THE BLOG

Not a Play Away Day for the Tories

19/03/2013 12:08 GMT | Updated 18/05/2013 10:12 BST

It will be a big week for the Drear Leader. It started at the Conservative Party's spring conference. This is a chance for the PM to give a speech that the news media will put at the top of their bulletins and on the front pages of their papers, unless something more important comes up, like the commencement of all-out thermonuclear war, or Justin Bieber gets a haircut.

Finally he has a chance to say what is on his mind without Ed Balls waving his arms about like he's directing aircraft. And what did he say? Something about "hard working families" and "law and order" and "education" I expect. It was hard to hear him over the audience's cacophonous murmuring disappointment that their conference was being held in boring old London, where their husbands and wives can check on them, and was not to be the secluded seaside grope-athon that they had in mind when the Honourable Members alerted their pert, youthful researchers that they would be 'needed' at the weekend. By which they meant 'kneaded' at the weekend.

They yearned for the other worldly charms of Blackpool or even Birmingham - some place where they would have absolutely no chance of bumping into someone they know while trying to cop off with a lithe lovely with whom, in the real world outside politics, they would have no chance of securing a drunken squeeze without coming to the attention of the law.

It was Dave's mission to rally his troops. One more push for victory. It was a hard sell. He said: "We want people to climb up through their own efforts", a phrase that, at the same time, managed to sound both painful and dirty, as though those people had fallen into a toilet pit at Glastonbury.

He invoked that get out of jail card beloved of politicians of all persuasions: Winston Churchill. If in doubt, mention The Bulldog and the audience will clap like circus seals, no matter what the context. In this case it was ladders. He said that in order to climb up through their own efforts, people need ladders. They need ladders like a family that nurtures them, a school that inspires them and an NHS that doesn't kill them. I made that last part up. "Winston Churchill had a ladder", he said. "He practically invented ladders. Let's use Winnie's ladder, he left it round the back". I made that up too.

The message to what remains of the party faithful, those that have not left to spend more time with their money or the man named Nigel, was that they must fight. They need to fight if they are to win the next election, he said. And with the polls suggesting that the Tories are as popular with the electorate as a horse-meat lasagne, what he needs is not so much a fight as a miracle.

In the absence of divine intervention, perhaps the undying support and effusive love of the nation's press might do. To that end, Cameron was proposing that the press regulator should be whatever his close personal supper loving friends - the multinational press barons - told him it should be.

When the Leveson Inquiry was set up, Justice Leveson and his inquisitor Big Chief Crazy Glasses were probably the only people involved who had little idea that they were engaged in a giant time wasting exercise, equalled only by trying to bring peace to the Middle East. The Conservatives had no intention of following Leveson's recommendations unless he came to the exact same conclusion that they had already reached before the inquiry heard its first witness.

Let us decide who the regulators will be, the media moguls said. Let us decide where in the paper to publish an apology, they said. If we splash some lies that ruin lives on pages one, two, three, four, five, six and in a special souvenir pull out supplement, it should be at our discretion to hide a confession that we made it all up on the page at the back that houses the adverts for velcro close shoes and elasticated waist polyester action slacks. And Dave concurred like a ventriloquist's dummy with their hand up his bottom.

Trust us, they said. Now that would take a miracle.