Thursday, October 01, 2009

The Labour Party Conference From The Inside

Although the Labour party has been taking the blow and it seemed the damage was already done, conference was a waking up to the clarion call. The party accepted that it wont just sit back and keep mum. If it was going to lose or win, it has to do it fighting. Splendid. Peter Hain's was an inspiring speech.

Ed Miliband continued it with uplifting although in a relaxed and mellow message. You can feel the energy and optimism and courage in his speech; A lot of wonderful and challenging phrases. Britain will have a choice; choice between churning all the significant achievements of the past 12 years down the drain and face austerity or to keep and sustain them.

Quite rightly, Labour has made mistakes but when the record books are reviewed, the stark difference are clear. A little recount

Better maternity and paternity leave; Minimum wage; Civil partnership for LGBT; Education/new schools; Improved health care; and the list goes.

Strong economy and a clear leadership in the international stage especially in the face of a looming financial haemorrhage – it was the international leaders that acknowledged that.

Peter Mandelson's speech was an icing on the cake before finally, Gordon also made a rousing speech. The party did not manage, but kept a united front and decided that the war is against the opposition not within; wise indeed. Because a house that sets against itself falls.

The inside fight however, was fought with maturity through democracy when one-member-one-vote system for electing representatives to the policy forum was put to vote. What a brilliant idea.

On the fringes, never have I seen such amount of educative discussions and debates. Not just that, even the opposition were invited to make a case. Yes, Vince Cable of Liberal Democrats was there in one of the fringes, and there was a rep from the Tory Mayor of London's office. The government, private, third and voluntary sectors, trade and student unions, pressure groups, just name it, all got platform to put their idea and opinions through.

The conference floor was open to an average of 18 speech submission randomly selected from the floor on each subject in the plenary session as well as questions and answers to ministers and key officers. I tested the speech debates by joining the many hands going up and luckily got selected. It proved to me that it was open and wasn't pre-engineered.

Feedback from my twitter and Facebook followers/friends indicated that ordinary people leaned towards Labour as the days go by. One of my twitter follower said on Monday evening, "the conference may be heating inside, but its not so out here", by Wednesday evening, the same follower said, "its awesome the way Labour has made the conference such a huge interest. Everyone is talking about it".

The above may not be from a Mori poll, but its definitely a sample from over 50 constant active followers of my tweets and Facebook page kept with my unbroken chain of tweet updates.

Then came The Sun's joke. While most people thought it was a jeer to break the heart of the Labour party, it united her more. Party members did not find it funny and rightly thought that it was not just about Gordon Brown, it was them, it was their own Labour party. The media got a lot of rejection as far as I know. It wasn't planned either, but we all took the bold step of letting the media know we talk when we when they want us to.

Over all, it was a great conference. Nothing can be perfect but this was definitely a near perfect. The stage is set, the war is began, no going back until the final vote is counted. The British people will make their judgement, whether it will be right or wrong, will be determined by what follows after the election.

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