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Steerpike

Exclusive: anti-Tory threat at conference

Exclusive: anti-Tory threat at conference
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The Conservative party conference kicks off today in Manchester and there already signs that delegates may not be receiving the warmest of welcomes from the more sinister factions of the city’s left.

This morning commuters from Salford were greeted with the sight of a banner reading ‘Remember we only have to be lucky once’ hanging over the Irwell river, near Peel park.

The slogan is a nod to a statement made by the IRA after the Brighton hotel bombing in 1984, which aimed to kill Margaret Thatcher and members of her Cabinet when they were at their party conference. Five people connected with the Conservative party were killed in the blast and 31 injured. Following the attack, the IRA released a statement which read:

‘Mrs. Thatcher will now realise that Britain cannot occupy our country and torture our prisoners and shoot our people in their own streets and get away with it. Today we were unlucky, but remember we only have to be lucky once. You will have to be lucky always. Give Ireland peace and there will be no more war.’

The fact that this slogan is being aped as this year’s Conservative conference takes place will not be lost on police and delegates.

Veiled threats have become a staple of the Tory conference season. At the last Tory party conference two years ago, a similar banner was hung over the Irwell which read, ‘130,000 killed under Tory rule, time to level the playing field' above two hanging effigies. And at the Manchester conference before that, a sign simply read 'hang the Tories'.

Still, Mr S didn’t get the sense that this year’s banner makers were particularly competent. As of around 10 a.m. when he came across the message, the banner had already come loose and the first section was helplessly flailing in the wind. An apt metaphor for the state of the hard left in this country perhaps…

Written bySteerpike

Steerpike is The Spectator's gossip columnist, serving up the latest tittle tattle from Westminster and beyond. Email tips to steerpike@spectator.co.uk or message @MrSteerpike

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