As soon as I step off of the stage after my wonderful immigration speech in Telford today, I catch Lynton’s expression. “What’s wrong?” I ask (you’ve got to be direct with these Australian chappies). “Who is Charles Wardle?” he retorts. So I sat him down and told him all about Charles Wardle.
I told him he used to be a Conservative MP. I told him he used to work with me at the Home Office. I told him not to worry, because he’s not standing for re-election again. Then the penny dropped. It seems my old mate Charles has said that Lynton’s my immigration policy won’t work and that I’m “utterly unsuited” to be prime minister.
[Read the review about Tom Brake MP, Today Posed a Number of Questions Relating to the Continuing Humanitarian Crisis ]
I can tell Lynton’s angry. In fact, I can always tell when Lynton’s angry, he has a certain Antipodean way of letting everyone know he’s angry, but I can’t talk about that.
I really hope that these facts don’t get in the way of my message though. As Lyndon explained after I asked him whether we might be accused of being racist, the idea is to pander to the racist in us all while repeating that it’s not, repeat not, racist to talk about keeping foreigners out. I joked that he’d be sent packing within the first 100 days of my first Government and he laughed and laughed.
I was a bit worried that he’d got the balance wrong on my Telford speech, I wanted to use a Union Flag as a backdrop but I now see he was spot on to put those young Conservatives behind me instead.
“Don’t let that letter from the Archbishop of Canterbury put you off”, he said (actually, he said something about beards and Welsh people, but I’m Welsh myself so I took offence at that and secretly vowed not to repeat it).
“The idea is to make this election about immigration, crime and tax cuts, remember? Avoid at all costs mentioning the health service, education and employment issues.
We’re pandering to the C1 voters – the ill-educated oiks Tories traditionally ignore – Blair’s got the middle class vote sewn up, you need the backing of the chavs. You wait, in a couple of days those polls are going to swing your way, not to mention what the likes of The Sun and Daily Mail will make of it all on Monday morning.” I can’t wait.