To dispel any illusion that Labour Party members are seen as more than foot soldiers and a source of funding by the people that run it, see the agenda for 2020 Connected, the online event on 19-22 September replacing the postponed National Conference and Women’s Conference.
The agenda gives the appearance of a political party at pains to avoid politics. The “National” days have 24 training sessions and only 9 policy panels. The policy panels are only one hour long, and will likely consist of “the great and good” talking to us, not with us.
The “Women’s” Connected day has tried for more interactivity, but with lengthy lists of speakers it’s doubtful members will get a word in.
Training is fine, but these sessions should run all year anyway.
This is a wasted opportunity. It could have been an exciting, revitalising event, one which threw open the doors to the exchange of ideas, to debate and discussion, and to political education. Instead, I predict an impeccably stage-managed and controlled event.
Many leadership offices have probably fantasised about replacing conference with an event like this, one in which they don’t have to answer to anyone and don’t have to listen to us.
• Rebecca is a Labour member in Lewisham and last year was Chair of Lewisham Deptford CLP.