Saturday, 31 October 2009

David Cameron writes: Labour have been exposed across three fronts‏

In an email to conservatives and supporters David Cameron has today said:
"This week the failures of this Labour Government were exposed across three major fronts: society, the military, and the economy.

"First, society. New figures have shown that many poor families are actually better off on benefits than in work. What kind of signal does this send about what society expects of people? "Don't strive for independence, don't try to provide for your family, don't try and do the responsible thing". It's a crazy situation to be in, so on Tuesday I announced a new policy initiative to look into the best way of tackling it.

"Second, the military. As you might remember from my email two weeks ago we've been pushing hard against deep cuts in training for army reservists. Thankfully, we've now succeeded in getting these cuts stopped. On Wednesday I asked the Prime Minister to tell us what on earth he was thinking of when he proposed to cut this training when the country is at war. As ever, I didn't get an answer.

"Third, the economy. Whilst Britain now finds itself in the longest and deepest recession since records began, we learned on Thursday that the US has now joined all the other major economies in climbing out of recession and into recovery.

"Gordon Brown's claims that we were somehow the "best placed" country to weather the recession have been completely blown out of the water by the fact we were one of the first into recession, and are now the last out. Our economy desperately needs an injection of credit and confidence - and we're only going to get that with fresh economic leadership."

Lincoln Rugby Football Club Relocation

The Lincoln Rugby Football Club's application for planning permission has now been submitted to West Lindsey District Council, the planning authority, for their proposed new ground at a site on Lodge Lane, Nettleham.

They aim to construct a two storey club house incorporating six changing rooms, a function room and bar with car parking for 150 and ancillary facilities.

Together with plans to include four full sized pitches and a minimum of seven pitches for use by the club's mini and junior sections.

The plans have been submitted following agreement with the University for a 50 year lease over a site of 32.5 acres. The lease will be drawn up under the terms of the Landlord and Tenant Act, which means that under normal circumstances the club will be entitled to a renewal of the lease for a further 50 years. There will be a break clause after 25 years and if the University decide to exercise that option or seek to break the lease upon expiry (i.e. in 50 years time), they will be obliged to relocate the club onto an acceptable alternative site, with two years prior notice.

The facilities will be utilised by University students to train and play Rugby, Rugby League (in season) and American Football. Their matches are usually played on Wednesday afternoons.

Representatives of the Rugby Club have met regularly with representatives of Nettleham Parish Council and are working with them to address the views of local residents. Nettleham Woodland Trust, a local charity, is keen to be involved in the landscaping of the site.

The Club have obtained a revised costing for the project and expect to be able to deliver the facility within a figure of £1,450,000.

The Longdales Trust remains supportive and has agreed to provide an award of £500,000with the possibility of a further grant or loan of £100,000

West Lindsey District Council have received a submission for an application for grant funding of £100,000.

The Rugby Club expect to raise around £200,000 from their own membership and have other 'irons in the fire' which could raise a further £150,000 – this includes a possible loan of £100,000 from the RFU.

Unfortunately, the Club's application to Sport England for funding of £400,000 has been refused, so the club are urgently seeking other sources of capital to replace this.

The Club expect a decision on the planning application by the end of the year, although it is believed that the application will go to the Planning Committee at west Lindsey early in the new year, and, if the club can raise the majority of the finance required in good time, contractors could be on site by 1 April next year with completion towards the end of 2010.

Friday, 30 October 2009

Nettleham Parish Council Budget 2010/11

Nettleham Parish Council met on the evening of Wednesday, 28th October 2009 in the Small Hall at the Old School, Mill Hill, Nettleham to discuss and agree a budget for the financial year 2010/11. In attendance were Deputy Chairman, Cllr. Mrs. J. Clayton (in the chair), Cllr. Mrs. V. Darbyshire, Cllr. J. Downs, Cllr. J. Evans, Cllr. J. Hill, Cllr. M. Leaning, Cllr. G. McNeill and Cllr. M. Spencer. Cllr. M. Davidson, Cllr. A. Frith, Cllr. R. Sellers and Chairman, Cllr. T. Williams were all absent. Mr. R. Buttery, the Parish Council's Hon. Financial Adviser and Mrs. J. Finn, the Clerk (taking minutes) were in attendance, together with Mr. I. Gerrard, the Facilities Manager and two members of the public.

A proposed budget is submitted to councillors from the Parish Office with input from the Property Committee and other sources.

The Parish Council's budget covers areas as diverse as administration, the cost of elections, donations to local organisations, income from bequests to the parish, performing rights licences, management of village facilities such as the Old School, the burial ground & Mulsanne Park, tree planting & maintenance, allotments, village beautification - such as floral displays, grass cutting and the beck - village benches, maintenance of the church clock, play equipment & other capital investment projects and field paths.

Under he Local Government Act 1972 s.150 the Parish Council raises most of its income through a separate chargeable levy on the parish, known as the precept, issued to the council responsible for collection of local government taxes, locally that falls to West Lindsey District Council. A parish council is a local precepting authority and may issue a precept each financial year. It is therefore vitally important for councils to prepare accurate budgets. To this end, in recent years, Nettleham Parish Council have engaged the service of a Financial Advisor and are rigorous in having quarterly Financial Monitoring Reports presented. Other income is made through service charges, rents and grants for services undertaken by the Parish Council on behalf of other authorities.

On the whole the budget represented a 'steady as she goes' approach. Most budget cost codes being carried forward with some minor adjustments. The main changes centred on increased staff costs, primarily due to an ever increasing work load on the Council's officers. At the current stage the Parish Council has agreed to finance cost of the burial ground from charges to service users. This has come about due to the loss of the burial ground subsidy from West Lindsey District Council. The Council has also decided that a security guard will be provided at Mulsanne Park for occasional sweeps of the site to try and reduce incidents of vandalism. The Parish Council also agreed to put aside £3,500 into the major projects reserve, £1,000 for the Old School, £4,500 for Mulsanne Park and £3,000 for Bill Bailey's Memorial Field. So despite of the problems of the recession, reduced revenue streams from West Lindsey District Council (loss of the Burial Ground Subsidy and a reduction in the Per Capita Subsidy) the Parish Council nevertheless resolved to freeze the precept level. Whilst still substantially increasing capital investment by £4,500 and increasing and improving on services delivered. None of this can be made possible without the dedication shown by the members of the council and the staff who work particularly hard to deliver high quality service.

Thursday, 29 October 2009

Nettleham Parish Council Agree Tax Freeze

Yesterday evening Nettleham Parish Council met for our annual Budget Meeting where the full council considers the council's budgetary arrangements for the coming year.

The good news for local taxpayers is that the council agreed to freeze the level at £101,243. A figure that represents quite an achievement in the light of the reduction in subsidy from West Lindsey District Council through the 'Per Capita' scheme - being cut in half this year, and lost totally in the year thereafter - and the ending of the burial ground subsidy.

I had proposed a small cut in the level of the precept to £100,850 but this was not supported by the other members of the council.

In the end Cllrs. Leaning, Evans, Hill, Darbyshire, Downs, Clayton and Spencer voted in favour. Cllr. McNeill voted against.

Cllr. Giles McNeill said:
"I would have liked to have reduced the precept - that part of the Council Tax that goes to the parish council - as a way of demonstrating that in these hard times of recession and deflation the council is firmly in step with local residents. I think that the freeze is not a bad result for local people.

Saturday, 24 October 2009

Breakfast Wines

Champagne, historically, is the only alcoholic beverage you can drink for breakfast and people won't look sideways at you.

Does this mean that all other wines – and for that matter spirits – are forbidden before lunch?

A few weeks ago now I enjoyed plum bread, lightly toasted, with marcarpone, maple cure bacon and maple syrup and a Matusalem chaser for my breakfast.

Why should we not be able to enjoy a refreshing glass of Beaujolais to complement the bacon and eggs? Or a little Banyuls with the croissant and strawberry jam?

I am not suggesting that you need a belt of Bourbon (my favourite is Woodford Reserve) to kick-start the morning, but a little alcohol with breakfast can be a restoring and invigorating experience. In the Cognac region, home to some of France's longest-lived citizens, a farmer's breakfast will start with a glass of orange juice mixed with cognac. And the Italians, known for their zest for life is the envy of other nations, correct their morning espresso with grappa.

The champagne breakfast is an established gastronomic tradition - and a personal favourite - although a their are those who believe that champagne by itself is breakfast enough. They probably subscribe to the sentiments of Alain de Vogüé, a former director of Veuve Clicquot. Who was once asked when was the best time to drink champagne. His reply: 'Before, during and after.'

To my mind only the British truely understand breakfast, first of all, breakfast has to be cooked. It has to be substantial to set you up for the rigours of the day. Now, the pH of wine is about the same as the pH of our stomach acid, which should mean that wine aids in your digesting process. So my view would be that if you believe in a hearty breakfast, think about serving some wine to help ward off indigestion.

In my opinion nothing starts the day more properly than smoked salmon, savoy eggs, a wholemeal english muffin followed by pancakes with maple syrup and bacon served with a bottle of Laurent-Perrier Cuvee Rose Brut.

Personally, I think it is a sin to mix champagne with orange juice or anything else – a blasphemy for which perpetrators will have to face the wrath of Dionysus on the day of judgement. However, if you are foolhardy enough to transgress in this direction you might try grapefruit juice instead of orange juice or peach juice. But a warning: don't brush your teeth before you have champagne for breakfast. Colgate does nothing for Krug.

For those who are concerned about alcohol in the morning I have this advice: go for German Riesling from the Mosel. These wines can be as low as seven and a half percent alcohol and they will wake up your taste buds like nothing else.

Alternatively you can use wine in preparing your breakfast. Heating wine or spirits drives off the alcohol and you're left with the flavour. The Burgundians make a dish of eggs poached in Beaujolais. Once you got past the colour they are delicious and perhaps as a Chritmas treat why not have French toast made using egg nog instead of eggs and milk?

Other possibilities could include: Silvaner with ham quiche, dry Muscat with fresh fruit, Gewurztraminer with bagels and lox, Pinot Blanc with a cheese omelet.

Leave your options open. You never know what might work.

Wednesday, 21 October 2009

Poll Watch: 23% Lead for Conservatives in Mori Poll

Conservatives have been put at one of their highest ratings in recent times thanks to a special Endland Only poll for PoliticalBetting.com conducted by Mori which gives David Cameron's party a twenty-three point lead.

Con 47% | Lab 24% | LibDem 21%

UKPolling Report Projected Majority: 240.

War heroes speak out against the BNP

The Nothing British campaign launches today a new campaign by veterans to reclaim the honour of Britain's Armed Forces from the British National Party.

You can find the campaign at www.nothingbritish.com, watch the videos on our YouTube channel, or follow on facebook and twitter.

In an internet blitz of videos, a number of war heroes describe their anger that the BNP seeks to use the public's warm feelings towards Britain's military to promote the politics of racism and extremism. The veterans call on fellow ex-servicemen to sign their petition.

The campaign is accompanied by a hard-hitting report with a foreword by Charles Moore (Chairman of Policy Exchange) which describes the BNP's efforts to use military rhetoric, insignia and memorabilia in their party political propaganda.

The high profile veterans behind the campaign include:-

Andy McNab DCM MM. Ex-SAS commando and Iraq War veteran.
Colonel Tim Collins OBE. Ex-SAS commando and Iraq War veteran.
Simon Weston OBE. Falklands War veteran.
Nicholas Soames MP. Veteran cavalryman and grandson of Sir Winston Churchill.

Top Brass supporters have signed a letter of support which condemns the BNP. "We call on all those who seek to hijack the good name of Britain's military for their own advantage to cease and desist," write the Generals:-

General The Lord Guthrie GCB, LVO, OBE, DL.
General Sir Mike Jackson GCB, CBE, DSO, DL.
General Sir Richard Dannatt GBC, CBE, MC.
Major-General Patrick Cordingley DSO.

James Bethell, Director of Nothing British, said:
"People are fed up with the BNP using the honour of Britain's Armed Services and the memory of fallen heroes to promote the politics of racism and extremism".
In his foreword, Charles Moore says:
"Almost everything the BNP does is somehow linked to the commemoration of fallen heroes, evokes the spirit of the Blitz, condemns the broken Covenant and gripes about foreign wars.

"It is a deliberate strategy to exploit warm feelings felt towards the Armed Services by the British public, particularly the sort of traditionally-minded families that provide the rank and file of the Services.

"And it's working. The European Election campaign - branded "The Battle for Britain" - saw the BNP win two significant electoral victories with nearly one million votes.

"The danger to Britain is that the BNP's poisonous brand of racism, segregation and intolerance will worm its way into the fabric of British life.

"The danger for the British military is that they will inadvertently provide a leg-up at home for the kind of fascism that so many of our dead and wounded fought in foreign battlefields. This will damage the reputation of our armed services."
The Bank of England governor has hinted that Gordon Brown's plans to reform UK banking through regulation alone may not be enough.

Mervyn King said it was a 'delusion' that tightening regulation could stop banks' most risky activities from failing and leading to huge losses.

In his starkest warning to date, the Governor said banks may have to separate their day-to-day business from more speculative practices if they are to get state aid.

Mr. King also predicted that the United Kingdom's economy would grow in the remaining two quarters of the year.

He did not commit himself to saying the economy had come out of recession between July and September. Initial data on the economy's performance during that period is expected on Friday.

The Governor added that while it should become easier for households and businesses to borrow money, everone should be under no illusion that the path to sustained recovery will be smooth an painless, citing high unemployment and lower industrial output.
"We shall all be paying for the impact of this crisis on the public finances for a generation."
In his speech to Scottish business organisations in Edinburgh, Mr. King hinted that G20 plans for tighter regulations may not be sufficient, because if banks knew they would be bailed out if they hit difficulties, they would continue to take risks.
"The belief that appropriate regulation can ensure that speculative activities do not result in failures is a delusion,"
Banks have been criticised for making risky investments - which in previous years had brought hefty profits and large bonuses for their staff. However, when these investments went wrong, it contributed to the global economic crisis which saw several banks, including Royal Bank of Scotland and Lloyds, being part-nationalised.

Mr King suggested it was hard to see why taxpayer support could not be limited to retail banking.
"Anyone who proposed giving government guarantees to retail depositors and other creditors, and then suggested that such funding could be used to finance highly risky and speculative activities, would be thought rather unworldly. But that is where we now are."
Direct or guaranteed investment in banks from the government was close to one trillion pounds, Mr King said.
"The sheer scale of support to the banking sector is breathtaking.

"Never has so much money been owed by so few to so many. And, one might add, so far with little real reform."

"It is hard to see how the existence of institutions that are 'too important to fail' is consistent with their being in the private sector.

"Encouraging banks to take risks that result in large dividend and remuneration payouts when things go well, and losses for taxpayers when they don't, distorts the allocation of resources and management of risk."


Mr. King said that those banks which continued to get public money to prop them up and aid their recovery should not be encouraged to try and earn profits to get out of government support by resuming the very activities that got them into trouble in the first place.

Tuesday, 20 October 2009

Poll Watch: Conservative Continue Post Conference Surge

The Conservative Party have continued their post conference surge in the polls with a Ipsos Mori has published their monthly tracker showing a 17% Conservative lead:

Con 43% | Lab 26% | LibDem 19%

Whilst ICM’s monthly Guardian poll also has a 17% lead for the Conservatives

Con 44% | LAB 27% | LibDem 18%

The 17 point lead in both shows virtually no change since before the conference season.

Wednesday, 14 October 2009

West Lindsey Lib Dems Cotton On.

Regular readers of this blog will remember that I put together a video to coincide with the Liberal Democrat Conference in Bournemouth (see here). Well it seems that the Liberal Democrat Group did 'cotton on' to the fact that their problem was Cllr. David Cotton, Liberal Democrat (Saxilby Ward) and have ousted him.

Cllr. Cotton was elected Leader of the Liberal Democrat Group on West Lindsey District Council a little over one year ago and replaced incumbent Cllr. Reg Shore, Liberal Democrat (Stow Ward) - The Liberal Democrats Prospective Parliamentary Candidate for the Lincoln Constituency. Under Cllr. Cotton's leadership they have suffered two by-election defeats - the first in recent memory - They lost the Lib Dem safe seat of Middle Rasen because Cllr. Cotton failed to get the paperwork in on time and in August this year he lost a seat in his home village of Saxilby because his former deputy, Cllr. Brockway, was forced to defect on a matter of principle.

The Liberal Democrats met at some point last week and have ousted Cllr. Cotton and re-instated Cllr. Shore. This seems to make some sense. Under Cllr. Shore's leadership of West Lindsey District Council they reached a high watermark of councillors which has gradually been chipped away by a superior Conservative campaign team. However, Cllr. Shore will be contesting the Lincoln Constituency for the Liberal Democrats in the coming general election - which is expected t be at the same time as the Local Elections. I suspect that this represents a bad decision by the Liberal Democrat Group to have a leader whose focus isn't the district or the group.

This is not however, the end of the story, reports have come to me that Cllr. Peter Heath, Liberal Democrat (Scampton), has resigned and as we are so close to the next set of local elections a by-election will not be called leaving the communities of Aisthorpe, Brattleby, Cammeringham, Fillingham, Glentworth, Ingham, Scampton and Thorpe-In-The-Fallows with out representation on the district council for nearly half a year.

What prompted Cllr. Heath's shock resignation is not known; he was, however, seen by colleagues and opponents alike as a possible leader-in-waiting. What is certain is that the Liberal Democrats on West Lindsey District Council seem more divided and introspective than ever and far from being ready to take up the reigns of the authority once again.

UPDATE 29/10/2009

At last night's Nettleham Parish Council Meeting Cllr. Malcolm Leaning, Liberal Democrat (Nettleham Ward), confirmed that Cllr. Shore was the Liberal Democrats new Group Leader.

Saturday, 10 October 2009

Poll Watch: Continued Conservative Surge in ICM Poll

The Conservative Party have continued their post conference improvement in the polls with a News of the World/ICM poll giving a 19 point lead above Labour Which if translated to a uniform swing in a general election could see a Conservative majority in the House of Commons of around 170.

Con 45% | Lab 26% | LibDem 17%

Friday, 9 October 2009

Conservatives Surge to 17 point lead in YouGov Poll

The Conservative Party have recieved a significant bounce in YouGov's daily tracking poll, commmissioned by Sky News, following a daring strategy of telling party members and the public that hard choices needed to be taken.

Con 44% | Lab 27% | LibDem 17% | Others 12%

Full Tracker here.

Thursday, 8 October 2009

Guardian Europe Video

See me in a video from the Guardian featuring Boris Johnson and John Redwood (Click Here.)

Monday, 5 October 2009

Conservative Conference Video - Day 1 Highlights

Conservative Conference Day 1 Summary

It was a really busy day today.

7:30am It all started with a Breakfast hosted by Google promoting the tools available from Goolgle to support people who are involved in e-campaigning.

9:00am I then went and toured the Conference Centre and looked around the some 135 stalls that make up the exhibitors section of the Conference Centre. I attended some policy sessions and caught up with lots of friends across the country.

5:30pm I attended the East & West Midlands Reception where Party Chairman Eric Pickles spoke followed by a reception hosted by The Chief Minister, Peter Caruana QC MP on behalf of the government of Gibraltar.

7:30pm Mad dash from the Gibraltar Reception to the reception hosted by the leader of the Conservaive Group from the European Parliament and then half an hour later I attende the Chairman's Reception sponsored by Bloomberg.

...and now off to the Conference Hotel's bar for a long night of networking.

Saturday, 3 October 2009

Conference Overture on Europe from David Cameron

As an overture to the Conservative Party Conference in Manchester this week David Cameron has sent an email to activists and supporter on the tricky issue of Europe. He writes:
"Our Conference starts in Manchester this weekend. It's going to be the most vibrant and exciting for years.

"Next week, we won't be playing it safe - instead we will be offering bold plans to deal with the big problems the country faces.

"Labour spent their conference talking only to themselves - not the country.

"In contrast you will see a Conservative Party united, determined and ready to deliver the bold, tough and radical change Britain needs.

"Labour are now the party of unemployment - at this conference we will show that we are the party of new jobs and new opportunities.

"To deal with Labour's Debt Crisis we will be setting out some of the tough decisions that need to be taken and unlike Gordon Brown we won't duck them.

"To give people hope for the future the country needs to change direction, and our Conference will show how we're ready to make that change.

"But there is absolutely no complacency.

"Every member of the Conservative Party needs to remember the following: the Conservatives have never won a General Election from a starting point as difficult as we face now.

"To win a majority, we must hold every seat we won in 2005 plus an additional 117 constituencies. This would be the biggest number of Conservative gains at a General Election since 1931.

"We can do it: but we are going to have to work incredibly hard for every vote, every day between now and polling day. In this election, every vote will count.

"This weekend we will hear the results of the referendum in Ireland on the re-named EU Constitution.

"I want to make one thing clear: there will be no change in our policy on Europe and no new announcements at the Conference. There will be no change in Conservative policy as long as the Lisbon Treaty is still not in force. The Treaty has still not been ratified by the Czechs and the Poles. The Czech Prime Minister has said that the constitutional challenge before the Czech Constitutional Court could take 3-6 months to resolve.

"I have said repeatedly that I want us to have a referendum. If the Treaty is not ratified in all Member States and not in force when the election is held, and if we are elected, then we will hold a referendum on it, we will name the date of the referendum in the election campaign, we will lead the campaign for a 'No' vote.

"If the Treaty is ratified and in force in all Member States, we have repeatedly said we would not let matters rest there. But we have one policy at a time, and we will set out how we would proceed in those circumstances if, and only if, they happen.

"This is going to be a great Conference. I look forward to seeing many of you in Manchester."

Thursday, 1 October 2009

Chance Encounter with Lincoln MP Gillian Merron

Just bumped into Lincoln's own Gillian Merron MP outside Lincoln Central Station, on her return from the Labour Party Conference in Brighton.

She seemed a little flustered, tired, but nevertheless in positive spirits.

She asked how I was and I informed her I was getting my ticket for Manchester next week, she wished wished me well and I reciprocated. She's a genuninely classy lady.

Labour Conference a Valiant Last Hurrah!

Asked recently how they felt about Prime Minister Gordon Brown, nearly half of those surveyed by Populus for a poll in The Times said that 'anyone' in the Labour Party would do a better job as party leader.

In the last two weeks, the prime minister has been compelled to publicly deny that he takes anti-depressants, that he is on the verge of going blind and that U.S. President Barrack Obama is deliberately avoiding him.
“Gordon Brown looks like a failing businessperson on way out — a ‘dead man walking,’”
aid John F. Welch Jr., the former chief executive of General Electric, which he felt inspired to observe to more than 880,000 followers on Twitter.

This was the backdrop as Mr. Brown strode on to the stage in Brighton on Tuesday to deliver what many are assuming will be his last speech at a Labour Party conference as Prime Minister. According to a flurry of recent polls, the Labour Party has virtually no chance of winning.

Early polls can be poor predictors of future intentions, of course. It is not over until the last vote is in the ballot box. It is possible that some extraneous event, some hideous international disaster, could occur that suddenly helps the government.

A lot was riding on Mr. Brown’s speech. Could he revitalize a party that began its annual conference over the weekend in a mood of funereal fatalism? Could he build on the argument that the young and untested Conservative leader, David Cameron, is a 'flibbertigibbet,' as the First Secretary of State, Lord Mandelson, called him? Could he demonstrate after a spell of disastrous news coverage that he was neither a 'grumpy old man,' as a disillusioned Alan Simpson MP put it, nor a jockey astride a 'spavined old cart horse,' in the words of the columnist Andrew Gimson?

“Even the Sermon on the Mount would be unlikely to kick-start the party’s heart, and Mr. Brown is no Messiah of communications,”
Mary Riddell wrote in The Daily Telegraph.

In his speech, and after it, Mr. Brown had presented himself as unperturbed by all the bad weather swirling around him, declaring without flinching that he was well suited to the job of clawing the party back to re-electability. He would
“not give up, but fight to win for Britain,”

“Now is not the time to give in, but to reach inside ourselves for the strength of our convictions.”
Mr. Brown had decided to negotiate a delicate set of circumstances. He had to figure out how to argue that his party was ready to make a comeback, when it is in fact already in power. He also had to seem sincere when promising to fix things that the Labour government has not yet fixed in 12 years in power. He had to convince listeners that Labour had the tools to repair the economy when, critics say, Labour policies helped contribute to the severity of the problems in the first place.

The Prime Minister fashioned a clever way of doing so, saying that the financial crisis had transformed the world, and that Labour was best able to adapt to the new realities. People should vote
“not for a fourth-term Labour government... but for the first Labour government of this new age.”
Even when the speech was over, the newspaper broadsides did not cease. Some, indeed, intensified.

On Wednesday the influential The Sun, part of Rupert Murdoch’s media empire, issued an abrupt reversal of the support it always claimed had helped Labour to win power in 1997. In that election, the Sun switched its backing from the Conservatives to Labour. On Wednesday, it seesawed back again — a blow to Mr. Brown and a huge bonus for Mr. Cameron.
“After 12 long years in power, this government has lost its way. Now it’s lost the Sun’s support too,” the newspaper said on its front page along with a photograph of Mr. Brown and the headline, “Labour’s Lost It.”
People in the conference hall said they found Mr. Brown relaxed and personable, qualities that have not been his strong points in the past. They said they were pleased by a stream of initiatives he announced, including plans to ensure quicker diagnoses for patients suspected of having cancer, and plans finally to eject the remaining hereditary peers from the House of Lords.

Barrie Taylor, a local government official from London, said:
“It was all right,”

“He gets down on the ground to talk about the issues he feels strongly about.”
Mr. Taylor said he believed that despite polls that showed Labour in the range of 15 percentage points behind the Conservatives, the country would come to its senses when faced with the actual election.

Party conferences are self-selecting, packed with cocooned supporters basking in the safe glow of the like-minded. But even upbeat conference attendees here admitted that Labour faced a difficult time. They said, however, that although things seemed dire now, they did not seem nearly as dire for the party as they did in the early 1980s, when Margaret Thatcher was in power and Labour was riven by internal squabbles.

“People recognize that it can’t get much worse at the moment in terms of the polls, but the threat of having a Conservative government is just so bad that people are fired up,”
said Will Straw, the son of Justice Secretary, Jack Straw.

Part of Labour’s problem is simply voter fatigue. Britons tend to grow weary of governments and turn on them. Sensing blood, the ravening British news media can be as vicious as the gang of boys in 'Lord of the Flies'.

Public life here has the risk of turning into a theatre of cruelty. If the media decides it wants to damage and hold you permanently to account in a hard and difficult way, there’s very little you can do about it. With Brown, they sort of decided collectively that he is a no-hoper.


In less than eight month time we will know what direction British Politics is going to take. But Gordon Brown's performance though a credible effort did not stop delegates knitting through his speech. The fight he called for may be a lonely one.