30 September 2009

probably not good enough, but at least The Sun don't like it

I didn't watch Gordon Brown's conference speech yesterday. I'm over that phase really. For about 4 years I had to go to the Labour Party Conference and it was bloody awful. Fringe events with terrible food, terrible booze and no relation to anything happening in the outside world.

Stage-managed conference speeches with no relation to outside-world realities, a bunch of sheep applauding at the end (remember Roger Waters? "Wave upon wave of demented avengers march cheerfully out of obscurity into the dream"...) and woe betide anyone who stepped out of line... any of you kids remember Walter Wolfgang? An octagenarian bundled out of the conference hall for criticising the Iraq war. This weren't Nuremberg 1936 folks, it was Brighton 2005 (or thereabouts)...

So I am glad to be out of it. The only good things about Labour conferences were the possibility of talking to someone decent like Billy Bragg or Tony Benn on the fringe... and the constant search for low-priced records in charity shops. (I was actually on holiday in Brighton last week - before the security iron curtain descended on the place, and managed to pick up a couple of old LPs by the Barclay James Harvest. Good on 'em.)

The conference speech had the usual impact of politician's announcements these days - they're like the rush from a cup of Nescafe with 6 spoonfuls on it. (Me old mate Benny Voller will remember that feeling from Birmingham '92...) You're carried along on a euphoria and coffeee buzzzz for about 10 minutes and then an hour or so later you've got a headache and want to go to bed but your limbs are twitching so you can't. That's political speeches these days. It's Brown, it's Clegg, it's bloody Osborne.

What was in it? Free personal care - but only if you're almost dead already. No compulsory ID cards - unless you want to apply for a passport or a driving licence. A bit of the old Brown fight came back into it (anyone remember the classic days of 2003 - "we're best when we're Labour etc.?) but too little too late.

However, I am made much more happy by the fact that The Sun has decided to back Cameron at the next election. This is the tail wagging the dog really - its readership switched months, if not years, ago. But I was never comfortable with voting for a party that had the backing of Rupert Murdoch - it was a horrible, stinky affair, and if Labour is to be worth anything in the future it has to be in the teeth of opposition from right-wing corporate fascists, not cosying up to them. So the divorce from Wapping is excellent news.

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