Monday, 1 October 2018
Conservative Conference needs "spicing up"
Photo: By Chris McAndrew
As a newbie to watching proceedings in Birmingham where the Tories are holding their annual conference I could be forgiven for saying that proceedings are at times somewhat tedious. Although Esther McVey got off to a relatively storming start attacking Corbyn and Momentum(which "contained three "M's" standing for Militant, Militant and Militant) and then reminded everyone that John McDonnell had threatened to have her "lynched" was competently delivered.
However the long awaited "debate" on Brexit was introduced by a Tory MEP who's name I forget did introduce the session by firstly stating there would be no second referendum and went on to call for "unity" in "public debate" & asked both sides to "calm it down a bit" which neatly led us to the contribution of the Brexit Secretary.
Dominic Raab called on everyone to unite and further to "work together" (some hope) to deliver a Brexit for the nation. Raab went on to paraphrase Theresa May's comments that the EU should not mistake British politeness for weakness. "We are a fighting nation" he said.
Photo: By Chris McAndrew
The government wants a deal that delivers the referendum, grasps opportunities and retains the union. Raab reminded those present that they were after called The Conservative and Unionist Party. Despite being respectful the EU seemed to think we could be persuaded to give up control of part of the UK. Not happening.
If the EU was serious they will listen to get a good deal for everyone. However they were prepared to leave with no deal if one went against the nations interests. Not " a likely outcome" but they would "not accept a deal that goes against the national interest.
Raab recognised most people wanted to "get on with it", he could have added that most of us are bored to tears of hearing about Brexit but never mind...
He then told us the tale of how his father had come to this country to escape persecution and learn't of his relatives murders in concentration camps Raab promised he would fight anti-Semitism to his "last breath" which got a huge applause from the conference floor.
Raab warned of the dangers of populism in the form of the far-left in the Labour Party and the alt-Right across the continent where extremist parties were gaining ground.
Contributions from the Transport Secretary and the Chancellor were less interesting and eventually off the TV went.
Other than Domic Raab and to a lesser extent Esther Mcvey the first two days of this conference have been dull, which the Tories must do something about. There must be a happy medium between the bear-pit that is Labour and the set-piece which is Conservative practice.