In hindsight, and with the benefit of reflection, I feel somewhat cheated. It appears that my faith in the honour and decency of some of our party's most senior figures might have been ill-judged and, by exhibiting an unhelpful degree of naivety, I may well have prejudiced the very cause I had hoped to promote.
You will recall that I had been surprised by the two amendments that were chosen for debate. One, on monitoring, came as a surprise only because I was not informed that it had been taken for debate. As James Graham rightly reminds me, I had been warned about it in advance and, putting aside my personal misgivings about monitoring for sexuality and religion, I certainly accepted the basic principle of collecting data so that progress might be quantified.
The second, proposed by Simon Hughes, our illustrious Party President, was obviously tabled with the knowledge and support of our Chief Executive, who demonstrated once again, if proof were needed, his mastery of internal politics. I was warned, albeit probably too late to do anything about it. And even, had I been able to credibly attack it, I didn't have enough 'backstory' to successfully do so, especially after arriving in the hall to find that Navnit Dholakia's speech already included a statement of acceptance. For the record, I only discovered this by reading his speech over his shoulder (and he didn't know that I was there at the time). The response to his intervention from my readership and the wider blogosphere is, thus far, a long way short of impressed.
And so they were both passed. Unfortunately, I am now left in the uncomfortable position of hoping for the best, and fearing the sort of invidious sabotage that the Federal Executive tends towards when Conference wants something that it doesn't.
It pains me to have to make a statement like this publicly, and I will happily recant if the review produces something effective and timely (bear in mind that winnable seats are selecting already, and wasn't the whole purpose of the exercise to get black and ethnic minority MP's elected?). But either the auguries aren't promising or my more pragmatic friends are overly cynical. Experience tends towards the former.
Gentlemen, prove me wrong...