I’VE DECIDED to try my hand at writing an open thread à la Iain Dale, on the Great Leader’s speech as it happens. Any comments, as always, gratefully received…
2.35: Louise Bagshaw’s doing the introduction. Isn’t she a fiction writer? Oh, right, I get it. And she’s getting a lot of applause by suggesting a return to Thatcherism. Oh, and she’s not introducing ‘David’, but another PPC. Only about 620 more to go before he comes on, then…
2.41: We’re at the candidate for Clwyd South now. “Thanks for coming to see me.” Good gag.
2.44: Oh, excellent! Davina Rankin’s on – she’s up against me next time!
2.46: Another one? Oh, come on! I was told 2.30…
2.49: William “Interesting” Roache is in the audience. Why didn’t he say something?
2.49: The whole Shadow cabinet? Are they all going to speak?
2.51: What, are they just playing for time now? Is DC stuck on a bus somewhere or something?
2.54: I feel a bit out of touch. Is the whole Shadow Cabinet doing community service or something?
2.55: It’s Dr Fox. Still hasn’t got over being dropped from The X-Factor, I see. Nice tribute to our armed forces, though. Good line about role models.
2.56: Another video. We need more of this kind of thing – pride in our armed forces, rather than banning them from recruiting in schools.
3.00: At last, here he is. Was that a bus pass I saw him slipping back into his pocket? Nice tie – good start.
3.01: Straight into the financial situation with a call for bipartisanship. He’s taking credit for the plan to raise savings guarantee to £50,000. That little piece of bipartisanship must have lasted nearly eight seconds.
3.03: “Decisions in past ten years led us to this point.” So, back to partisan politics, then? Fair enough.
3.05: Good line on Afghanistan.
3.06: He’s using notes. Good. Always thought that was a distracting gimmick.
3.07: Returning soldiers being refused services? That happened once and he received an apology. Come off it, Dave. Poor.
3.09: Conservative values. “Many people think Conservative values are just about freedom.” Er, no we don’t Dave. At least he’s distancing himself from the libertarian weirdos.
3.12: A bit of a pause there when he expected applause and it didn’t come quickly enough. Oh, here comes his “novice” defence…
3.13: Defending the Union – loud applause. Okay, I’m glad about that. I’m guessing there’s a “but” coming up, though…
3.14: Apple pie and motherhood. Controversial and brave (sarcasm).
3.15: “We will need to do difficult and unpopular things”. Well, you’re a Tory, what else would you do?
3.16: The character and judgment line. “Broken society”, “change”. And there’s Maggie getting another namecheck and the loudest applause so far. Interesting…
3.18: Reasonably decent “balcony” joke at GB’s expense (he wrote grudgingly).
3.20: Attack on city slickers. GB responsible for world financial crisis, apparently.
3.21: Ah, here we go with the attacks on public spending. We were wrong to spend on health and education. Wonder if he’ll say how much less we should have spent?
3.23: William “interesting” Roache looks bored.
3.26: Just had to answer the door for my Tesco delivery. Did I miss anything?
3.28 “Labour’s taxes are making it impossible for entrepreneurs.” OK, so a tax cut promise coming up, then? Well…?
3.29: Corporation tax to be cut by 3pc. Does GO know about this? Didn’t he say no tax cuts?
3.30: No to Heathrow’s third runway? There’s no way he actually believes that.
3.32: Seems to be claiming Labour doesn’t believe in society! There’s no way he actually believes that.
3.33: Attacking the “human rights” culture. And the bit about an officer not being allowed to pursue an armed criminal is just made up, Dave.
3.35: Attacking MPs’ expenses. This is pure dog whistle politics.
3.38: Where hospitals are closing it’s to take advantage of economies of scale, to improve service delivery. Under the Tories, when hospitals closed, it was because they didn’t have enough money. Get real, Dave.
3.40: Attacking the government’s record on MRSA. Unfortunately, we weren’t able, in Opposition, to attack his government’s record on MRSA. Mainly because they refused to keep records on it. Wonder why?
3.43: “We are now the party of the NHS.” We just won’t say how much less we would have spent on it had we been in government.
3.43: The broken society again. No mention yet of the deliberate creation of the underclass by the Tories in order to keep unemployment figures down. I’m sure it’s coming up.
3.47: State intervention grudgingly accepted.
3.48: He’s just promised to scrap something but I’m not sure what.
3.49: Supports flexible working. Good.
3.50: Here we go – if you’re thinking of divorcing because you can no longer stand the sight of your partner, don’t do anything hasty because Dave’s going to give you a tenner a month to stay together. Crack open that bubbly!
3.52: I’m getting hungry. Wonder if there are any snacks in that Tesco delivery?
3.53: I agree with him on the “all must have prizes” nonsense. Not sure what that means in terms of policy, though.
3.54: I didn’t know there was a Spelling Society, never mind a president of it. But of course, Dave’s right on this. And on the “F*** off” thing.
3.56: Dave’s lecturing us on the benefit culture his party initiated. Genius.
3.58: “We’ve made the Conservative Party the party of social justice.” No you haven’t, mate.
3.59: Carolyn’s just discovered that while I’ve been blogging, Reggie scoffed nearly a whole box of Cadbury’s chocolate fingers. I’m toast.
4.00: “You didn’t take international development seriously…” True.
4.01: If we don’t accept the Tories have changed, then that means we haven’t changed. Apparently. I honestly don’t know what that means.
4.02: Wonder what’s on the other channel?
4.03: The word “peroration” is flashing at the bottom of the screen.
4.04. Thank goodness that’s over. Not his best. Maybe he should have used an autocue?
Well, that was fun.