Simon Carr: George Osborne hasn't hit anyone – yet

Sketch: You can't be sure, but Cameron looked completely unrehearsed

Share
Related Topics

When George Osborne came in during a Big Society session, the photographers turned on him like jackals. They crushed into the people in the front seats of the Symphony Hall, sticking their big bazookas to within a foot of their subject's face. They crouched, they huddled, they mounted each other to get a better camera position. The Chancellor coped surprisingly well with the situation. Broadly speaking. He didn't hit anyone, for instance. But it's early yet.

Half way down the hall there was cause for a double take. David Cameron – he's the Prime Minister, you know – was sitting with Lady Warsi watching the speeches. Not at the front in the most important position but in the inconspicuous middle. And unless the baroness had an Uzi in her underwear he was unprotected by security.

Tony Blair couldn't have pulled it off. Blair would have sat there with added modesty – ostentatious modesty. He'd have created a special posture of glottal-free humility laced with I'll-buy-your-house-mateyness. You can't be sure, but Cameron looked completely unrehearsed.

So, here we are at the Titni conference (Together in the National Interest). They're not all Titnis but this is neither the time nor place for the Tory right to make trouble.

I'd come to see Eric Pickles – a Titni – mainly to get a close-up of his strange, phallic head. But I'd no idea what a good speaker he is. He can do the light and shade, the high and low, the soft and shouty. It's the advantage of age and experience over youth and enthusiasm (I declare an interest).

He'd been preceded by a performance of north Indian dance. The lead dancer, gorgeous in her gold earrings and rich, Rajastani colours, said the dance was to "rid us of violence, jealousy, greed and anger". Judging by the lack of mass resignation from the party, it didn't work at once. But it might have suggested that the party had severed any atavistic connection to the BNP.

The deputy head of the Titnis, William Hague, arrived to give us the Athanasian Creed of Toryism, and did it well enough to get his pilgrim soldiers marching. From Disraeli to Mrs Thatcher the Conservative party has done what was necessary. Mass voting in the earlier example and destroying "the failed orthodoxy" of the 1970s more latterly.

We also learnt that bureaucracy is to be swept away and red tape abolished. Common sense will be restored. Lord Young won much applause, but any reliance on the return of common sense smacks of psychotic optimism.

There were lots of newsy announcements. I didn't know councils were to be allowed to borrow against future income. That sounds a bit optimistic to us who remember them betting on interest rate swaps. Psychotically optimistic, perhaps.

twitter.com/simonsketch

React Now

Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: UI / UX Designer

£25000 - £35000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This firm are focussed on assis...

Recruitment Genius: General Processor

£7 per hour: Recruitment Genius: A vacancy has arisen for a General Processor ...

Recruitment Genius: Outbound Sales Executive - B2B

£18000 - £22000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A great opportunity has arisen ...

Recruitment Genius: Online Sales and Customer Services Associate

£14000 - £16000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Full time and Part time positio...

Day In a Page

Read Next
 

i Editor's Letter: Our representatives must represent us

Oliver Duff Oliver Duff
MP David Lammy would become the capital’s first black mayor if he won the 2016 Mayoral election  

Crime, punishment and morals: we’re entering a maze with no clear exit

Simon Kelner
War with Isis: Iraq's government fights to win back Tikrit from militants - but then what?

Baghdad fights to win back Tikrit from Isis – but then what?

Patrick Cockburn reports from Kirkuk on a conflict which sectarianism has made intractable
Living with Alzheimer's: What is it really like to be diagnosed with early-onset dementia?

What is it like to live with Alzheimer's?

Depicting early-onset Alzheimer's, the film 'Still Alice' had a profound effect on Joy Watson, who lives with the illness. She tells Kate Hilpern how she's coped with the diagnosis
The Internet of Things: Meet the British salesman who gave real-world items a virtual life

Setting in motion the Internet of Things

British salesman Kevin Ashton gave real-world items a virtual life
Election 2015: Latest polling reveals Tories and Labour on course to win the same number of seats - with the SNP holding the balance of power

Election 2015: A dead heat between Mr Bean and Dick Dastardly!

Lord Ashcroft reveals latest polling – and which character voters associate with each leader
Audiences queue up for 'true stories told live' as cult competition The Moth goes global

Cult competition The Moth goes global

The non-profit 'slam storytelling' competition was founded in 1997 by the novelist George Dawes Green and has seen Malcolm Gladwell, Salman Rushdie and Molly Ringwald all take their turn at the mic
Pakistani women come out fighting: A hard-hitting play focuses on female Muslim boxers

Pakistani women come out fighting

Hard-hitting new play 'No Guts, No Heart, No Glory' focuses on female Muslim boxers
Leonora Carrington transcended her stolid background to become an avant garde star

Surreal deal: Leonora Carrington

The artist transcended her stolid background to become an avant garde star
LGBT History Month: Pupils discuss topics from Sappho to same-sex marriage

Education: LGBT History Month

Pupils have been discussing topics from Sappho to same-sex marriage
11 best gel eyeliners

Go bold this season: 11 best gel eyeliners

Use an ink pot eyeliner to go bold on the eyes with this season's feline flicked winged liner
Cricket World Cup 2015: Tournament runs riot to make the event more hit than miss...

Cricket World Cup runs riot to make the event more hit than miss...

The tournament has reached its halfway mark and scores of 300 and amazing catches abound. One thing never changes, though – everyone loves beating England
Katarina Johnson-Thompson: Heptathlete ready to jump at first major title

Katarina Johnson-Thompson: Ready to jump at first major title

After her 2014 was ruined by injury, 21-year-old Briton is leading pentathlete going into this week’s European Indoors. Now she intends to turn form into gold
Syrian conflict is the world's first 'climate change war', say scientists, but it won't be the last one

Climate change key in Syrian conflict

And it will trigger more war in future
How I outwitted the Gestapo

How I outwitted the Gestapo

My life as a Jew in wartime Berlin
The nation's favourite animal revealed

The nation's favourite animal revealed

Women like cuddly creatures whilst men like creepy-crawlies
Is this the way to get young people to vote?

Getting young people to vote

From #VOTESELFISH to Bite the Ballot