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Top 50 Political Party Conference Moments

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32. 1977: Young William Hague's conference address

At the 1977 Conservative Conference in Blackpool, a 16-year-old William Hague featured in the evening news bulletins after addressing the conference as a Young Conservative in a speech described by Margaret Thatcher as "thrilling". He warned of the approach of socialism in the UK, meeting a raucous response to his somewhat cheeky quip: "It's all right for some of you - half of you won't be here in 30 or 40 years' time".

46. 1983: Conservative Party Conference Kenny Everett

Comedian Kenny Everett surprised his audience as he walked onto the stage for a Young Conservatives' meeting by shouting "Let's bomb Russia!". This, at the height of Cold War tension, was only trumped a year later by Ronald Reagan's radio joke that he had outlawed Russia - "bombing begins in five minutes".

42. 1994: Michael Heseltine - "But it wasn't Brown's. It was Balls"

Before the 1994 Conservative Conference, then Shadow Chancellor Gordon Brown had spoken of his now notorious neoclassical endogenous growth theory, alluding to "symbiotic relationships between growth and investment in people and infrastructure". Michael Heseltine mocked this in his speech to the Conservative Conference, as he revealed that Brown's speech had in fact been written by his right-hand man, Ed Balls. In a punch-line that is now repeated mercilessly with Balls' increasing prominence, Mr Heseltine punned: "So there you have it. The final proof. Labour's brand new shining modernist economic dream. But it wasn't Brown's. It was Balls!"


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