If many of you have noticed, it’s currently political party conference season again…
These annual get-togethers were traditionally a chance for party members to gain access to their leading lights and to discuss potential ideas for policies to put to the public in future elections.
However, as I have posted before, in recent years, they have become almost exclusively the fanfests for the leadership. Any genuine debate on major issues such as the economy and immigration are completely stifled. Very little is actually decided on the conference floor. Although there may be some lively debates at fringe meetings, those who attend them will accept that they will get very little influence on policy.
I began to hate the conferences when they started to become tightly controlled by their leaders. I hate them even more now they had decided to swap the seaside towns to favour major cities (Conservatives chose Manchester, Lib Dems chose Birmingham, and Labour chose Liverpool).
The press coverage of the conferences was predictably lazy, as usual. They always focus on the personalities’ alleged personal defects rather than question and analyse their policies (Labour leader Ed ‘Panda Eyes’ Miliband had to fend off suggestions that he looked “weird”. Never mind that he could have been questioned on the fact that the economic crisis was in part caused by his own party).
So long as the parties see the conferences as an afterthought, they will be continue to be rightly ignored by the general public.