TALK ABOUT blink-and-you-miss-it.
David Cameron’s visit to Yorkshire, the first since the official launch of the general election campaign, proved a short but sweet affair.
After spending the morning in the East Midlands, the PM and his entourage arrived in West Yorkshire for a whistle-stop tour of Camira fabrics in Meltham, keen to promote the Tory’s latest promise to create thousands of apprenticeships.
As a member of the ‘non-pool’ media I was barred from following Dave on his tour of the factory and spent much of the time in the makeshift media room. The privilege was afforded only to the ‘poolers’, those who are trailing the PM on the big blue Tory bus.
This exhausted-looking bunch of reporters, cameramen and PR types could barely recount the various locations they had been to that morning.
Cameron in contrast was as fresh as a daisy.
For a man who has been running the country ragged he was a picture of health.
During a short-lived questions and answer session he was sharp, succinct and seemed clear on the Conservatives’ plans for devolution in the north. No, Yorkshire is not losing out if cities don’t have elected mayors. No, Manchester, which does, will not get more money.
He did not even bow to pressure to reinstate the role of a Yorkshire minister, as Ed Miliband did in a similarly industrial setting in Huddersfield earlier this month.
“I want all my ministers to think about Yorkshire,” he told me, in a very matter-of-fact manner.
And with that he was off again. I didn’t even get a goodbye. Just time for one photo with the staff at Camira, then back on the road, and later a flight to Exeter from Leeds Bradford Airport.
As it was, I spent more time getting to grips with a chocolate-covered HobNob than hobnobbing with the leader of the country, but such is the life of a hack on the election trail.
And it could be worse, I could be on the blue bus.