The Telegraph is reporting that the traditional celebration of victories at the start of the Party Conference has been scrapped in favour of a tribute to the armed forces.
Although that’s 100% the right call – not least given the economic turmoil – the party probably has more right to be upbeat at this year’s Conference than at any time since 1987.
Every conference since the ’87 Conference has been tricky with the party behind in the polls or engulfed with difficulty. By 1988 the Thatcher government was in trouble because of the community charge and Europe. The 1992 Conference should have been a celebration of that year’s rabbit-out-of-the-hat victory over Neil Kinnock but Black Wednesday intervened. The nearest to a Conference when we were top of the political pile in the last twenty years was 2000 after the fuel protests and in 2006 but in both cases we were only level-pegging with Labour (and in 2000 only very briefly).