As the old adage goes the show ain't over 'til the Fat Lady sings - or in this case the fatuous Tory.
Yes, that's right, David Cameron finally took to the stage at the Tories' conference in Birmingham today to a less than earth-shattering response from the party faithful.
On Tuesday New Street Station had seemed to be thick with sated or fatigued delegates streaming back to the Tory heartlands with the air of those who had got it out of their system for another year and already seen the main event.
This appeared to be borne out today when the PM appeared before a less than capacity audience for his leader's speech.
This suggested two major miscalculations. First, allowing Boris to steal his thunder - once you've seen the clown no-one is interested in the ringmaster.
Second, having tweeted the main substance of his speech beforehand no-one really needed to hang around.
If you can condense the oration to 140 characters it can't be up to much. Cameron reportedly only signed up to the social media site this week, but he already appears to be as much in its thrall as he is to the bankers and fat cats he fawns over.
Prior to Cameron talking the stage there had still been plenty of time for bizarre behaviour - something of a motif at this particular shindig.
There was the distribution of anti-EU stickers bearing the image of a scowling baby and the legend "The EU costs how much?"
Hilariously, the image looked almost exactly like a surly William Hague.
Then, fresh from plotting the destruction of organised labour at the Trade Union Reform Campaign fringe event, disgraced former defence secretary Liam "Who, me?" Fox gave what was by all accounts a rousing speech in which he urged the party to "keep faith with the British people."
Where did he make this cri de coeur?
At the fringe event of that famously publicly spirited institution, the Carlton Club - the rabidly right-wing group which describes itself as "the oldest, most elite and most important of all Conservative clubs."
Well that should win the hearts and minds of the public.
Back to the final-day circus and PT Barnum would have struggled to make it a success.
Still flogging the decomposing corpse of the Olympics they inevitably dragged out Seb Coe, the only Tory who had any claim regarding the success of the 2012 bid. Unfortunately, while he was undoubtedly good on the track, he's a bloody awful speaker.
At one point Coe quoted former US president Abraham Lincoln.
"Without public sentiment nothing can succeed. With it, nothing can fail," he said.
As he was making the speech in a theatre some might have thought it somewhat inappropriate...
He could also more fittingly have employed a rather more famous quote from Lincoln: "You can fool some of the people all the time, and all of the people some of the time, but you cannot fool all of the people all the time."
Next up was New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg, who blotted his copybook quite spectacularly when he referred to his ex-wife being from Blackpool "in Yorkshire."
He then went on to evoke the spirit of Winston Churchill, which initially triggered Pavlovian glee from the assembled numpties before he happily pointed out that Churchill had also been a member of the Liberals, which garnered a rather more awkward response.
But then, after all the hype and a frankly bemusing greatest hits-style montage, it was time for Cameron.
Perhaps sensing that he wasn't particularly popular he employed the trick exploited by Nick Clegg a fortnight ago of name-checking others to guarantee applause.
So we had the Queen, who he hailed as the best monarch anywhere in the world, then Paralympian Ellie Simmonds, the bestowing of a medal upon whom Cameron claimed was his proudest moment.
The PM even referenced London's favourite high-wire act Johnson, so desperate was he to elicit a positive response from the audience a number of whom seemed to have drifted off into diabetic comas.
But what of the substance, you ask? Well, as with Ed Miliband and Clegg before him, there wasn't any but when you've had to backtrack on every policy you've introduced that wasn't exactly surprising.
"It's sink or swim, do or decline," he declared.
The core values of "hard work, strong families, taking responsibility and serving others" are needed if the country is to "come through" the worst economic crisis in decades, he claimed.
This is a bit rich from the man who is axing thousands of jobs, slashing employment rights, cutting child benefits and blaming it all on Labour.
Cameron ticked off all the usual Tory prejudices on the checklist, attacked the teaching unions for their lack of sanity, and heaped praise on Gove and his beloved academies. He defended the workfare scheme, accusing those who condemned it as slave labour of having an "appalling snobbish attitude to the idea of work."
Elsewhere he insisted: "I'm not here to defend privilege, I'm here to spread it."
Like butter on the crumpets toasted by his fag at Eton.
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