Sunday, September 24, 2006

What kind of Labour supporter are you?

I stumbled across a purely hypothetical situation today which involved a dilemma. There is no right or wrong answer, but I'd still be interested in what answers people might give, as it is an interesting guide to different priorities and different ideas about what is most important at conference. Here's the scenario (which, I stress, is purely hypothetical) :

For reasons beyond your or the Labour Party's control, there are lots of people waiting for their passes to be able to get into conference. There is a very long queue of people, and all but one of the printers that you are using has broken, so you have to choose one of the following people to get their pass on time, and disappoint the rest. The question is, whose pass do you print first out of the following people:

1. The Delegate, who will not be able to vote on behalf of their constituency to decide which issues get discussed at conference unless they get their pass now.

2. The Senior Journalist on a national newspaper, who is up against a tight deadline to write their story and who has been queueing for several hours and who is looking extremely fed up.

3. The Stallholder, who has to get to the conference straight away to be able to set up their stall before the hall closes for the day.

4. The Former Minister, who is due to speak at a fringe meetings which lots of people will be attending specifically to hear them speak in a few minutes, and will not be able to do so unless they get their pass now.

5. The Teenager from a community project, who is meant to be speaking at a meeting to share their personal experience of growing up in a deprived area, and who has never been to a conference or spoken in public before.


At 11:07 am , Blogger Pete Morton said...

Teenager then delegate. A scared teenager doesn't deserve to be messed about, and also might go doorknocking...

At 3:54 pm , Anonymous Tim said...

I'm afraid I disagree with Pete.

Certainly the teenager first. And the former minister last, in the hope a few people might give up on them and go to hear the teenager instead.

I'm not sure we want journalists hanging round conference at all, but the rest of the order would depend on which way the delegate was likely to vote.

At 8:51 am , Blogger Pete Morton said...

I'm shocked Tim! Not wanting a delegate to get in if they'd vote the wrong way. Next you'll be saying that an individual delegate's votes actually determine the outcome, or even government policy.

At 10:21 pm , Anonymous Tim Waters said...

Confusing number of Tims here.

I think:

1. The Teenager from a community project, These are the people we are there to represent and should be the top priority to be allowed to interact with people already there.

2. The Stallholder
The Stallholder has paid a small fortune on which we are making a tidy profit. We can't afford the refund because we are about to go bankrupt, so we need to get them in fast so they don't demand their cash back.

3. The Delegate
CLP votes are totally unimportant because we are a Labour Party and have union block votes that determine all these things. In any case, it isn't as if the government pays much attention.

4. The Former Minister
Is exceptionally unlikely to have anything interesting to say and the main value of their attendance at a meeting is that the promise of their arrival causes lots of pople to turn up. Whether or not they themselves turn up is fairly immaterial if this is successful.

5. The Senior Journalist
Is going to be rude about the length of the queue whether they get queuejumped or not, and is extremely unlikely to say anything helpful even if allowed in.

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