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Saturday, October 14, 2006


Previously I have done reviews of the policies submitted to the SLD conferences. On a previous occasion I mentioned that an unintended result of my participation in politics is that the SLD had ceased publishing their conference motions well in advance because I had been publishing commentaries on them

Today the conference is being held & the most I can say about what is being considered are the motion titles:

10.00 Tackling serious & anti-social crime
I think it should be tackled
11.20 Scotland's Towns, Burghs & communities
Yes we should have some
16.25 Emergency Motion this is a regular feature allowing the conference to vote in favour of niceness on some topical subject & get a headline
16.40 Raising the minimum purchase age of cigarettes to 18Not necessarily bad thing but more nannying & will it work?

Note there are only 3 1/2 motions as opposed to about 10 previously. Note also that once again there is no discussion of improving the economy (despite Nicol being , correctly, in favour of reducing business rates this has never been submitted to conference). What we are seeing is the total irrelevance of conference or indeed the members views. Remember that legally conference is the sovereign body of the party & the only way the membership have a voice - technically it isn't official till conference have confirmed it. What we are seeing here is the ever faster hollowing out of political structure & ending what was once the mass participation in party politics. This is a very bad thing for democracy, moreso because an increasing number of political leaders have spent their lives as politicians or advisors to politicians, with the occasional person who worked for a few years as a lawyer or political journalist.

Note that this is not a particular dig at the SLD, it is merely that I know their history It is happening everywhere indeed the national Tory conference was admitted, even by the media, to be so vacuous they had to invent a fight between Boris & Jamie Oliver.

Somebody on the radio recently said that anybody who joins a political party nowadays is either mad, ambitious or has a family history. He ignored middle aged ladies who form an uncomplaining backbone of many local parties, & generally don't cause the splits. Nonetheless looking at party members I have known I was extremely glad that my father had been a prominent party member before me.

The wording of the motions is on

The one on raising the age of cigarette buying seems to have been withdrawn or refered back or possibly even voted down.

The others are indeed as vacuous as I had implied.
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