Posted by: Closed Circuit12/10/2012
Lord Freud, as many will know, has not always been a Conservative peer.
The welfare reform minister initially advised Tony Blair’s government before becoming disillusioned with the red party.
In a nod to this past, Guardian journalist Rowenna Davis, while chairing a fringe event at the Conservative Party conference in Birmingham this week, asked Lord Freud whether he had been to Manchester the week before for the Labour conference.
‘No I’m not allowed in,’ Lord Freud joked, saying he didn’t know what the punishment would be if he had been spotted. ‘[They would] hang you by the heels probably,’ he speculated.
And they say modern politics is tame.
Shadow housing minister Jack Dromey was certainly a busy boy at last week’s Labour Party conference, attending numerous housing fringe events over the five days in Manchester.
As any determined housing wonk can testify, however, the shadow housing minister did not prepare numerous different speeches.
To stop insanity taking hold, delegates quickly developed a Dromey bingo card, featuring his favourite stock phrases: Tories’ abysmal record on housing? Check. His Irish mother’s assessment of the housing problem? Check. Jokes about Grant Shapps’ alter ego? Check. But despite the repetition some people still needed a refresher by the final day. Elaine Hook, a cleaner at Birmingham Council who Hilary Benn introduced to the stage as a beneficiary of Labour’s living wage, forgot poor old Mr Dromey’s name.
The anti-development lobby has come in for almost as hard a time as under-25s receiving housing benefit at the Conservative Party conference.
Speaking at a fringe event organised by the House Builders Federation and National House Building Council, Tory MP and former member of the Department for Work and Pensions select committee, John Howell responded in kind after a member of the audience branded ‘nimbys’ a ‘contagious virus’. Mr Howell’s novel solution was ‘to take nimbys by the hand and lead them through to the paths of righteousness’. Otherwise known as a building site.
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From Closed circuit
Gossip, rumour, and stuff that amused us.