Anorak News | Donkey Derby

Donkey Derby

by | 3rd, October 2005

‘YOU’D think Blackpool had enough donkeys without the Conservatives bringing along their own for the party’s annual conference.

The carrot or the stick?

But all the Tory big beasts of burden are gathered in the resort for the party’s group chat.

However, rather then wondering what will be said, or if any eighty-something-year-old pensioners will remain awake long enough to heckle, the papers view the entire thing as part of the party’s wider leadership contest.

The Telegraph looks at the runners and boils this five donkey race into a straight contest between Kenneth Clarke (long ears, likes to be petted) and David Davies (broad back and unlikely to bolt). The rest – Liam Fox, David Cameron and Sir Malcolm Rifkin – are all so much glue.

So says the a poll commissioned by the Telegraph, which shows Clarke and Davies neck and neck and well ahead of the chasing pack.

This beauty contest might yet end in a photo finish.

Or it might be that it doesn’t realty matter who wins. The hopefuls are all too similar. The contest is a tight one not because the agonists are all so good but because they are all so bad.

At least this is what another poll suggests. The Times has commissioned a poll of its own, and discovered that Tory supporters have a low opinion of the would-be famous five.

Just 22 per cent of those polled say they think the Tories have a good leadership team. That’s pretty awful, all the more so when we learn that the approval figure rises to more than 50 per cent for the other two main parties.

It’s clear that the Tories need to change. And the party’s leaders agree. David Davis wants an “agenda for change”. David Cameron’s wants “change to win”. The result is so much plus ca change, as they say over there.

If Clarke is Davis’s main threat in the Telegraph, the Times spends lots of time listening to Cameron. And if neither of the two is your cup of tea, then what about trying another beverage?

As the Times says, Cameron says that he is a “modern, compassionate Conservative”. He notes that Davis has moved to occupy the touchy-feely ground and thinks we should be wary. “…But I would say buy Coca-Cola,” says Cameron. “If you like Coke, get the real thing. Or else get Kate Moss to support your campaign.

But Davis wants something a little stronger. “I’m Mr Heineken,” says he. “I mean it when I say Heineken because what I want to do is [have] a Tory party that reaches the parts of Britain it never reached before.”

But whatever the merit and flaws of either brew, the combined effect is to cause a sense of unease in the stomach.

Perhaps best to stick with the carrots…’

Posted: 3rd, October 2005 | In: Uncategorized Comment | TrackBack | Permalink