Black watch.(fire services)(Column)

Party Conference time--boredom on the box; fanatics with funny badges; hacks in scampered search for scandals. What shoes will Theresa May be wearing? How many cars will John Prescott use? Etc.

Yet this year's crop comes a likely midway between general elections. The proper moment to assess our three main political parties ahead of what for fire safety stakeholders will be the lobbying period of a lifetime.

Tories first, They should, of course, now be out Of Labour's sight in the mid-term opinion polls, even ff that would not guarantee success down the final straight.

The average debt of every householder has grown by 50 per cent and tax has risen, stealthily but steadily, by more than 6(3 per cent since Labour won, Cash being poured into key services in proving more beneficial to public servants than the public themselves with 600,000 new government jobs since 1997. …

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