Op-Ed: Friday was Comic Relief's Red Nose Day in the UK and Saturday the theme continues as Tory leader and Prime Minister David Cameron addresses the party faithful at their annual conference.
During "conference season" in the UK each of the main political parties meets with their grassroot supporters and local politicians. This week it is the Tory's turn. Splinter groups can cause problems for party leaders during the week's conference but they are often a sign of what is really going on within the party.
Mr Cameron's pudgy, almost bloated face, shows that he is managing to live off the fat of the land whilst preaching austerity for others. Certainly many citizens are gaining weight, but that is due to following a cheap diet of fattening foods and being unemployed. Those living on the breadline cannot afford a diet rich in fresh fruit and vegetables. They tend to have to buy the cheap cuts of meat, those that have been suspect during the horse meat scandal, for instance.
Cameron's chubby cheeks are useful for looking smug. The eyes gave that away when he tried to look sincere during his speech.
The PM concentrated a great deal on the Labour party during Saturday's keynote conference speech. It seems the only way he can sell the Tory party is by attacking an alternative. The UK Conservative party has had a busy couple of weeks as internal divisions and questions about Cameron's party leadership surfaced.
He will have stayed clear of attacks on parties such as UKIP, the United Kingdom Independence Party, as they could be the Conservative's next political partners. UKIP are a little like the Tea Party in the USA but just which is the most crackpot is hard to determine. Certainly on Monday the Liberal Democrats, the current coalition partners of the Tories, will join forces with Labour to oppose a vote in Parliament. The vote involves regulation of the Press following the lengthy Leveson inquiry into press intrusions and corruption in the UK. Whilst it is a worthy vote it is a shame the Liberal Democrats have not shown such backbone regarding other matters.
During the inquiry damning evidence and witness statements showed the sorry state of the British media and some members of the police force. Who could fail to be moved when the mother of murdered schoolgirl Milly Dowler spoke to the inquiry. Her daughter's phone was hacked by a member of the press when Milly was already dead, but there were hopes she was still alive. It gave her Mum false hope that her daughter would be found safe and well. There were many other similar reports which led Cameron to commit to improving press standards and their watchdog. More lies it seems.
Whilst all right-thinking individuals, and we do not mean politically right, will shy away from press censorship we know that something must be done. The British press was, and maybe still is, out of control. Freedom of the press is worth protecting so getting the proper balance is vital.
For all his empty words regarding the press David Cameron wants a voluntary scheme of regulation whilst the Liberal Democrats and Labour will vote for tougher measures.
It is widely known in the UK that the Prime Minister, and other politicians, had a too close for comfort relationship with Rupert Murdoch and members of his empire. Images of Cameron cozying up to Rebekah Brooks are unpleasant, to say the least. The Leveson Inquiry revealed a unhealthy friendship between Brooks and Cameron. She faces trial this year on charges of phone hacking and conspiracy to pervert the course of justice.
In the past, allegedly, media mogul Rupert Murdoch has been able to make or break British Prime Ministers. Dinners between PM Tony Blair and Murdoch show a long standing problem. Cameron will be worried about alienating the press, especially the big chiefs, with an election scheduled for 2015.
During Saturday's speech Cameron said he did not want to attack the wealthy in the UK but spread the wealth. His eyes twinkled with mischief as he could barely stop himself laughing at the time. His face shows that he enjoys more than the odd beer so perhaps he was drunk, or maybe just intoxicated with power. In previous reports he has revealed he likes to be desperate to urinate when he gets up to speak, following a tactic used by former Tory nutcase Enoch Powell.
On March 20, Wednesday, British Chancellor George Osborne will deliver his Spring Budget to the people of the UK. The budget will gloss over the economies shortcomings, try to instil confidence in Cameron and his cronies and announce the coming year's financial policies.
"Spreading the wealth" is a taste of what is to come.
That phrase hints that there will be no respite for the poor but help for the wealthy. There will be sweetners for the middle-classes but watered down by counterproductive measures. The Chancellor will hope to play most of the country for fools. Last year an unexpected announcement meant a hit for UK pensioners. He tried to hide it under waffle and caught the opposition on the hop. That was the same budget when he reduced taxes for the wealthy, so expect more of the same.
Obnoxious as ever Cameron is able to show his true self, well almost, at conference. The presence of the press stays his hand but if he wins Monday's vote and gets back in the good books of those in the media, such as Murdoch, perhaps he is on to a winner.
Will Monday's vote have a bearing on the 2015 general election in the UK? Yes, of course it will.