Ian Duncan-Who? was in Aldershot on Friday, to general apathy. And that was among his "supporters," a term I use loosely.
Duncan-Smith spoke on Iraq, which was appropriate for a man between Iraq and a hard place…..
The 280 party supporters there gave him very low key applause indeed, I hear. They know when a leader is headed fast for the exit door….
Halfway through Thursday I was called by a Tory who offered me "five minutes" with Smith. This is typical Conservative "planning" and assumes that we in the press have nothing better to do or anything else planned. I did.
That night I told a group of friends that Duncan-Smith was in town on Friday. "Who's he?" asked one, such is the impact of the invisible man of British politics.
Had I been interested enough in the outgoing leader to take up five minutes of his time, here are the questions I would have asked: Your mother's married name is listed as Pamela Mary Smith. By the time you reached Parliament the affectation of a hyphenated surname had appeared. Why?
You seem unable to remember where you went to school. Your Who's Who entry says you attended the prestigious University of Perugia, but in fact your aides admit you went to a local language school there. It is also claimed in Who's Who that you were "educated" at Dunchurch College of Management. However, the college says it offered only two-day courses. Please explain.
The above, by the way, is mild stuff compared to what many Conservatives think about their leader.
Next time they should pick David Davis, who came up the hard way from a South London council estate and has some guts and good policies, for a change. And change is what we need.
The new Conservative leader should immediately turn his attention to tax cuts, but first he will have to stop Conservative councils from squandering money like mad Marxists.
A typical "useless eater" has been employed by Surrey County Council, no doubt at an enormous salary and with expensive offices and staff. This is the grandly named "Head of Culture."
I grew up in Surrey and found and paid for all the culture I needed, thanks. I didn't need some arty-farty big cheese busybody to airily direct me to the opera, thank you.
Unfortunately, positions like this are found everywhere, in all councils - massed serried ranks of paper shufflers, all paid handsomely at our expense.
`The dreadful news that one in four Britons now work for the state is all you need to know about why your council tax demand will rocket this year. In the past year the Government has hired 150,000 extra people, taking the total to over seven million for the first time since records began 25 years ago.
Chancellor Brown, now known as "imprudence," is increasing his spending at over three times the rate of inflation and much official evidence shows this is going on pay rises and new jobs rather than improved services.
You'll still wait 18 months for a hip operation, but there will be more bureaucrats to write letters of explanation to you.
Don't think that much of this Government spending will make life better, unless you will benefit from posts like "Teenage pregnancy co-ordinator for Greenwich NHS" on £35,000 a year. Just think, until now those poor teens have had to co-ordinate their own pregnancies.
Or if you want £59,000 a year of taxpayers' money, go for the job of "diversity advisor" for the Department of International Development. The snag? You must "care passionately about diversity." For that money, I would.
For my part, I'd be lost without the advice just received at the Star from the Environment Agency, which sends me several hundred pages a week to keep me in touch. It says that when it rains hard, they are "urging motorists to avoid driving along flooded roads or through fords crossing streams…"
You wouldn't have worked that out for yourselves, would you?
I'm off now to "celebrate the work of women in social care in Hampshire" at a Winchester conference (just joking!) If life gets dull, call a conference. It beats work. And the taxpayer pays...
A fine new supermarket has opened in Fleet, Safeway on Elvetham Heath. It even gives you good discounts at the ajacent petrol station.
However, the problem is - getting there.
Elvetham Heath is an estate cursed by planners, who have made getting around it a nightmare.
If you drive up the main estate road you go on a non-magical mystery tour of woods and building sites, taking about ten times longer to get to your destination than is necessary. This is what modern planners are taught is a "good idea."
In fact it just wastes everybody's time racking up useless mileage. A simple, slightly curved road with a bit more width would have been several times more use. But that's not the modern, car-bashing way.