I attended the “Built to Last” launch event last night, it was at Vinopolis the uber trendy wine bar an restaurant. The nice thing for me is that it is only a short walk from London Bridge which is only a short train ride from Lewisham.
The list of speakers included the “bright young things” who have recently been brought in as party Vice Chairmen (Vice Chairpeople, chairpersons, chairs?) Grant Shapps MP, Justine Greening MP, Margot James and Sayeeda Warsi. Their contributions were interesting and polished but rather overshadowed but the interesting and remarkably unpolished Boris Johnson.
The speeches were made from a slightly raised dais in the middle of a cavernous room, as little of the audience area was tiered the less tall speakers were at a slight disadvantage, something to think about when showcasing Justine, Sayeeda, and Grant, much less of a problem for Zac Goldsmith and Margo, both much taller than you would think.
The drinks after included mineral water and smoothies and, thankfully, some Cobra beer. These after event drinks are a good chance to catch up with people that you dodn’t see for months at a time and exchange campaigning anecdotes. An interesting aspect of last night’s event was that I met a number of bloggers who I feel I know very well but don’t really know at all.
First there was Boris, then I bumped into Greame Archer before having a quick chat with Iain Dale (again much taller than he looks from his site). I also had a chance to meet Tory Convert whose blog is a regular read of mine, she introduced herself by saying “Hello, aren’t you Hugo Chavez?”.