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May 02, 2010
Burkes, Bantams and Ballast
I see from my drive across Norfolk to its fine city capital yesterday that once again large empty fields (some of them full of impressive bulls) are declaring their timeless political allegiance for the Conservative Party. I didn't catch their bullish candidate's name - Oxy Moron was it? - but he's pledging himself as he has since the Normans ( Tebbit, La Mont, St John Stevas) for conserves that change. Or is it change that conserves?
'Change that ye may conserve' as some Burke once said.
But what's this - an energetic young puppy is bouncing onto the scene as I cross North Norfolk. The Strange Rebirth of Liberal England. Will he turn the tables of government or just knock them over?
Only in the fine old city itself do some Labour posters appear. Old Labour as in poor old Labour.
A funny thing happened on our way to in the city centre. Cockerels crowing and sheep bleating. There was a mini farmyard outside the forum. Is it another media circus carefully upsetting Gordon's campaign? Infamy! The media have all got it in for me.
So if I was interviewing the three candidates for the job, who would get it? Certainly not someone whose central defining slogan sinks millions of pounds on a slogan that conveys the inability to think in a straight line and whose concepts of change and conservation don't add up. Can this Tory team think? Will the detail of 'Honest' George Osborne's gambler budget add up any more than that slogan?
So you're faced with someone who has energy and enthusiasm and youth and may well be a big hit when he gets his feet on the ground and his hands on the wheel. Young Nick. Or the old guy who everyone is jeering at but who kept us afloat when the waters got really choppy. A man carrying a bit more substance than is strictly healthy but what labouring been-there battleship doesn't?