- I didn't go on Friday, so this is just a summary of today's events.
- Patrick Gower has reported on John Tamihere's disappointment at being denied entry to the conference. But Tamihere's not a member of the party, and non-members aren't invited. It would be like me trying to get into the National Party conference. There is a debate about whether John Tamihere should be allowed to rejoin the party, because of his history of attacking the party, but no decision has yet been made on that matter. He is certainly not helping his cause by continuing to bag the party publicly, but that doesn't mean he won't be allowed to rejoin. Every party has its hothead members, and Labour is no different.
- Judging by his TV3 report, Patrick Gower also appears to believe that the rule changes today around the party leadership were part of some Machiavellian plot by David Cunliffe and his supporters. I can't speak to Cunliffe's motivations, or as to what his plans might be, but the vote was motivated largely (I suspect) by the desire of rank and file members to have more say in the affairs of the party generally. I'm not convinced it was motivated primarily by a desire to vote in or out as leader any particular person. It will, however have the effect of ensuring that for the next three months people will be speculating about David Shearer's leadership, no matter what he does during that period. How Shearer handles that pressure will be an important test.
- The debate and discussion around the February 2013 leadership vote trigger remits were a bit shambolic. Considering the importance of the issue to members and the party, it was disappointing to see people struggling to understand or explain what was being voted on. I'm not entirely convinced that everyone who voted on that issue understood exactly what they were voting on.
- The coffee was passable, and met (though did not exceed) my coffee quality KPI.
- Grant Robertson is a good public speaker, and had the crowd roaring with laughter at some of his put-downs. That man will go far.
- The conference has also afforded me the opportunity to inadvertently overhear a number of private conversations between various party people, including MPs, that really should not be held in public places. No, I'm not eavesdropping, but if two people are sitting nearby and whispering far too loudly then what am I meant to do? Unhear what they are saying? Some useful intelligence has been gathered.
- It's good to be a non-voting delegate, because that way I can't f**k anything up, and I can't be held responsible for anything anyone else f**ks up.
Saturday, November 17, 2012
Labour Conference 2012: A Summary So Far
Just a short post on a few points about Labour's 2012 conference.