‘That’s complete bollocks,’ I told the distinguished left-wing journalist John Lloyd. We were sharing a platform on the Blackpool fringe at the Labour conference earlier this month. Lloyd had just expressed the view that ‘you can’t spin an affair’, referring to Edwina Currie and the Galloping Major.
At that moment, the bay windows of the Savoy Hotel behind us filled with the flashing lights of Bill Clinton’s motorcade sweeping by, as if in affirmation of my point. It was a welcome relief. My real point was that spin needs to die, which is also the thesis of a book I’ve just written.
We can look back at this year’s party conferences with perspective now. To suggest at Blackpool that spin is, in Biblical terms, in its Last Days was a bit like saying – as IDS did during his speech in Bournemouth – that the Tories present a real threat at the next election. People don’t so much rehearse all the evidence to the contrary as laugh and point at you.