Conservative Diary

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Labour sound and look rattled

Today's report from Party Chairman, Eric Pickles.

Day three of the election dawns, bringing us that little bit closer to liberation day in May. Every campaign has its own rhythm and pace. I keep warning activists that there will be good days and bad days.  Today has been a great day, more signatures from employers on Labour's job tax and a new initiative from the Conservatives, our National Citizen Service endorsed by Sir Michael Caine. It has dominated the headlines all day, you might say to misquote Sir Michael “a lot of people do know that.”

I’ve seen a lot of policy launches over the years but I’ve never seen one that whether you were a journalist, an activist or a voter, you just got it. No one seems to have a bad word for it, except for a few grumpy middle aged Labour Cabinet Ministers.

I’m pretty struck how rattled Labour not only sound, but look. What were they thinking presenting the Prime Minister, the Chancellor and Lord M (whose full title is too long to fit in to a tweet) against the backdrop of what I think was a sunset at the Labour Press Conference? All that was needed was sombre music and a voice over saying “as the sun goes down we say goodby..”

Fleetwood I’m in the North West on a tour. I’ve met with our candidates in Blackpool South (Ron Bell) and Blackpool North and Clevleys (Paul Maynard) and I am just off to do a meeting with Eric Ollerenshaw in Fleetwood. On the knocker in the residential part of the town, it’s clear that traditional Labour support has just had enough of Gordon Brown and they are definitely not going to vote Labour. As I reported yesterday, they are starting to switch to the Conservatives, many for the first time. Regardless of age our National Citizen Service really seems to have caught people’s imagination.  As a young man said to me just off Cavendish Road in Blackpool “this is great, this is much better than politicians preaching what needs to be done, this is about us being given a chance to do something with a purpose that is both interesting and fun.”

Eric Pickles


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