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Paul Goodman MP: Seven Observations

Goodman_paul_6Paul Goodman MP writes his last post for the Davis campaign.

The Editor has asked me to write (or should that be trumpet?) a last post.  Since the result won’t be announced until later today, it would be inappropriate for me to declare who it’s being blown for.  So here - instead of a fanfare, riff, blast, trill or raspberry – is a brief improvisation entitled “Seven Observations”:

(1) This long-drawn-out leadership contest was widely expected to lower morale and sap expectations.  Instead, it’s allowed a sense of reinvigoration and renewal to blossom.  Party conference was expected to showcase division; instead, it provided a platform for debate and discussion.  And in the new Parliamentary session, rampant Ministers were expected to taunt a hamstrung opposition; instead, that session has seen the resignation of David Blunkett and the first defeat of the Government in the Commons since 1997.

(2) As I’ve written before, DD must take much of the credit for this turnaround.  He went into the members’ ballot as the underdog.  He leaves that ballot as the underdog.  It would have been easy for him to fold his bid after the Parliamentary stage.  Instead, he took the long and winding road of the membership stage, with all that it entails: nationwide hustings, television debates (in which he excelled), hectic travel, ceaseless media scrutiny – all carried out despite the expectation by others of defeat.

(3) If David Cameron wins, expect attention to be focused quickly on, inter alia, the question of the relationship between the party and the European Peoples’ Party.

(4) If DD wins, don’t expect attention to be focused quickly on anything, because nearly everyone will be too surprised to react and (in some cases) to think, though not (in all cases) to comment.

(5) Whoever wins, expect the party to end its quarter of a century as the anti-establishment party of British politics.  Remember: you read it here first.

(6) Whoever wins, expect also to see the long dominance of the conservative media over the Conservative Party (which began in the Major era) to come to an end.  David Cameron has already been greeted as a diamond geezer by the Sun, yoked the Daily Telegraph to his chariot wheels, and survived some passing unhelpfulness from the Daily Mail.  DC is clearly prepared to tell conservative commentators politely but firmly when he disagrees with them.  Expect no less of DD.

(7) I’ve enjoyed blogging on this site very much.  I’ve enjoyed no less reading the threads which have followed from others, have intended from time to time to post a thread myself commenting on some of the comments, and am sorry that my lack of technical prowess has prevented me from so doing.


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