Tuesday 14th April 2015.
Conservative Party Manifesto Launch at Swindon UTC.
When I arrive at the courtyard of University Technical College, Swindon, there is excitement in the photographers ‘pen’. The press photographers chat together amiably whilst adopting a crescent formation around the entrance to Swindon’s former Great Western Railway village. Inside, TV crews, journalists and the party faithful await the arrival of the Conservative cabinet and their leader. A passive soft rock soundtrack plays in the background.
The heavy, uneven stone construction of the grade 2 listed buildings, which since 2014 have been the home of UTC, present a picturesque urban topography. There are some very nice architectural features to draw such as a huge iron framed reservoir and an unusual three storey slatted wooden tower. Perhaps the party should have launched their manifesto out here in the open, sunlit industrial atrium. Ancient Greek style.
Inside the banner strewn hall I’m able to make a few quick sketches of Conservative Party cabinet members Nicky Morgan, Theresa May and George Osborne before David Cameron takes to the lectern. I try to draw Theresa Villiers in her cerise dress and jacket combo but I’m not quick enough . The same thing happened when I spotted her arriving at City airport last Tuesday.
I recognise the aqualine, pale wooden lectern from previous party events, previous elections even. I imagine that this piece of furniture has it’s own special bespoke baize lined baggage compartment on the Conservative Party bus. It probably bears marks of battle from the continuous gripping, thumping and prodding of politics. Perhaps one day it will go on display in the V&A as an artefact of political campaigning.