Party conferences, oh dear! They’re meant to be a showcase for new policies and a rallying point for the party faithful, but for us mere mortals observing the political peacocks strutting their stuff, mixing their metaphors and waxing lyrical with wise words, it’s a pretty depressing spectacle.
Depressing because collectively our politicians are a very unimpressive bunch. A second XI trying hard to be something they’re not and not convincing anybody – except for themselves. It’s a time when the mediocre get a chance to bask in the spotlight and publicly preen and polish their egos. Risible it might be, except these mini-talents are the people we elected to represent our best interests – all very depressing.
And behind these unimpressive souls are the party activists. Their egos dull and their opportunities unclear, but their purpose resolute and their loyalty sound. This week at the Labour party conference there have been some great speeches from some young party apparatchiks. They give the impression that all is not lost. They have high ideals and want to make a difference, to make change happen. It’s both refreshing, but it’s sad too because few of their ideals or their enthusiasms will survive the grinding tedium of local party politics. Those that stay the course, the dull, feverishly ambitious party clones with a keen eye on self-enrichment and a thirst for celebrity, the ones ‘at conference’ and who represent us, make us wish for something better. Unfortunately, it’s the system that chooses the players.