Sunday, September 06, 2009

Final Day: bits and bobs

A few random bits and bobs about conference. First some links;

It was with some sadness I bade farewell to Hove as the conference has been one of the best I've attended in many ways. Certainly the most united I've ever seen it, the friendliest I've been to and whilst it was not new that delegates were willing to look at the party's faults it seems to me that this was done in an extremely constructive way.

If I was to look for problems (and you know I do!) I'd say my fears were confirmed on prostitution. Namely that a number of leading members want to see us move towards a Swedish model / Harriett Harman approach to the issue over our currently far more radical liberalisation approach. I am pleased to say that this is unlikely to be an attempt to force through a rapid change but will be a gradual process of attempting to persuade members of the merits of changing our policy. I think it's extremely unlikely that we'll be having that row properly before the general election.

I was also disappointed that my motion on joint lists fell off the agenda and so will have to come back to a future conference. I wish we'd had more plenary time but shalln't grumble. I really want to get this motion to conference before there are any proportional representation elections looming as I don't want to confuse the principle of allowing regions to decide their strategy with worries about specific developments or potential partners.

The reverse of this is that the motion I moved on the ability of the electorate to recall their Member of Parliament was passed after a fierce discussion - so our policies on extending the democratic franchise have been deepened. I'm particularly pleased with my argument that if we extend democracy it does mean people might use it against us and that's an opportunity to up our game. You can't be for democracy only when people are going to do what you want.

Anyway, little things like the bullshit bingo (thanks Sue) and the end of conference prizes (with sing-a-long) also helped make the experience a thoroughly enjoyable one - which is not something I say every time I can assure you. Oh, and as some icing on the cake I got to have quick coffee with Stroppy. After all I couldn't come to her manor without paying my respects.

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