The Tory Party Conference gets off to a somnolent start. The Guardian reports:
Theresa May was sat in the second row, her mouth locked in a frozen rictus smile, slowly dying inside. This wasn’t at all the birthday party she had planned. She’d always known the conference was never going to be much of a laugh, but she hadn’t expected the atmosphere to be quite this bad. Nor had her own performance on the Andrew Marr show done anything to raise anyone’s spirits. Apart from Boris Johnson’s.
Would she like to apologise to the Tory party for screwing up the election? Marr asked. “Let me be clear,” she babbled nervously, frantically trying to make her lips synchronise with the computer glitch that had switched her voice to fast forward. She was clear that she was focused on the business of government and that even though the election hadn’t gone as brilliantly as she had hoped it had still gone a lot more brilliantly than she had hoped.
The Maybot was up and running. Labour would cause a run on the pound, she said. “What’s happened to the pound on your watch?” Marr said drily. May looked bewildered. “It fluctuates,” she said eventually. As in downwards. She also appeared amazed at the possibility that inflations rises could be anything to do with her. Nor was there anything wrong with universal credit. So what if people weren’t getting their benefits for more than six weeks? Surely it was worth a few people dying for such a good cause.
There was a pause while a video clip of the prime minister insisting “Nothing has changed” during the election campaign was played. The Maybot nodded in approval. Nothing had changed. She was still hopelessly out of her depth, limited to mouthing mindless slogans that everyone but her knew to be untrue. The Florence speech had been a magnificent success and everyone was right behind her. Many of them armed with a knife. She had provided certainty. The certainty of uncertainty.How long can this go on?