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Conservative Party's first annual conference

Sunday 23 Sep 2012 4:47 p.m.

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By Jane Luscombe

The millionaire leader of the Conservative Party has warned he's stalking Parliament with footsteps of doom.

Colin Craig had the usual suspects in his sights at his party's first-ever annual conference, but also had a foreboding message for the Ministry of Education.

His words to the party faithful were well received.

“We are like passengers on a plane that has been hijacked by the flight crew themselves,” he said.

And then it was on to cows.

“One of them turns to the other and goes, where are we going?” he continued.

Frodo and the Hobbit came next, but his supporters weren't worried about the metaphors, nor the awkward way he lumped some issues together.

“People are leaving, with emigration and suicide at record levels.”

They'd come to celebrate their progress and plot the future.

The party has gone from zero to 87,000 supporters and counting in one year. They got more votes than four of the parties currently in Parliament, but failed to reach the 5 percent threshold needed to gain a seat.

Mr Craig is in no doubt they'll succeed at the next election.

“We are the footsteps of doom to those who would be unaccountable,” he said to the conference. “To those who would socially re-engineer our nation.”

He'd like to re-engineer the Ministry of Education and slash its $800 million running costs.

“Which is an awful lot of money when we need those resources in the classroom and on the frontline.”

His party is willing to discuss working with whoever wins the most seats in the next Parliament.

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