With the delicacy of an Israeli F-16, the Tories entered the summer campaign today with an achingly dull speech in Westminster. Something about Labour and the unions. Mud flew everywhere. You know the drill.

It was less than a minute — forty seven seconds to be precise — before the charisma-free zone that is Chris Grayling spluttered the Tory catchphrase ‘long term economic plan’. The fun did not end there. Oh no. Grayling is the model of the modern politician; but, even so, it is impressive for a man to speak for twenty minutes almost entirely in banal cliché.

Sign up to our newsletters

Apparently it’s all a ‘big con’. Labour, you see, would ‘turn back the clock’, which they mustn’t be allowed to do because we’re ‘not out of the woods yet’. You see, ‘our people’, need their ‘bright future’ to be secured so that they can ‘define our nation’s future’. At least one young chap sitting at the back dozed off.

Meanwhile union ‘barons’ are undermining ‘hardworking local unions’, which are part of a ‘decent society’. The barons should ‘put their money where their mouth is’. If this is the Tories’ fighting back against Labour’s ‘summer offensive’, then sign Mr S up as a human shield.

The monotonous Mr Grayling did at least crack one joke. He said that he hadn’t turned up to give a ‘one dimensional attack speech’. There was delirious laughter at the back of the room.

Tags: Chris Grayling, Labour, Unions