I'm driving up to Manchester this morning, but fear not dear reader, I have written some juicy blogposts which are timed to appear during the course of the day. Sadly I don't actually have a pass to get me into the conference itself (£200 at late accreditation I ask you!), which for my physical safety may be just as well. I'm attending a dinner this evening and staying overnight.
But those of you who are lucky enough to have a pass, do head over to the TOTAL POLITICS stand and pick up a free pack of Sky News Top Trumps cards. The blurb tells me...
The specially-produced card game, which proved a big hit with (most) MPs and party activists last year, again features 30 of the country’s most influential politicians. Each card includes pen portraits and scores the politicians against five new categories – all judged by a panel of leading political journalists, which might strike a worrying chord for the Prime Minister as his future prospects score comes out at a lowly three out of ten.
Gordon Brown does top the Google hits category with a score of 7,470,000. But it is the Tory leader who is seen to have the best future prospects with the highest score of nine and also heads the value of memoirs category with a rating of £2.4 million. Interestingly, Cabinet colleagues David Miliband, James Purnell and Andy Burnham are judged as having the best prospects in Labour’s ranks.
The other two categories are the expenses claimed and the marginality of their seats. Alex Salmond – the King of Scotland as he is dubbed on the cards – is the biggest spender at £166,814 while Chief Secretary Yvette Cooper’s West Yorkshire seat is seen as the safest of those featured in the pack.
As one of only two Lib-Dems in the pack, party leader Nick Clegg may be disappointed with average ratings. But he does better than Transport Secretary Ruth Kelly and former Shadow Home Secretary David Davies who are both dropped altogether. Among the new entrants seen as rising stars are Tory Culture spokesman Jeremy Hunt and Labour left-winger Jon Cruddas. London Mayor Boris Johnson, although no longer an MP, keeps his place which suggests the panel believe he remains a major political player.
Sky News Political Editor Adam Boulton, who led the selection panel, said: “The game was hugely popular last year but we did receive the odd complaint from those unhappy with their scores. I expect that will be the case again this time. It’s a fun and light-hearted game to play but what’s on the cards is the collective view of some of our most dedicated Westminster watchers so the ratings are bound to spark some debate”.