THE EXISTENCE itself of party conference this season was under scrutiny due to Britain’s worsening economic situation.
Opposition parties called for an immediate recall to parliament to address the issues directly – but instead, ministers were seen networking jovially into all hours of the night.
It’s fair to say that, following the backlash after the mini-budget, Liz Truss needed Tory conference. While she would have marked it in as a coronation date when she took the premiership last month, it would at least now be a chance to get members and MPs back on board with the agenda.
Instead, it exposed Conservative infighting for all the world to see.
Truss was forced into a U-turn on abolishing the 45p tax rate on the first night of party conference – but instead of staving off further rebellion, it signalled open season.
Cabinet ministers, speaking candidly at fringe events, indicated that not all of the top table were on the same page, to say the least.
And while Truss’s closing day speech was whelming – one would say the two Greenpeace protestors helped her case – she now faces returning to Westminster under more pressure than she ever has been during her long month in charge.
It’s curious to compare the two party conferences (the Lib Dems cancelled theirs during the period of national mourning) – with the exception of Rupa Huq’s ill-advised comments, Labour’s jolly in Liverpool passed without incident.
As Redaction has outlined before, Starmer has little substance to him, and the party doesn’t have too much to offer.
But there’s some element of stability and coherence.
At the moment, Britain clearly sees that as the overwhelmingly attractive alternative to the coalition of chaos.
The political wind is already blowing – those in all parties predict a Labour government from 2024. But all the Labour leader needs to do is keep his head above water, avoid any blunders and let Truss carry the Tories into electoral oblivion – and he could be in No 10 sooner than anyone thought.
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