Aileen Colleran’s Blog

Partick, Politics and Passions

How soon is now ?

Party conferences are pure political anorak heaven. What’s interesting is that there isn’t “one” conference , but a multitude of different conferences going on in the one small square mile of a seaside town. The left conference is about challenging CAC (Conference Arrangements Committee) reports, anti-war fringes and rampant (but usually justified) paranoia.
The trade union conference is wheeling and dealing and brutal early morning delegation meetings, particularly challenging for the comrades who’ve been caucusing into the wee small hours, and the CWU 7.30 am breakfast delegation meeting must be to show solidarity with their members…
The lobbyist and special interest and corporate conference is about capturing the key players and taking them to dinner.
The press and media conference is entirely about personalities, who’s up, who’s down, and what’s the gossip (even if they can’t use it today).
The wannabe’s conference is which minister can they get their photos taken with, which seats are up for grabs, and what bright (but non-contentious) questions can they ask in fringes and policy forums that get them noticed.
The first time constituency delegate conference is exhausting and expensive as they try to take in ten fringes and receptions a day, faithfully attend every conference session and take extensive notes to report back to the CLP , whilst being dismayed at the prices in the bars and restaurants and attempt to survive on mushroom tartlets, chicken drumsticks and warm white wine at the fringe meetings.
And as for the politicans… some elected members are conspicuous by their absence, so obviously share the Alan Clark view of party conference as a necessary evil to be endured rather than enjoyed. Only if you don’t like catching up with friends and comrades, exchanging ideas and gossip, and my own personal favourite conference pastime of refreshing my collection of pens by visiting every stand in the exhibition halls (sad, sad, sad…).
Autumn election or not ? No announcement today from Gordon Brown but it was a speech that set out a clear policy agenda, ably articulated with manifest (or manifesto?) commitments. Let’s not forget though that there’s Scottish Labour conference in March, which would be an ideal platform to announce a May election…


September 24, 2007 - Posted by | Elections, Labour party

1 Comment »

  1. True oh so sadly true. I have done the 7.30 delegation meeting after a 4am networking.

    Wish I was there though

    Comment by Kat | September 25, 2007 | Reply

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