The Guardian informs me this morning that there will be a pro-EU protest outside of Conservative Party conference in Manchester this year. I will now tell you why this is good news – even for Eurosceptic Tories.
The Conservatives hold their conference in Manchester every two years. I don’t know why they do this – I assume it must be in some way transactional. For those of us who go to every or at least most of the party conferences each year (and Tory conference is always assured to be one of them), having to go to Manchester for this biannual event is less than appealing. Not because of anything to do with Manchester itself per se – I used to live there and still have a fondness for the city – but because Manchester is the most Labour city imaginable, and when the Tories hit town it can become very unpleasant. The ne plus ultra of this being Conservative Party conference 2015, when you had to walk through a corridor of flying plastic balls, blokes in orange Corbyn related T-shirts trying to start fights, and random misogynistic wails, just to get into the place. I will admit, I have been dreading facing this all again.
The news that there will be a pro-EU rally outside thus means two things: one, there will actually be a protest outside of Tory conference that I fully sympathise with, for the first time ever. The second reason is one that surely even the most Eurosceptic of Tories should be able to agree with me on: having a bunch of pro-European liberals congregating outside should at the very least dilute the concentration of extreme leftists shouting for the communist revolution this time out. So I say to you, Peter Bone, I know you loathe the EU with all your heart but surely even you would rather face a nice young man wearing blue and gold face paint, warning of the cataclysm Brexit will entail, over a very, very angry bloke in an orange T-shirt with the slogan “Jeremy Corbyn Ain’t Nuthin’ ta Fuck With” emblazoned across it, all while he threatens to rape female cabinet ministers? Come on, you’re with me on this one, right?
Maybe not, I don’t know. At the very least, it will make Tory conference a lot more interesting. Perhaps the Unite banner holders will get into a punch up with the Remainiacs, just to make our body politic that much more confusing. All I can say is, I am now looking forward to Manchester in October, which is a nice upgrade.