Posts Tagged ‘Labour party conference open day’

What is party conference for?

25/08/2011, 08:00:01 AM

by Peter Watt

I have been pondering for a while what exactly party conferences are about. What are they for? This week Labour has announced that it will hold an “open day” at its conference in Liverpool.  Up to 2000 members of the public are invited to attend and can register online for a full day’s programme of policy discussions. Wednesday 28 September is described as:

“…the first of its kind from any political party, is an opportunity for you to join the conversation about the challenges our country faces and talk to Labour Leader, Ed Miliband, and the Shadow Cabinet face to face”.

I think that this is probably a good idea; well in a symbolic way at least. It sends a signal that the leadership is determined to open up the party beyond the dwindling band of party activists. And that has to be a good thing. It is clearly unsustainable for handfuls (relatively) of party activists to maintain the pretence that they alone should determine policy, choose candidates and so on. But does it go far enough and will anyone be interested? (more…)

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