Sunday, September 08, 2013
Majority Of Party Conference Attendees Are Government Sock Puppets, Lobbyists and Media Hacks - Is This Democracy
It shows how much all our officially supported parties, not just or even particularly the LudDims, have been hollowed out of real members and become simply the political classes, lobbyists and state controlled media repeating each other:
"A similar brochure produced by the Liberal Democrats said 34% of attendees last year were voting members, while 11% were non-voting members, 36% were "observers" and 7% were "exhibitors".
All three major parties offer commercial opportunities at their conferences as a way to raise money but campaigners have long complained that the events offer a big opportunity for lobbying."
This is not new - some years ago I did a review of LD "exhibitors" and found they were almost entirely government sock puppets. I understand that being in power has made the LDs considerably more popular with donors, though much less popular with voters, a discrepancy difficult to explain if we assume such new donors aren't corruptly buying power. It may be that some of the exhibitors this time are genuine business organisations buying power not government sock puppets doing so - which would be a net improvement.
Of the Tories they say much the same (except they lead with it):
"The Tory party's commercial brochure shows just 38% of delegates at the party's annual meeting are members, while 36% are from companies, charities and other "exhibitors". Around 20% of attendees were from the media."
Of Labour, naturally, the Grainiad do not give similar figures though the first para here implies they are identical:
All three major parties offer commercial opportunities at their conferences as a way to raise money but campaigners have long complained that the events offer a big opportunities for lobbying....
Meanwhile, Labour is selling access to its "business forum with a full week balcony pass" for £1,292 at this year's Brighton conference. Its "package" includes a business forum ticket, invitation to a business reception and full week conference pass allowing access to all the speeches and debates taking place across the week.
It also offers a range of advertising opportunities, such as hotel "room drops" for £2,000 that allow conference guests to "wake up to your message by getting your flyer delivered overnight direct to their bedrooms in the Hilton Brighton Metropole, the conference headquarters hotel, which totals over 300 bedrooms".
Any party that cannot attract as many actual members to its conference as lobbyists, government sock puppets and media hacks is clearly not a real democratic political organisation but a corpse being propped up by the state.