Audio podcast: Charon Report (11) – A man with a plan
I glanced around the conference hall. The faithful were waiting, the zeal clear in their eyes, for soon their leader would lead them through the parted waves of financial meltdown to safety, security and power. He would speak to them of government from which they had been excluded for over ten long years.
To be honest, as I have no newspaper readers to pander to and please, no proprietor, a hidden menacing figure in the background, to satisfy – I found the speech slick, well presented in a serious and grave way, but lacking in depth, in substance, in detail. The gentlemen of the press seemed satisfied and a cursory reading of today’s efforts from the Fourth Estate, summarised so helpfully in The Evening Standard, ranged from “Yesterday we got the measure of the man…. he evinced a gravitas that belies his youth…. a Prime Minister in waiting – Telegraph” to the wonderfully surreal comment from the Guardian “Often the Tory project has seemed soft and empty. Yesterday he encased it in a glassy sphere: hard, bright and clear; though the fear of a void at the centre remains.”
All very good… but what did our friends from the Tabloids have to say?… that is what I wanted to hear as I listened to builders saying eff this, eff that, I’ll have an effing fried egg on some effing toast when I had breakfast this morning. The Tabloids did not disappoint. The Sun headline, showing Cameron mocked up as Bob The Builder…. “Can we fix it… Yes we Cam”. I groaned. I lit a cigarette (I was complying with the laws of our law ridden isle by sitting outside), sipped my espresso and wandered if Brown could survive his own party’s efforts, let alone the seemingly inevitable final drive to Downing Street now being mounted by the almost teutonically efficient Tory panzer divisions from Central Office.
My favourite quote from his speech, picked up by everyone, as intended by the Tory PR machine, was “I’m a man with a plan – not a miracle cure.” I also enjoyed the fact that Cameron, dressed in blue, and his wife, dressed in green, mirrored the colours of the new time for a change Tory logo. The only thing missing was the goddam tree. Slick?… Yes… subtle…No?…. effective? I suspect so.
I couldn’t see the point in reporting on the speech itself – so I went off to a bar to talk to some people of other things…. I was a man with a plan as I waved goodbye to the Tory faithful and made my way back to London from Britain’s second city, a city it is unlikely that I shall have cause to visit again in my lifetime. The interesting thing is, that I didn’t see anything of Birmingham, so I have no idea how it has changed since I was last there many years ago.
This is Charon, a man with a plan, reporting on Cameron’s greatest speech ever, from The Boat.