All three conferences show how poorly politics is…

Waiting for David Cameron’s no-doubt doom leaden and no-doubt, economically speaking, lemming-like speech it struck me that each of the three main Party conferences have, in their own way, been pretty dire. One common theme that has through them all is the lack of genuine debate and the fact that these have less been conferences – more rallies.

I expect at this point, Liberal Democrats will leap-in. It says something about the demoralisation of activists that most Conservative and Labour people would probably accept the above point is broadly true – however, Lib Dems always insist they are different. However, if they are so different then they will have to explain to me why, when it came to the NHS vote, over 50% of those present voted for a wider debate but it still did not happen. Don’t kid yourself Lib Dems, your Party and your Party Conference is just as stage-managed as the rest of them. Even the dissent is largely manufactured – carefully calibrated to preserve the appearance of a living and vibrant political organisation awash with fresh ideas and controversy.

People are disengaging from politics and when you look at what has been on-show over the last few weeks it’s hardly surprising. Put simply, these theatre shows are profoundly boring and disengaging. Nothing exists to stimulate the grey matter and get people talking. Don’t get me wrong – I am sure it’s great to be their – to network, meet old comrades and attend the fringe events which, I suspect are much more lively and interesting than the set-piece events but nobody really sees that and this is where the media is also somewhat to blame.

What the last three weeks have shown us is a Liberal Democrat Party putting a brave face on the fact its hanging over the edge of a very sheer electoral drop, a Labour Party whose opposition to this disastrous government is confused and muddled and is weighed down with an unpopular leader and a governing Conservative Party that literally is clueless about what to do about the situation the country finds itself in except, of course, retreat into the comfort zone of the same dogma that thirty odd years ago sowed the seeds of the current bad harvest of crippling debt and rampant social inequality.

Passion, intensity, controversy and great debate is all absent and at a time when the country desperately needs the light that such heat generates to shine a way forward that should worry us all, not just those who are already passionately political but every single one of us.



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About darrellgoodliffe


8 responses to “All three conferences show how poorly politics is…”

  1. stephenpglenn says :

    Darrell because sadly the constitution required under a suspension of standing orders a 2/3 majority to get the debate put into the agenda for party conference. We came up 40 votes short, there was a sizeable voting block marched into the hall for the vote who then walked out again straight afterwards.

    You’re forgetting the word democrats is also in our constitution and we have to life with the democratic decision that conference has places a qualified majority on such things to enable some flow of conference or else every decision might get challenged instead of merely important ones.


  2. graham gillis says :

    I find it very encouraging that people are realising they can have a puppet administration ruled by the EU, or vote UKIP. False promises no longer work and it’s an easier decision. All LibLabCon have left is tribalism, and they are all loosing voters.


  3. darrellgoodliffe says :


    Well I suggest you question the democratic credentials of your constitution in that case. I don’t think it achieved the democratically correct outcome in this instance because a clear majority wanted this yet they were denied a voice. So, don’t pretend your more democratic than either Labour or the Conservatives – your not.


  4. Matt Barker (@pigovian) says :

    @Darrell, you should look up the fantastic speeches from the Green Party conference, overlooked as usual by the establishment and most of the media. I would say come and join the Greens as they are truly democratic and closer I believe to your values, but you want to be elected to Labour’s NEC to change it rather tan stand around and complain, so that is very commendable. Best of luck with that


  5. darrellgoodliffe says :


    Wellll I have been to a Green Party Conference (my ex is a Green) last year and indeed there are many fantastic speechs…as to joining, while I am in sympathy with the Green Party on many issues I am afraid I am sticking with Labour, in the hope that one day we can work together as parties….thank you very kindly for your best wishes 🙂


  6. Matt Barker (@pigovian) says :

    Hi Darrell,

    I will happily agree regarding working together as a team. Interestingly, I found the Co-operative Party (in an electoral pact with Labour, of course) has more than a few similarities in its manifesto to the Green Party, notably on the environment and social justice, but it emphasises the power of co-ops (I happen to think that is a good thing and would not mind having a Lab/Co-op candidate as a 2nd pref in an AV or STV election). Have you managed to get to the occupation as yet? I will have to try to go at some point myself.



  7. darrellgoodliffe says :


    And vice-versa with regards to my second pref happily going to the Green’s…sadly no, not yet, you?


    • Matt says :

      Nice one re votes. Not managed to visit the occupation as yet but hopefully in time. I like today’s front page of the Guardian about Jesus


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