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The Life and Times of the Prince of Darkness

Eric Pickles 2 2010 Tea with Pickles

I started the day with my new favourite soap - the Labour press conference. The resilient Prince of Darkness was back, down, but not out after yesterday’s disastrous performance.  I almost felt sorry for his Lordship. He looked rattled as his eyes darted around the room sizing up the enemy. Thankfully for him there was not a nokia in sight.

One of my chums at CCHQ who goes along to make sure everyone behaves and hands out the odd bit of literature highlighting Labour’s record in office had some of his work confiscated by a Labour spin doctor. Apparently all  documents of high level importance must be rubber stamped by our supreme leader.

The highlight today was seeing my friends at the Mirror holding Labour to account on spreading yet more lies about our policy on CCTV.  This was definitely not in the script but all great moments are unscripted.

After the Prince of Darkness called time and the credits rolled, I raced down to the West Country to carry on my doorstep offensive. The south west is a key battleground for us and a stunning part of the country.

I love this part of the world and am always struck by the warmth of the people. As I said yesterday, the doorstep always gives you the best insight into what people are thinking and today there were more telling comments.

One disgruntled voter in Plymouth said to me “the problem with Labour is that they think Plymouth is Portsmouth, they just don’t know where we are.” This government thinks a one size fits all policy that rides roughshod over local communities  is the answer. Memo to Gordon: It isn’t.

Next stops on the Pickles roadshow were Newton Abbot, Exeter and North Devon.  Again and again on the doorstep the same subject came up. More and more people expressed deep frustration at the barrage of stealth taxes they’ve been hit with over the past thirteen years. And for what they asked me? I am sorry to say as much as I tried I couldn’t find a credible answer.

After all of the media coverage on Gordon Brown’s comments today, I suspect my favourite soap may be off air tomorrow.   I must say I hope it’s allowed back on our screens before May 6th.  The life and times of  the Prince of Darkness is compelling viewing. I am sure there’s a book in it. But that’s another story.

Eric Pickles


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