Remember the general election campaign last year, when every appearance by Theresa May was carefully stage-managed to make it seem she was surrounded by admirers – right up to the moment someone took a wide-angle photograph showing only about 20 people turned up?
As you can see from the image above, matters have only worsened in the year-and-several-months since then and the Conservative Party conference in Birmingham has practically nobody attending.
One reason for this may be the fact that the Tories’ conference app was found to be giving away attendees’ personal details to anybody who asked (as described yesterday).
A few others are listed in the tweet below including, most perceptively: “No ideas. No inspiration. No clue.”
Tragic scenes from #CPC18
Almost empty auditorium.
The app fiasco.
I don't feel sorry for them.
I revel in the party's death throes. #Grenfell#Windrush#HousingCrisis #ZeroHours
— Red 'til I'm Dead (@suziegeewizz) September 30, 2018
— Matt Turner (@MattTurner4L) September 30, 2018
— Nadeem Ahmed (@Muqadaam) September 30, 2018
Nadeem Ahmed was right – Momentum carried out a protest against the conference, which led to the following complaint from Tory MP Nadine ‘Mad Nad’ Dorries:
You will never see Conservatives protesting outside a Labour conference. We believe in free speech and democracy. https://t.co/57dz0fm9t3
— Nadine Dorries (@NadineDorries) September 30, 2018
If anything could highlight the failings of the current crop of Conservatives, it’s that remark. The Tories can’t be the party of free speech if they’re trying to shut it down.
Bevan Boy makes the matter clear:
It is our free speech to hold you to account for your vile policies.
120,000 austerity linked deaths
Millions in poverty including those in work
Persecution of the Windrush generation
Foodbank usage growing & growing
No wonder people are protesting…… https://t.co/XVEQRIeKio
— Bevan Boy 🌹 (@mac123_m) September 30, 2018
So Ms Dorries has confirmed the Tories as the party of repression, as she wanted to stop voters exercising their right to free speech.
And what does the fiasco of the malfunctioning conference app tell us?
Well, we are told it was created by a private contractor who was hired by the Conservatives…
The Tories are blaming the almighty app cock up on the private company they outsourced it to. So have they finally learned that outsourcing to the private sector is a very bad idea?
— Owen Jones🌹 (@OwenJones84) September 30, 2018
I think we all know the answer to that: No.
But I am reminded of a phrase that has almost become a cliche over the last few years: “Repeating the same mistake and expecting different results is the very definition of madness.”
We all know that outsourcing to private companies can be a huge mistake. Look at Carillion. Look at the East Coast Main Line. Look at NHS England.
So it seems to me that the app disaster is a microcosm of the reasons the Conservative Party is disappearing up its own inadequacy.
They keep repeating the same mistake – and they’re getting the result we all expected.
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