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The BBC coverage Tim of the conference on radio 4 &5 was a typical disgrace this morning. The journalist they had covering it for Radio 5 was the very even handed McGuire of the Mirror. He said amongst other complimentary comments that he'd seen more people 'at a garden fete' and there 'does not appear to be much support for David Cameron'.
Throughout the day Radio 4 and 5 merely reported Camerons' speech on the NHS in terms of Patricia Hewitts response to it. The BBC , what a fair organisation- not.

Ed, I hope you have seen Iain Dale's blog tonight on Francis Maude's tough stance on EPP loving MEPs.

An excellent conference all round it would seem.

I think the NHS Rally in London will be remembered by myself for a very interesting quote given to David Cameron by one or two of the doctors:

It went "We are socialists and we love you!"

Reminds me of the day Arthur Scargill got cheered by miners supporters after the Heseltine Pit Closures were announced in 92 or 93.

How political fortunes turn around!

Sorry Editor - Sent the text off too early - the point being that Scargill was being cheered in Kensington and Chelsea of all places.

"Someone out there should definitely come up with a campaign to fix Blair and Brown together in the public mind."

How about simply dubbing wee Gordy the "destroyer of pensions"?

When Cameron made his speech today,most of it, nearly till the end was shown live on Sky News. (You could have watched the end by pressing the red button)

However, BBC News 24 did not even bother to cover it live at all!!!

It was an excellent conference. I am originally from Nottingham & was interested to see how the city would cope, the fact that there are plenty of places to go makes it ideal. I personally would have no problem with it being held there on a regular basis. Manchester's main auditorium was smaller so it made it look as though there were less people this time, the concert hall holds 2000 people. I think that maybe it should be held on a Thursday & Friday with Saturday morning to go home and not hold it on Mothering Sunday.
Overall the conferences are improving each time. Congratulations to all involved.

A most enjoyable conference which gave me the chance to find a use for a community support officer (for directions).

There was almost no security with no scanning. Why the contrast with party conference? Spring forum seems a soft target for terrorists.

Was thinking the same Umbrella man. I walked through once without being checked at all.

David Cameron will have to come up with more than an opportunistic appearance at a doctors rally if he is to really address the NHS as an issue.
Real engagement with NHS professionals is needed to undo the feeling of demoralization among doctors and others which has resulted from current Labour policies.

"Someone out there should definitely come up with a campaign to fix Blair and Brown together in the public mind."

We could start with that grisly campaign video in soft focus, shot by Anthony Minghella in 2005, of the two of them talking about how much they enjoy working together - their shared values etc etc.


"Mr Cameron described me as a "theocon" - a badge I am happy to wear! I also bumped into an even more powerful figure in the Conservative Party - Steve Hilton."

Ahem, Tim, surely you are not suggesting that Steve Hilton is even more powerful than DC....!


It was a positive and upbeat conference. The focus on the NHS and, to a lesser extent, social care worked very well. We need to do much much more on that because Labour is now terribly vulnerable. They have demonstrably failed in what used to be their area of greatest strength.


Numbers have always seemed lower since departing Harrogate - I don't know whether that perception is accurate in terms of people attending or not. I completely understand and agree with the need to take Spring Form elsewhere. But unless the conference hotel is quite literally bang next door there is a danger of the conference becoming a little disconnected. It's a much smaller gathering over a shorter period than the autumn conference & so it needs to be kept in a close-knit location.

I thought the Crowne Plaza worked well as a meeting point, Simon.

It was OK Umbrella man, but the great benefit of Harrogate is that the hotel and conference centre are so close that it's almost like being in the same building - much easier to find & bump into people and to generate more of a conference buzz. If you split the conference between two buildings, even if only a couple of hundred yards apart, it becomes a little diluted. I don't want to make too much of this - I was delighted that the conference was just up the road in Nottingham. It meant that some members from my association went who had not been before.

Just saw part of Cameron's speech on ITV news. I don't know about changing his parting from right to left (or was it left to right?). He looked more like a novice Elvis impersonator.

The audience appeared to be even more ancient than usual and the camera focused on an entire row that wasn't clapping. Seems the BBC weren't far wrong.

Numbers have always seemed lower since departing Harrogate

I'm guessing a few more have died off Simon, and what's with all this guff about a "conference"? Surely this is the Central Council meeting with attendance restricted to members of that body or whatever they call it nowadays?

A "pledge card" - what a novel idea... I wonder if this one will last longer than Tony's original.

It was the first Spring Forum I've attended and it has a very different feel to Party Conference - much more intimate - I thought the thoughtful nature of the debates was very welcome - particularly liked the people introduced by Stephen Dorrell and what they had to say about public services, and paricularly social care.

The events were fun even if, unlike Tim, you are not whisked into intimate intrigue discussions with BBC bosses! I did get to meet Annabel when we went to the enjoyable, if freezing, mass canvass session in the Sherwood ward. I really must have got softer in London because the weather froze my heid! And it was nice to speak with Richard Carey of this parish too even if I felt nothing but envy at the "issues" of working in a constituency where practically every ward has Conservative councillors - I wish we had your problems Richard!

The NHS pledge thing is the most blatent stealing of another party's clothes I have ever seen. My flabber is well and truly gasted!

"The Nottingham (Conservative Spring) Conference was surprisingly low key, attended by fewer activists than the Liberal Democrat shout-a-thon a couple of weeks ago in Harrogate. There was none of that whiff of power you could scent at Labour gatherings in the four years up to 1997 with lots of empty seats in the small hall and few exhibitors. If I were Cameron, I'd be worried. His support is shallow and the Tory faithful don't like all that green stuff, particularly now his fondness for private jets and failure to recycle his own rubbish properly has added the stench of hypocrisy."

And it was nice to speak with Richard Carey of this parish too even if I felt nothing but envy at the "issues" of working in a constituency where practically every ward has Conservative councillors - I wish we had your problems Richard!

Good to meet you too, Graeme! Apologise if I was grouchy, had not long come off the phone from sorting some of those "issues" out back home!

That's one reason why I like campaigning in other constituencies and meeting folks at conference. It makes sure I keep the challenges of making *sure* we keep Conservative councillors in nearly all of our wards in May in perspective. I take nothing for granted!

Maybe we should do an "exchange" between Hackney & Lincolnshire some time?!

But why should there be a lot of security, terrorists score a victory when they force us to change the way we go about our everyday lives. Personally I opt out of going to events where the organisers have "battened down the hatches". Had I have known the Nottingham Conference was of a relaxed nature I might have gone along.

Could David Cameron come up with a plan to stop our NHS being the International Health service. Now that would really be a vote winner.

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