Conference blog: The Tories plan a lazy Sunday afternoon
PinkNews.co.uk will be reporting live from all three party conferences this year. The Lib Dems are in Bournemouth from 13th to 17th September.
Labour are in Manchester from 20th to 24th September and the Conservatives are in Birmingham from 28th September to 1st October.
To kick off the conference season, Tony Grew takes a look at the Tory conference agenda.
The opening day at this year’s Conservative party conference reads more like a mid morning magazine programme than a platform for government.
The party’s very own Richard and Judy, Chairman Caroline and conference chair Jeremy Middleton, will kick things off with a jolly introduction at 11am on Sunday morning – followed by a special report from the Chuckle Brothers, David Willetts and Andrew Mitchell, who have well over an hour to discuss “Birmingham – Past, Present and Future.”
England’s second city, represented by ten MPs, sadly none of them Tory, “has enjoyed a renaissance of late,” explains the conference agenda, “and David Willetts and Andrew Mitchell will discuss Birmingham’s heritage and what the future holds for the city.”
That’s going on from 11.10am until 12.30pm apparently.
During that time the gay community’s least favourite shadow cabinet member, Baroness Warsi, will be presenting the Tory version of the Blue Peter garden.
The Baroness will “introduce this year’s conference Social Action project and the work that we have been doing over the past few months with Birmingham’s Welsh House Farm Estate.” It is unclear at this stage if the project involves a farm, a house or indeed the Welsh.
During the last general election campaign the gay equality organisation Stonewall said then-Mrs Warsi, the Conservative candidate in Dewsbury, was being homophobic by accusing the Labour government of, “allowing schoolchildren to be propositioned for homosexual relationships.”
After 90 minutes for lunch, excitable delegates will be treated to Eric Pickles hosting a special tribute to all the elections the party has won, featuring a speech from William Hague.
At 15:00 the big talent arrives in the shape of Boris, Mayor of London. Fifteen minutes of Boris is followed by Honouring The Armed Forces with Liam Fox.
The fun day is rounded off with 45 minutes to discuss Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales. Fifteen minutes each.
On Monday the Main Agenda begins, with themed discussions on “caring for an elderly population” and “preparing for government” which will give the shadow cabinet and the Leader an opportunity to present themselves as a credible alternative to Labour.
This Welsh estate is a prominent theme. It seems senior party figures will take to the stage and discuss “our work on the Welsh House Farm Estate to set up a reading group for the young children in the community.”
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That one is Michael Gove, by the way.
An attempt, no doubt, to make the party seem caring and in touch with people’s needs.
Suave Jeremy Hunt will be telling the conference “about our work to set up a football tournament and train young people in how to organise their own sports events on the Welsh House Farm Estate” which I for one am looking forward to.
The other pervasive theme is “the next Conservative government.”
A year ago that would have smacked of hubris. But with a solid and substantial lead in the polls, it is not surprising that the Tories’ minds have already turned to power.
David Cameron will close the conference with the Leader’s speech on Wednesday. It does not really matter what he says, the Tories will be in victorious mood.