'Tis the season of the year

Not relevant but funny, sort of

William Hague 1977William Hague 1977
Well it's all over. The party political conference season, or conference as it's now called, has finished. A while back Richard North declared his disinterest in it all. However, you might have thought, if you think in trendy sound bites, that the first coalition in a long time would have heralded a new era in UK politics. That this would lead to post adversarial politics and onwards and upwards to the permanently sunny uplands. In a word, no. This is not the case. The death of adversarial politics has been exaggerated. The 'new era' is simply confirmation that conventional domestic politics has been overcome by the confederation effect, the EU. Our national politicians have nothing to do but fight amongst themselves. An in-party adversarial trend that delights the MSM as, without this they would have nothing to do, nothing to report.

In some respects only a few people could have spotted the difference between the three tribes of nerds that took part in this now very dated ritual. Also all three parties were very lucky in the timing of their efforts to impress us. The first to go were the Liberal Democrats. Held in Birmingham their bash was hard for locals to spot. No extra traffic in the streets nor anything exciting occurred, in or out of the venue. So just smugfest as-per-normal, however, the Lib Dems are, of all the main parties, the one suffering the most as traditional politics gets bogged down. They are really down on support and credibility but being who they are will be the last to spot this. They also seemed to fail to spot that the EU is falling apart or if they did, thought that the best way around this was to not mention the fact. This simply will not do.
Rory Weal 2011Rory Weal 2011

For example their luck was that Amanda Knox was released from prison in Italy after their conference had finished. Such was the candle power of the media spotlight on this event it would have outshone any performance by Nick Clegg. It would not have mattered if he had juggled with eggs while hanging upside down from a trapeze and spoken in tongues, he would still have been ignored and his day ruined. Serve him right too for the Lib Dems are besotted with all things EU. However, as the Knox case unfolded it was clear that the Italian justice system is deeply flawed. What the police got was a confession. What they did not have was evidence. The prosecution made up for this however, with suggestions that Satanism was involved. Easy to suggest but difficult to refute, alas Satanism is like that!

So what has the quality of Italian justice to do with Clegg? Well being a Lib Dem he is a passionate believer in the European Arrest Warrant. This bit of law means the the Lib Dems see no problems with any justice system of any country of the EU. No mention of this law is ever made by Lib Dem MPs, not even after the mess the Portuguese police made of the Madeline McCann case. So content are the Lib Dems with an ever closer union with countries of the EU that they ignore the reality of it all. This means they would have no worries about sending you to face 'justice' in such a country. But let's not get too cocky here. For when it comes to a belief in Satan the former Chief Constable of Manchester, James Anderton, was equal to any nutter in Italy. One of the central beliefs of all EU devotees is that improvement comes via association. The good things, naturally, spread out and improve the bad. There's never a race to the bottom. However, with what we know there's not much hope for EU integration working on the lines of dodgy continental polices forces meet up with our finest and all is well. For it has not happened so far and the European Police College is in Hampshire! I wonder if they, the continental police, ask about the Ali Dizaei case?
Conference heavyweight - Maya Conference heavyweight - Maya

The next bunch of nerds up for the public was the Labour party. So what stood out here? Actually not a lot, but perhaps this is typical of the Labour party. They rather resemble a person who has fallen on hard times. If it goes on much longer they will attract a sympathy vote because of it! Their good fortune was that during their go, bad news on the financial front took a pause. Remember it was Gordon Brown who 'saved the world', so it would have been ingratitude of the worst sort for the money grubbers to have done something daft and taken the attentive gaze of the public away from Ed Miliband and his helpers. But then again it would have also been embarrassing as these helpers were the very same people who helped Brown with his act of saving; temples built on sand etc.

So in the absence of anything close to a political policy the best they could do by way of a trump card was the child celebrity. Enter stage left Rory Weal. As the BBC put it -

Teen Rory Weal steals the show at Labour Party conference - An impassioned speech by 16-year-old Rory Weal wowed delegates at the Labour Party conference.

The teenager received a rapturous round of applause and a handshake from Labour leader Ed Miliband.

Rory, who only joined the party after the last general election, said he did not know what he wanted to do after school but added he would "quite like to go into politics in the future".

So that's what the BBC thinks, and we can all trust them to be impartial. However, the Beeb also gives the game away, 'steals the show - wowed delegates'. When you reflect that young Master Weal has only been doing this sort of thing for 2 years and Ed Miliband has, if he too started at the same age, 30 years of experience it does tell you how dire Miliband is.

However, there is a glitch and it has a name, William Hague. For he too, as a child, took it upon himself to speak to the nation. And he too was well received, aged 16 he said to the 1977 Tory party conference -

Half of you won't be here in 30 or 40 years' time, but that others would have to live with consequences of a Labour government if it stayed in power.

So how spooky is that, Weal follows Hague? For young Weal should examine Hague's life with care and concern. It's been downhill ever since. Which brings us to the Tory conference of this year.

There was, we are told by attendees, not much fizz to be had -

As flat as flat champagne — that’s the verdict on this year’s Tory conference, which is ironic given that the two year ban on champagne was lifted this year

so said David Blackburn of the Spectator. That's odd, for you would have thought that the senior partner in the coalition could have done something to excite us. Well yes and no. Ken Clarke and Theresa May had a squabble about a cat called Maya, that was fun. Both Clarke and May are described by the MSM as 'heavyweights'. This we are to assume is from the fact that they, like the MSM who use the term, take themselves too seriously. Though it's hard to see why. Clarke is also described as a 'conference favourite'; what's that? Well it's easy to understand if you recall so was Michael Heseltine. It means you will do anything to entertain the attendees, even make a fool of yourself. It also means you have a devoted fan club to follow you. With Clarke and May it's almost religious devotion, a bit like the supporters of Rangers and Celtic. Though its not come to violence yet.

But as one would have hoped, the PM also got to feature at the conference. David Cameron thought it would be a good idea for people with credit card debts to pay them off, he implied it would help the economy. Economists contradicted him. How odd is that? As Cameron is a millionaire it's hard to imagine getting all that wealth together without understanding the mechanistic side of economics. It's a bit unsettling, for example should this man be trying to lead the UK out of recession, does he know what he's doing?

So is Richard North right, should we ignore the traditional political parties and their conference season? That's a bit like asking people to stop watching The Two Ronnies or Monty Python on YouTube. In both cases, the conference season and the humour, time has moved on but a small spark remains. As for the conference, the relevance, the politics, has gone, moved on, quit this world and flown the nest. Departed this earth, gone to meet its maker, deceased, a bit like the dead parrot in Monty Python. However, it seems harmless enough so let them watch if they want to. Mind you, no good will come of it.

But back to the spooky stuff. When Hague said, above, "Half of you won't be here in 30 or 40 years' time", he was right but perhaps not in the original sense. Hague may have turned up but numbers attending the conference were down, not so much the people dying but the politics. Hague was also ahead of his time in talking of the 'consequences' of government if it stayed in power. Young Weal and his friends might say the same things of this Tory led coalition. There is also the matter of hair, both Hague as a boy and Weal have the same mop. Finally the bit about the dead parrot. I just popped that in, the fact that the Lib Dem logo features a rather care-worn bird is just one of those things!