Leading article: You there, pay attention

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You know the feeling. You are in a meeting or a class. You hear your name. You are being asked a question, but you have no idea what the conversation has been about. The Conservative party conference, which opens in Blackpool tomorrow, feels like that. David Davis? David Cameron? Liam Fox? People may have heard of Kenneth Clarke, but they have forgotten what he was the answer to. After months of phoney war, however, the Tory party is getting serious about its democratic duty to provide a credible opposition. The leadership election is wide open, and the next election is Gordon Brown's to lose. You there, at the back, pay attention. This may be about to get interesting.