I had to attend a conference last week. It was not the sort of event where the political media would gather and therefor I found the language used by the speakers very informative.
Four government ministers Nick Hurd, Iain Duncan Smith’s replacement Maria someone or other, Ed Vaizey and Paul Burstow. The first 3 talked about our government, David Cameron and ‘as we said in opposition’ implying that the policy would transfer seamlessly to the new government. None of them mentioned ‘the coalition’, Nick Clegg, none referred to the Lib Dems or our partners- even when thy were talking about interdepartmental cooperation with the Business Secretary -Vince didn’t get a name check but there was lots of name dropping of other Junior(Tory ministers)-most of whom I confess I didn’t recognise.
Then it was Paul's turn. It is not that he didn't mention the coalition-he hardly every shut up about it. He spoke of the agreement and of Andrew Lansley. He exalted the conference delegates to down load and study the joint coalition agreement.
When it came to questions-and to be fair only Paul and Vaisey took questions. The tone was the same. In answer to one question Vaizey even asserted that it was a 'Conservative Government'!
How things will change when the going gets really tough. I predict that the number of name checks we get from Tory Ministers will increase in direct propotion to the unpopularity of the government.