Well, well well - this year's party conference season gets curiouser and curiouser when it comes to audiences delaying applause at key points where you might have expected them to show more instant and enthusiastic agreement.
It took the Liberal Democrats 2-3 seconds to get their hands apart for positive references to the coalition government by Nick Clegg (HERE) and Vince Cable (HERE).
The Labour Party withheld applause altogether when Ed Miliband said that he aimed to "shape the centre ground of politics" and then delayed their applause for his second set of warm words about the 'centre ground' (HERE)
Yesterday, when William Hague reminded the Conservative Party that this was the first time since 1996 that they'd met as the party of government, it took them the best part of 3 seconds to respond - even though 'boasts about us' have a tremendous track record when it comes to triggering applause in political speeches (for more on which, see HERE).
I wonder whether it's the party faithful taking seriously the "No Complacency No Champagne" edict from on high.
Or maybe it's because Hague didn't set up a neat puzzle-solution ("Why does this remind me of 1996?" or contrasting pair (1996/2010), which he could have done to make the same point...mind you, perhaps it was a point best not to dwell on for too long, bearing in mind what happened to the Conservatives the following year.
At all events, Hague managed not to be phased by the absence of a clap and appeared instead merely to be completing a sentence, thus making the applause, when it came, interrupt him mid-flow, which he then neatly surfed.
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