Friday, 16 January 2009

European Parliamentary Party expects Lib Dem activists to listen and learn

What an organiser writes bout the event they are organising says a lot about them and how they view their audiance.

Consider the break-out session at tomorrow’s One Day Policy Conference being run by the Liberal Democrat European Parliamentary Party entitled The European Dimension. Unlike the other five sessions, which set out the broad parameters of the issue they would seek to discuss and then propose some questions, the description of The European Dimension consists of a very long paragraph extolling the virtues of the European Union. This seems to be a case of preaching to the converted at a Lib Dem conference, but may be designed to deter any doubters from attending.

There follows a paragraph in which we are told that “Three of our MEPs will speak about their work and that of the ALDE Group in the European Parliament… This workshop will tell you why and how Europe matters to Liberal Democrats” (emphasis added).

Note who is doing the talking here, and who is expected to listen and learn. Pity the naive activist who thought that policy conferences were an opportunity for the grass roots to influence policy.

Fortunately, the rest of the sessions appear to have been organised by more concensual bodies. From taxing women to the Home Affairs team on drugs, it looks like being an interesting day.

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