...a blog by Richard Flowers

Tuesday, July 18, 2006

Day 2012: Conservatories: No we're not THAT bankrupt


Life is supposed to be so EASY for Mr Balloon. He is the golden boy of the Conservatory Party, he path smoothed for him by his CHUMS; his burdens lessened by his inherited FORTUNE; his house powered by an electric FLYMOW strapped to the roof… that sort of thing.

So how annoying that life keeps being interrupted by these little niggles, eh?

A hasty denial that he has run into a bit of a cashflow problem, having to rush out a quick statement that the LOAN SHARKS aren't calling round to collect the party silver (or were they expecting ERMINE?) can put a real crimp in your day.

The problem here is twofold: firstly that the Conservatory Party is caught up in an insane arms race with their rivals in the Labour about spending as much WONGA as is humanly possible – and then some – on the general election campaign. Even if much of it goes on ADVERTISING EXECUTIVES. Or up their noses, not that Mr Balloon would know what THAT means!

Secondly, the Conservatories are alleged to be spending ASTRONOMICAL amounts trying to dislodge the Liberal Democrats, or defend against them, and yet still the PLUCKY but UNDERFUNDED third party is managing to hold its own against them. The Conservatories crowed a lot about how the so-called "DECAPITATION STRATEGY" had failed – what they do not crow about very much is just HOW MUCH MONEY they are said to have spent shoring up those seats on the "Decapitation List". A list that was made up by the Newspapers and cost the Liberals nothing.

It's all got to come from somewhere, and those undisclosed overseas loans just don't go as far as they once did.

Still, even if you've got no MONEY, you can fall back on you PRINCIPLES, eh?


The day just gets flatter when you have to bail out you own OPPOSITION DAY DEBATE because you've discovered that the comments about Mr Frown from your friend Mr Dunkin' have gone down like a bucket of cold sick.

That's the problem with having an approach to policy making of "oh any old shtick will do" – sometimes it REALLY won't. Taking the time to arrive at a CONSISTENT philosophy as the FOUNDATIONS of your policy platform pays plentiful rewards. Although obviously, the best time to start building your foundations is not AFTER you've moved into the new office.

The lack of any kind of actual policy is clearly starting to be TROUBLE for Mr Balloon: people are beginning to NOTICE – I have even heard the presenters on the Today Programme start to challenge him and his team with "but do you have an actual policy?"

This is not a question you want to face if you do not to have an answer. And for Mr Balloon, answers are in short supply. A philosophy would at least give you a place to TALK ABOUT where your policies are going to come from and what they might look like when finalised.

It's all got to come from somewhere; "I'm jolly nice, let's get more votes" just doesn't go as far as it once did.

Well, if your PRINCIPLES won't stand up, then at least you can count on your CHUMS, eh?


Not a good day to have to cope with an embarrassing e-mail gaffe.

It all sounds very worryingly like Mr Balloon is getting OUT OF TOUCH with his own team in the House of Commons.

Mr Balloon's chairman, Auntie Maude, is not trusted by the party. Which at least is a step up from Auntie's predecessor Theresa "You May Not", who isn't trusted or liked either!

Not that the Conservatories have a pronounced habit of picking a shiny new leader and then starting to mutter about him behind his back. Oh, hang on, yes they do! As soon as the shine comes off, in fact, they are straight in with the back-biting. The problem really, is that there are SEVERAL Conservatory Parties, and none of them really agree on what they want the Party to be doing. Other than running the country, that is.

Oh well, even if even your chums are getting you down, at least there's always the OPINION POLLS, the people are on your side, eh?


I think Mr Balloon needs a HUG!

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