At first glance, it all seems rather desperate. The poor old Conservatives Party is so strapped for cash that it has been reduced to using the up-coming annual conference to sell advertising space in, for example, David Cameron’s bedroom. Another palpable slide towards political debasement, one might think.
Studied more closely, however – and with due consideration for the yawning hole in the nation’s finances – and the notion starts to look like plain good sense.
Better still, there are money-making opportunities everywhere. The most obvious are in 10 Downing Street, of course. A banner advert on the Prime Minister’s fridge, or on the collar of Larry (Chief Mouser to the Cabinet Office), must be worth a few bob, surely?
Then again, the prospects a whit further from the absolute centre of power are hardly less rich. Indeed, from Michael Gove’s glasses case to Nick Clegg’s empty portfolio to Eric Pickles’s lunch-box, it is clear that the revenue-raising potential of the Cabinet has, thus far, gone woefully unexploited. It is time for the Chancellor to look up from his spreadsheets (sponsored by Sabatier) and start thinking creatively.