Off the Record

Kent Messenger Maidstone - - LETTERS TO THE EDITOR - With Paul Fran­cis

While all par­ties are seem­ingly on an elec­tion foot­ing, the Con­ser­va­tives seem to be par­tic­u­larly fo­cused on be­ing bat­tle-ready in Kent.

At least judg­ing by the num­ber of party VIPs who have been trundling down to the county on what is of­ten de­scribed as the po­lit­i­cal rub­ber chicken cir­cuit.

These din­ners are a sta­ple part of party po­lit­i­cal fund rais­ing but also a use­ful pur­pose for those with ca­reer as­pi­ra­tions or par­tic­u­lar causes to press.

South Thanet Con­ser­va­tives re­cently hosted a visit by the arch Brex­i­teer Ja­cob Rees Mogg, with ac­tivists pay­ing £35 for a din­ner and a ques­tion and an­swer ses­sion.

It seems more vis­its are in the pipe­line.

Mean­while, Can­ter­bury will host a one day con­fer­ence or­gan­ised by Kent Con­ser­va­tives next month with a string of guest speak­ers, in­clud­ing some cabi­net mem­bers as well as some of the county’s MPs.

The venue for this gath­er­ing is be­ing kept un­der wraps, how­ever, with at­ten­dees be­ing told that they will be no­ti­fied of where to go 24 hours be­fore the event takes place.

The con­fer­ence will un­doubt­edly fo­cus on what the Con­ser­va­tives have to do to wres­tle back con­trol of the con­stituency that it lost to Labour in 2017.

Choos­ing the city to host the event is prob­a­bly in­tended to in­di­cate the party’s de­ter­mi­na­tion to en­sure that Labour’s hold on the con­stituency is short-lived.

Brexit has pro­duced a new vo­cab­u­lary to pol­i­tics.

This in­cludes the grow­ing use of the phrase “sub op­ti­mal” which to the man or woman on the street means “not very good.”

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