less than a fortnight into the job, and Michael Gove, the education secretary with the incredibly slappable face, has unveiled his great vision for schools.
It goes like this: Any school rated excellent can apply to become an academy. In return, these schools will be 'freed of local authority control' with 'power restored to headteachers' because 'teachers know how to run schools, not politicians.'
Gove, a former journalist, should know a thing or two about being spun. He's certainly done a bloody good job of spinning.
Cut through the waffle from the newly-renamed Department for Education - note the LibCon slash and burn on waste doesn't apparently extend to the endless rebranding of government departments - and there's nothing really new here at all.
In a nutshell, we have what happens whenever a new government takes over. The education secretary criticises the previous regime and unveils his/her vision for the future. And so begins the merry-go-round all teachers will be familiar with. At the end of the day, nothing changes: Some schools are great, others are not. And there's nothing in Gove's plans which will change that.
In my column in Tuesday's Liverpool Daily Post, I make the point that over the weekend, the discussions around a coalition government over the weekend seemed to have all the urgency of an end-of-term PTA meeting.
With the clock ticking to the opening of the stock markets for the week, we should have been frantic back-and-forth, not some gentlemanly Sunday discussion before retiring for tea before the Antiques Roadshow.
Of course, the pace quickened today somewhat, not least because it turned out that Nick Clegg was having secret meetings with Gordon Brown. Secret in the sense that David Cameron apparently didn't know anything about these meetings. How secret Clegg really expected the meeting to be isn't known. If he did expect it to be a secret, then he was a tad naive. If he wanted it to get out to the Tories, then it was masterstroke in playing games.
Either way, it doesn't bode particularly well for a coalition government. In fact, over the last 24 hours it's become increasingly clear that the Lib Dems don't really want to make a decision. They are behaving as though they are just enjoying the attention, suddenly being in the thick of things.
When David Cameron looks back on this week, what will he be thinking?
He's probably got more reason to be cheerful than a week ago. I'm not convinced by the poll for The Sun which said he won the leaders' debate, but he's certainly had a better week.
The few times I've seen him on the TV 'on the stump' he seems to be more approachable, talking to 'real' people rather than surrounding himself with a gaggle of Tory supporters.
A quick conversation with a shopper about people who claim benefits and turning the Mirror's stunt of sending a reporter dressed as a chicken after him at location into an opportunity to show he has a sense of humour are two examples which spring to mind.
To me, it suggests that the problem for Cameron isn't his instincts - he knows how to work the public - but the people devising the strategy behind him.