March 12 2014 Latest news:
Tuesday, October 9, 2012
Transport secretary Patrick McLoughlin is a burly fellow. He was once that rarest of things, a Tory coal miner.
He still speaks like one. His speech yesterday was not so much crafted, as knocked out with a pick axe. Lacklustre.
Perhaps that’s a good thing because McLoughlin trundled on just before George Osborne and his performance made the chancellor appear more fluent.
It should also be mentioned that after the chancellor came communities secretary Eric Pickles; equally robust and of similar working class roots to McLoughlin – although Pickles did bizarrely declare in his speech “without constant vigilance, the cigar chomping commies will take over again.”
Anyway, anyone would think that by sandwiching the chancellor between these two bookends, they were trying to balance out his gentility.
“Oh look it’s Gidders,” said a young chap behind me when the chancellor appeared. George used to be known by his more refined middle name Gideon before Westminster.
But that had to change. Gideon wouldn’t go down well in politics. You would never get a coal miner called Gideon, not even a Tory one. Last week Ed Miliband stole the ‘One Nation’ phrase, so yesterday Gidders made a bid to win it back for the Tories. He mixed it with their own slogan, “we’re all in this together”, to create a sort of ‘mother of all slogans’. “One nation working hard together. We are still all in this together,” he declared. I prefer the one with the commies.