Wednesday 5 May 2010

Cameron runs scared of UKIP in Telford

I was tipped off this morning that David Cameron was planning to visit Telford at 1pm today, at the motorway services. So guess where I was at 1pm today ... well, it would have been rude not to go wouldn't it?

I managed to successfully infiltrate the crowd of Cameronian groupies with a UKIP poster without anyone noticing and had a chat with the photographers from the local paper.  Then someone had a phone call to say he was delayed in Dudley and would be half an hour late which was lucky because that gave enough time for the two UKIP candidates to turn up as well.

Shortly after the UKIP candidates turned up came the announcement that Cameron had cancelled his visit.  The official reason given was that so many people wanted to talk to the Messiah in Dudley that he simply didn't have time to stop at Telford on his way to Newtown.  The journey from Dudley to Newtown took him up the M54 through Telford and past the services that he was supposed to be visiting but he didn't have time to take the 704yd detour (I've measured it on Google Maps) up the slip road and round the corner to meet his groupies who'd been standing in the rain for 45 minutes to touch the hem of his Armani suit jacket.

The unofficial reason - given to me by someone who was there - was that Cameron had been told some UKIP people were there and had called it off because he was worried.  It's amazing what some people will tell a complete stranger!

The incumbent MP for the Wrekin decided to battle on and give a rousing speech for the reporters party faithful so they all gathered round him, gazing rapturously into his beaming face, holding their Conservative posters up behind their backs for the photographers.  All of them too engrossed to notice the three UKIP supporters standing between them and the cameras with UKIP posters or the big grins on the faces of the photographers who, I would imagine, were pretty pissed off with being stood up by the Messiah.

They weren't the only ones who were pissed off either, the TV cameraman that was there didn't bother interviewing the Tory candidates after Cameron cancelled and interviewed the two UKIP candidates instead.

All in all a productive and entertaining lunchtime.  Cameron bottled out at the first sign of trouble, the local Tories were livid (Mark Pritchard was fuming) and UKIP got some valuable publicity at their expense.

It was more entertaining than putting UKIP posters up outside David Wright MP's office last night while Labour Party activists watched me!