Monday 4 October 2010

Clarke prepares for his speech...

Chatting with Lobbydog earlier Ken Clarke sought to play down any division among the Tories over sentencing policy.

There has been much written over Clarke's view that shorter sentences don't stop re-offending - and that it might be useful to look at community punishments as a replacement.

How could there be division over policy, was his tricky defence, when there weren’t any policies yet? A review still had to be carried out to form the policy and any division reported had merely been spun by the media.

Clarke said that he had probably received more criticism from ex-Labour ministers, like Alan Johnson, rather than the right of his own party.

Far be it from me to ‘spin’ something into your minds, so I’ll leave you to make up your own decisions on what to think of that.

But tomorrow we will really see what the rank and file Tories think of his rhetoric during his speech. I’ll be in the main hall checking my clapometre.

Sunday 3 October 2010

Something to fill the hole...

It was pretty clear that the Labour conference last week was almost a PR disaster because the party machine failed to put out a single story.

No ministers wanted to pre-empt the Ed Miliband speech once he had been announced leader, and so they all clammed up for three days.

So to fill a gap the press concentrated soley on the ‘Miliband of Brothers’ soap opera.

With the Government not wanting to pre-empt its own spending review I wondered whether the Conservatives might fall into the same trap by not making any announcements to take control of the news agenda.

But the Tory machine knows better. As well as Cameron’s cancer announcement this morning Eric Pickles is apparently going to make an attack on council chief executives’ pay later.

This is going to be far more lively than last week.