Novelist Jeanette Winterson seems a little confused as to why she agreed to address the Tory conference today. On her website she explains: 'Because they have asked me, and because I will talk to anyone who will listen.'
Fair enough. But she also condemns 'this crap government and its low-grade response to the environment', and praises the Conservatives for 'putting the environment on the main stage at their conference in October, instead of in some crummy cubicle where only three people can sit down'.
Crummy cubicle? No-one told Environment Secretary David Miliband, who delivered a speech on the environment on the main stage in Manchester last week.
Winterson also describes Tony Blair as 'a mad tyrant like all those other twentieth century Taurean tyrants – Hitler and Stalin to name but two'. One wonders whether a writer of lesbian fiction who called the government "crap" would still be alive after nine years under either of those regimes.
It is all a far cry from my days as a volunteer helper in a Leftie bookshop, when Winterton single-handedly kept our collective afloat. Paperback copies of Oranges Are Not the Only Fruit, which had just been on telly, sold more than all the Anarchist pamphlets, Marxist tracts and Nicaraguan women's poetry put together.