Hit or Miss

Tories announce plans to scrap Heathrow expansion and introduce high-speed train.

Railway rumble The Conservative Party grabbed a few more column inches this week by announcing that it would scrap plans for a third Heathrow runway in favour of a £20bn TGV-style high-speed rail link between London, Birmingham, Manchester and Leeds. The news was trailed in The Guardian ahead of Theresa May's Monday speech at the Tory conference. It was covered positively by many papers, but angered airlines.



Michael Prescott, MD, corporate and public affairs, Weber Shandwick

If you want to succeed, study success. The Tories have for some time been aping New Labour circa 1994-98. Last Monday saw another page copied from the Peter Mandelson textbook - maximize potential vote and discomfit enemies by placing a warm fuzzy story in your 'home' media. Cue last Monday's Guardian front page trailing one of the Conservative conference's big policy announcements. Cue rapture in west London, Midlands marginal seats and all relevant media. Cue endorsement from Greenpeace. Labour looks curmudgeonly for pointing out 'practical difficulties'. The Tories can worry about implementation after election victory 2010 - if the banking meltdown leaves them with enough of a country to govern ...


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