Hague moves to end flag-waving

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The Independent Online
LAND OF Hope and Glory, the flying of the Union Jack and other overt shows of nationalism are to be dropped for the leader's speech at the Conservative Party conference.

In a break with tradition by William Hague, the leader's speech is being brought forward a day, leaving the departing party chairman, Lord Parkinson, to wind up the conference the next day with the 84-piece Bournemouth youth orchestra playing the traditional Land of Hope and Glory and tunes from the four corners of the UK, including Scotland the Brave and Land of My Fathers.

Officials said there would still be a rousing send-off for the party activists at the end of the conference, but it had been decided to make Mr Hague's speech a "more business-like" address, more in keeping with his McKinsey management consultant image.

It will be followed by a Tory theme tune, Spirit of the Future. Officials denied they were ready to steal Labour's election anthem, Things Can Only Get Better but with grumbles from some grassroots supporters about Mr Hague's lack of impact against Tony Blair, party spin doctors believe moving the speech to Thursday will give their leader a better chance to grab the headlines.

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