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Conferences could change political map
10:00am Saturday 5th October 2013 in News
Once again, the party conference season has come and gone.
It really is a bizarre affair. Thousands of politicos and journos and business groups and voluntary groups and pressure groups all gathered together, one week after another for a month.
Does it all, in the end, change anything? Normally, I would say ‘not much’. But this season may have been an exception.
Of course, it’s too early to tell; but I have the feeling that the main lines of the next general election may have been set during the last few weeks.
After years in which the word ‘socialism’ was unspoken at Labour Party conferences and huge efforts were made to avoid any suggestion of Bevan or Attlee or Wilson, we now have what appears to be an interesting decision by Mr Miliband to move his party back into the era that led to pay, prices and exchange controls and discussions of land nationalisation.
This, of course creates a much sharper contrast with David Cameron’s vision of an open economy offering the opportunity for hardworking people to fulfil their aspirations.
I have never used this column to engage in party political argument – so I won’t explain why I think that one of these directions is better for Britain than the other.
But I think that, regardless of one’s preference, we can all agree that the choice facing this country at the next election appears to be much clearer now than it was just a month ago.
I don’t know for sure whether this would have happened anyway, or whether the pressure of the party conference season actually played a part in bringing out the difference between these visions. But I am inclined to believe that, for once, the party conferences have in fact played a part in shaping British politics.
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