That was certainly the flattest Conservative Party Conference I have attended. It was dull and uninspiring, and it finished as badly as it started. Although I sympathised with Theresa May as she struggled to get her words out earlier today (who wouldn't?), the speech itself was a car crash. It was too long, disjointed, and the content was deeply worrying for those of us of a free market persuasion.
At one point in her speech, May said, "don't try and tell me that free markets are not fit for purpose", but then went on to announce that the Government is going to impose a price cap on energy prices. When Ed Miliband proposed something similar, Tories called him a dangerous Socialist. If the cap fits, Theresa.
She announced that the Government plans to build more council houses, although party spin doctors had to admit that the figure will be 25,000 over five years. It's just tinkering around the edges.
Then there is organ donation. I have a donor card in my wallet. That is my decision, but now the Government is going to introduce an opt-out system, thus making our dead bodies the property of the state. Prof. John Fabre of King's College London said that it would “degrade the ethical framework of our society… into one of the state taking back what it thinks is its, while intruding on one of the most personal and delicate moments of a family’s life. No longer would we be free autonomous individuals, but rather we would become nationalised property that the state reclaims after our death." He is, of course, completely right.
There was rebellion in the damp Manchester air, although anyone who knows anything about the Conservative Party also knows that members would never knife their leader during the conference. If May can last until Christmas, I think she will go on to 2019. But that is a big if. The only thing that is keeping her there is that no-one can agree on who should replace her. Hardly a ringing endorsement for the Prime Minister, but disunity in the opposing ranks is the only thing she's got going for her.
Photo Credit: David Dixon