Sunday, November 20, 2005

Didn't we have a luverly time, the day we went to Southwark!

Regional Conference day broke bright and sunny, if rather colder than I would have asked for. Given that I couldn't even work out what I was going to wear, it didn't augur well for a successful day but I managed to get there pretty much on time, only to discover that some idiot had "leaked" the agenda to the Evening Standard and spun my motion to represent an attack on the Party leadership.

This rather spoiled my day, I must admit, as attacking the leadership is never particularly clever, unless you're going to openly explain why you're doing it. And even then, it should only be done when the leadership has actually done something wrong.

So I fretted my way through the day, completely failing to address the question of what I was going to say in my speech (full marks for emotion, nul points for common sense). I managed to draft a vague, if unfinished, outline, delivered it in a rather wooden manner and awaited the backlash - which didn't come... Yes, there were those who felt that the motion wasn't radical enough, a point I had already acknowledged, but the thrust of the motion was overwhelmingly accepted. The attempt by my presumed nemesis to refer the motion back was derailed by my rather unsubtle intervention preventing him from reading out the reason for his request (gentle reader, the art of winning debates is sometimes about reading the rules for debate).

You are asking what the result was, aren't you? Well... the motion, with two accepted deletions (I may be a cautious bureaucrat but I'm not stupid...), was passed with possibly one vote against. The next step is to take it to Federal Conference, where the fun will truly start. There are those who will wonder why I'm doing this, and I have occasionally wondered myself, but it is fundamentally the right thing to do and so I will proceed with it. I'll return to this point in the future, no doubt...

Otherwise, it was a really good conference, with some excellent debate and some great speakers. Shami Chakrabarti, the Director of Liberty, was actually quite funny, in spite of making a series of very cogent points about the loss of civil liberties inherent in the Government's proposals on terrorism and security. Having never seen her before, I was pleasantly impressed as some people in positions such as hers can be a bit pompous and lecturing.

And now back to work, there's so much to do!

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