Three cheers for Brian and eight Tory triumphs

The Agreeable World of Wallace Arnold

Related Topics
While others may find time to sun their naked bodies (dread words!) beside bathing pools in Provence, the rest of us are preparing for the Conservative Conference, held this year in Bournemouth, that most thickly carpeted of cities.

The adjective "nice" is not one I employ lightly, but was ever a man so thoroughly nice as Dr Brian Mawhinney? Yet somehow that little word does not capture the essential Mawhinney. No, two rather longer words must suffice: unpleasant and thoroughly - though not necessarily in that order! Apologies, Brian - only jesting! Nevertheless, there is, for all his gentle air of bonhomie, something of the killer instinct in Brian. Strictly entre nous, only recently I heard he had undergone extensive dental surgery in order to sharpen his canine teeth; they can now find their way through the toughest Harris Tweed or stoutest wing-collar.

It was Brian who first suggested to the Prime Minister that I would be the perfect candidate to organise the final Tory Party Conference before we enter the run-up to the General Election. "Prime Minister, we need someone to rouse the spirits of the faithful, to galvanise the weary-willies, and, above all, to get our winning message across to the public at large," said Dr Brian. "And for all these tasks, Prime Minister, Wallace Arnold is your man."

I got down to the job with customary vim. An inveterate list-maker, I made a list of eight sound Tory achievements from the past four or five years. This comprised:

1. Statesmanship: firm, decisive action by Mr Major ensures Norman Lamont is no longer in Number 11.

2. Europe: party continues to engage in lively discussion.

3. Health: overwhelming majority of Britons still alive, some really very healthy indeed.

4. Environment: no major earthquakes, volcanoes or tidal waves in Britain under this administration.

5. International Trade: Great Britain's trade links with the Isle of Man have never been stronger.

6. Arts and Leisure: English player reaches quarter-final at Wimbledon. National pride restored.

7. Agriculture: after five years, still a lot of agriculture around, particularly in rural areas.

8. BSE scare: no scare at all. Bury St Edmunds remains firm Tory stronghold. Likewise Belgravia and some parts of West Sussex.

Splendid! But we in the Tory party have not always been as good as we might be at getting our message across. To my mind, this can only partly be explained by our inability, as yet, to lay our hands on a suitable message. But we must never be slow in blowing up our own trumpets. For this reason I have designed a programme for the Conservative Party Conference that is designed to shout our very real achievements from the drainpipes.

As usual, the Conference will be debating selected motions submitted by Conservative constituency associations up and down the country: as I always say, we in the Conservatives must never forget our ass roots. The first session on the Tuesday opens with a major debate on Europe. The bold motion is submitted by the North West Hampshire Conservative Association, and it goes like this:

"Recognising the massive achievement of the Government in preventing the gluttonous Europeans led by the 22-stone roly-poly Herr Kohl from feasting their fat bellies on some of our finest British Beef, this conference urges the Government to bring forth additional legislation to restrict consumption of our finest British cuts only to those who can really appreciate them, ie those who were born and bred in these isles, and are not members of pressure groups, minorities, factory workers, the unemployed, or other trouble-making organisations."

I am delighted to say this motion will be answered by Mr Douglas Hogg, who has done so much to remind our European partners that the British are still perfectly able to laugh at themselves, or their elected representatives.

First class! Other motions will follow, ending with a tour de force from Mr Michael Howard, graciously replying to a very positive motion congratulating the Home Office on the record number of people firmly locked up behind bars, and calling for still more prisons to be built, so that the guilty may in future be joined by the shifty, the shirty and the just plain scruffy. Result: full speed ahead for Election Victory! Hail Major! Hail Mawhinney! Hail Arnold!

React Now

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

Recruitment Genius: Web Developer - PHP

£16500 - £16640 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This fast growing Finance compa...

Austen Lloyd: Regulatory Solicitor / Compliance Manager - Surrey

Excellent Package: Austen Lloyd: SURREY - SENIOR POSITION - An excellent senio...

Recruitment Genius: Inbound & Outbound Sales Agent

£15000 - £20000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: An Inbound & Outbound Sales Age...

Ashdown Group: IT Support Analyst - Urgent - Cheshire - £25p/h

£20 - £25 per hour: Ashdown Group: The Ashdown Group have been engaged by a hu...

Day In a Page

Read Next

I loathe the term ‘hard-working people’. It's patronising, snobbish and wrong

Simon Kelner
Auschwitz death camp survivor Jadwiga Bogucka, 89, holds a picture of herself from 1944  

Holocaust Memorial Day: This isn't the time to mark just another historical event, but to remember humanity at its worst

Jennifer Lipman
Woman who was sent to three Nazi death camps describes how she escaped the gas chamber

Auschwitz liberation 70th anniversary

Woman sent to three Nazi death camps describes surviving gas chamber
DSK, Dodo the Pimp, and the Carlton Hotel

The inside track on France's trial of the year

Dominique Strauss-Kahn, Dodo the Pimp, and the Carlton Hotel:
As provocative now as they ever were

Sarah Kane season

Why her plays are as provocative now as when they were written
Murder of Japanese hostage has grim echoes of a killing in Iraq 11 years ago

Murder of Japanese hostage has grim echoes of another killing

Japanese mood was against what was seen as irresponsible trips to a vicious war zone
Syria crisis: Celebrities call on David Cameron to take more refugees as one young mother tells of torture by Assad regime

Celebrities call on David Cameron to take more Syrian refugees

One young mother tells of torture by Assad regime
The enemy within: People who hear voices in their heads are being encouraged to talk back – with promising results

The enemy within

People who hear voices in their heads are being encouraged to talk back
'In Auschwitz you got used to anything'

'In Auschwitz you got used to anything'

Survivors of the Nazi concentration camp remember its horror, 70 years on
Autumn/winter menswear 2015: The uniforms that make up modern life come to the fore

Autumn/winter menswear 2015

The uniforms that make up modern life come to the fore
'I'm gay, and plan to fight military homophobia'

'I'm gay, and plan to fight military homophobia'

Army general planning to come out
Iraq invasion 2003: The bloody warnings six wise men gave to Tony Blair as he prepared to launch poorly planned campaign

What the six wise men told Tony Blair

Months before the invasion of Iraq in 2003, experts sought to warn the PM about his plans. Here, four of them recall that day
25 years of The Independent on Sunday: The stories, the writers and the changes over the last quarter of a century

25 years of The Independent on Sunday

The stories, the writers and the changes over the last quarter of a century
Homeless Veterans appeal: 'Really caring is a dangerous emotion in this kind of work'

Homeless Veterans appeal

As head of The Soldiers' Charity, Martin Rutledge has to temper compassion with realism. He tells Chris Green how his Army career prepared him
Wu-Tang Clan and The Sexual Objects offer fans a chance to own the only copies of their latest albums

Smash hit go under the hammer

It's nice to pick up a new record once in a while, but the purchasers of two latest releases can go a step further - by buying the only copy
Geeks who rocked the world: Documentary looks back at origins of the computer-games industry

The geeks who rocked the world

A new documentary looks back at origins of the computer-games industry
Belle & Sebastian interview: Stuart Murdoch reveals how the band is taking a new direction

Belle & Sebastian is taking a new direction

Twenty years ago, Belle & Sebastian was a fey indie band from Glasgow. It still is – except today, as prime mover Stuart Murdoch admits, it has a global cult following, from Hollywood to South Korea