He has a strangely smooth and unmarked face. It's as if his skin has been stretched tight or covered in plastic film. What sort of genes and passions give a man a face like that? He's hard to read. Is he as sweetly nice and reasonable as he tries to look? Obviously not. No-one gets to lead a political party by being sweetly nice and reasonable.
The speech was unimpassioned. Only when he spoke about the National Health Service did something like personal conviction seem to break through. Otherwise it was all generalities and platitudes and things no sweetly reasonable person could possibly disagree with. He slid over foreign policy- and the war we're fighting out East only got a mention so he could call our troops "the best of British". There will still be tax measures to help the family- even though specific Tory policies about tax breaks for the married were torn into bloody strips a few weeks ago. As soon as the speech was over it began to slide from memory. It had been a thing of faint sunlight and tinted mists. You got no real sense from it of the depth of the trouble we're in, nor of the rugged, unpopular measures that will have to be taken to begin to set things right.
I'm never going to vote Tory. It's a tribal thing. However much they polish up the knocker on the big front door this is still the party of those people in the nation I don't want to be aligned with- the toffs and the bankers and the cads. So I wasn't looking to be won over. I suppose I was watching in the hope of finding out what might be on offer if this man were to win the election. And, well, I still don't know.
Gorden Brown is horrible, but he's a man who looks like he knows what he's doing. Also a man who looks like he may still harbour- deep down- some of the core beliefs that brought him into politics in the first place. Labour- as someone once said- it may even have been Tony Blair- is nothing if not a crusade. Labour people- no matter how corrupted by office, no matter how blundering and gross- are the people who dream of Jerusalem. And what do Tories dream of? Hmmmmmm.....