The Blog of
Nadine Dorries
Conference Call
Posted Tuesday, 30 September 2008 at 12:58

Conference has changed forever. It's not the absence of a sea front to wander along when in desperate need of silence, solace or just a break from the perpetual conference chatter that has made the difference; or even the familiarity of the hotel watering halls and venues, it's much more than that.

Birmingham is full of twenty something earnest young men in black suits with iphones growing out of their ears. Gone are the faithful association members with their happy smiles, warm wishes and plastic bags.

Last night I walked into the Conference hotel and amid the masses of power-ready people were an elderly couple, sitting on a bench looking slightly dazed.  It looked like Derby and Joan had wandered onto the set of High School Musical and didn't know the lines.

I wanted to offer to help and as I wandered over they were rescued by their own MP.

With hotels at £120 per night and restaurant prices at the gastro pub end of the price range, the days of party members getting together and seeing the same faces year after year have gone.

Conference has gone corporate. This is the way of the new political age and the price of success. I acknowledge and accept that the shared generational experience of gentle seaside daytime bonhomie giving way to night time revelry has gone forever. But I acknowledge it with a tinge of regret, sadness and many fond memories.


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