I am informed, reliably or not, that the Con leadership held an emergency session in Padstow early this evening without the presence of George Osborne who was busy speechifying in London. This is what our Dave is alleged to have said.
I have become concerned over recent days that the concept of the Big Society has become difficult to sell to the electorate. It has been suggested that I think of a rebranding, not abandoning the idea you know, but giving it a new dimension. Cleggie, who is fertile in these marketing matters, has suggested what I think to be a powerful new dimension which could be added to our message. As you know, he is hot on historical matters and, in particular, modern Russian history. He has suggested that we use a new slogan, that we should rename our message – wait for it and don’t smirk at the back- the British Perestroika. He is quite right on the similarities: the old Communist brand of socialism had come to an end in 1989, the people wished to cast aside the centrally directed and collective dictatorship of an overbearing state, there was a need to end corrupt government and reform the electoral system, there were popular demands to end a ruinouus Afghan war, the economy had collapsed, inflation was out of control, whole areas and regions of the State sought independance from Moscow . Ring any bells. Oh yes, and the maintenance of a large army, an independent nuclear arsenal of weapons, and attempts to boss large parts of the world needed to be abandoned. (By the way before I forget it I have suggested that Liam think twice before sacking any Generals, Air Marshals and Admirals at the moment. We don’t wish to encourage military unrest at this time, if you get my drift.I have always loved boats.) And remember, Perestroika, the demand to reorganise a whole political system, did succeed in the end. Admittedly after a period of confusion and abject poverty but as George was saying today in a few years time we shall all feel better about these regretable hardships. As Margaret was apt to say this misery is a price worth paying.
I’m sorry I did not quite hear you. Yes, that distinguished looking person with the moustache, on my right. Wall, you say, we don’t have a Berlin wall to pull down. Good observation. I get reports, for all I know you get them too, that our party position has become desperate in Scotland. I have been told that we are likely to be wiped out entirely in the Scottish Assembly elections next May. It would of course, be a disaster for the Union. We do have a wall. It isn’t necessary to invent one. Hadrians Wall. We could pull it down as a gesture to the Scots. No more Imperial British power or painful memories of past hostilities. We, the Brits and the Scots are in this together as friends and allies. We wish you to share our misery and our hopes for a better future. We are all in this together.
(The meeting broke up in confusion).