Monday, 8 October 2007

It was the Guardian wot won it...

Forget young George's wizard Inheritance Tax plans, DC's 'Messy, But Me' speech, or the polling data from crucial marginals. The real thing that led the spanners Balls, Alexander and Milliband Minor to suddenly go cold on a snap election, and for Gordon to 'bottle it', was I'm told, the colourful floor plan for the planned Conservative 'war room' at Millbank, leaked to The Guardian on Thursday.

This front page story sent seismic reverberations around Labour HQ and was the critical moment when they realised how ill prepared they were for the election, and that crucially someone has made a prettier and more detailed plan their own.

Of course, they should have known that this plan, complete with little individual desks and names, was actually a classic example of work avoidance and procrastination - like a 6th former who spends most of their first week's study leave creating a detailed revision timetable, only to pin it up, go down the pub and never refer to it again.

I happen to know that Caroline S. spent much of her summer holidays on her hands and knees with little pieces of card with 'Lord Ashcroft', 'Sheridan Westlake' etc written on each, trying out 101 different permutations as if planning a particularly large wedding breakfast where virtually none of the guests like each other.

Once she was happy with it, a hand-drawn version, complete with shading in mauves, pinks and blues using Caran d'Ache pencils, was dispatched to G. who took one look at it, threw it away, and began the whole process all over again. Caroline was very put out apparently, and her voice was heard to quaver even more than usual when she complained about it to DC. Still, at least her original colour scheme survived to be used in the final version.

In the absence of any real work having taken place to plan for the election in the last couple of months, this painstakingly detailed 'war room' floor plan - designed and redesigned on HQ's state of the art Mac - was about the only thing we had to show for 1000s of hours worked over the last few weeks, and just about the only thing in the building worth leaking.

And to think this Labour election gurus pulled the plug on an early election because they thought we had it all sorted...

Monday, 1 October 2007

Conservatives – For the Broken Society

I’m told that a major theme of DC’s keynote speech will be ‘The Broken Society’ and apparently this is what we have in store…

In the run up to DC’s big speech a huge backdrop screen will be lowered to project sepia-tinted images from the 1950s: young scamps playing conkers on street corners; smiling families sitting together around a wireless; pregnant young women disowned by their parents and put in homes; homosexual men being handcuffed by cheery bobbies (not too sure about all of these).

These images will alternate with contemporary shots of Britain in the 21st century: “fire-arm enabled” boys on council estates; cigar-chewing corporate suits from the record industry peddling rap that undermines the “ethical sensibilities” of young people; W H Smith cashiers pushing free chocolate bars on the weight challenged, etc …

The images will be accompanied by a reworking of a Coldplay song ‘Fix You’, especially arranged by Andrew Lloyd-Webber for the WinterGardens’ Wurlitzer organ. It will be sung by a choir of local schoolchildren from Lytham St Anne’s City Academy school (with the addition of three BME children procured and bussed in from a Manchester stage school at great expense).

After DC has made his speech, falling from the Ballroom ceiling, in a ticker-tape style, will spiral thousands of sticking plasters. The plasters, specially commissioned by the marketing geniuses at Millbank HQ will each bear the Conservative oak tree logo and the words ‘…for the Broken Society…’.

Policy Commission News - The HOMEY Project

Readers of my Facebook page (friend requests welcome) may recall that I recently wrote ofmy fact finding mission to North London where I had a an illuminating meeting with the leaders of a social entrepreneurism project - the Haringey Organisation for Mentoring Ethnic Youth, or HOMEY for short. The young people on the scheme are fitted with a wrist-strap, attached to which is a black plastic box no bigger than the size of a small brick. Using the latest 'thought-activated technology', should they think about doing something that breaches the terms of their ASBO, a randomly generated inspirational message from Garth Crooks, Mel B, Prince Nazeem or Andi Peters is played back to them.

You can imagine how successful this has been.

Well, news reaches me that the assorted community do-gooders, party lickspittles and super-annuated local councillors that have been sitting on the ‘Communities, Peoples and Diversity’ Policy Commission, also went to to see the HOMEY project in action. They were so “excited by its potential” that they have used it as a best practice case study in their report to DC, and are recommending its national roll-out.

I think I need to have a word with DC in Blackpool asap, if I can just penetrate the old Etonian circle of steel to get within five feet of him…

Policy Commission News - Swans

In other developments, I am told by sources close to the pipsqueak G., that another “imaginative idea” to emerge from the policy commission process is to be dropped.

The recommendation that the Party considers rewarding swans, via the social security system, for the example they set society by mating for life with a single swan of the opposite sex, will be quietly binned as unworkable. The £20 a month extra for married humans stays.