Blackpool nostalgia, the Badgers’ Vote, and the vortex of perpetual agitation: Day 2 of my conference diary

There is no denying that conference-goers are divided on a question that goes to the very heart of our identity and outlook: do we miss the seaside? For all the advantages of Birmingham and Manchester, there are those who miss the bracing days of Blackpool and Bournemouth, and a salty windswept stroll along the promenade before the day’s intrigue and plotting. At my first Tory conference in the northern resort more than forty years ago I found digs in one of the guesthouses along the seafront from the Winter Gardens, lacking in those days the funds to stay at the Imperial Hotel with the grandees. After unpacking I asked the landlady to direct me to the bathroom. “Bath?” came the reply. “Didn’t you have a bath before you came?”

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