#ldconf: the mood

Monday, March 14th, 2011 12:34 pm
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[personal profile] miss_s_b
There's always an overall mood to conference. Liverpool was cheerful and full of hope, for example, which resonated well with the host city. This one, though... was harder to categorise for me. It felt like there was something missing. Well, there were several things missing, from our beloved blogger of the year, to Viv who always leads us in We Shall Overcome at Glee Club, but there was something missing in the atmosphere. Old friends and new were there in abundance (shout out to the DELGA massive, among many many others), and yet somehow the smiles and hugs felt slightly brittle.

I think there's still a degree of discomfort in the party that we are now being protested against, rather than being the protesters. The protesters were mostly ok, and I had interesting conversations with several of them, but some of their behaviour left a sour note. When is it acceptable to tip a disabled person out of their wheelchair? When is it acceptable to hurl abuse at children? And while Alex4Galloway's response to her treatment was admirable - getting up to do a speech and tacking a bit onto the beginning about refusing to remove her lanyard, which I actually punched the air at - it should not be necessary.

Even Glee Club felt a bit subdued - Huppmeister J's very witty riff on Tom Lehrer notwithstanding - and the lack of Viv, plus kicking off with a modified-for-Barnsley version of Losing Deposits was sobering to say the least. The most heartfelt "singing" was definitely reserved for 12 Days of Coalition, and "BUGGER ALL" was belted out with almost venomous gusto.

So yes, we're finding bedding in to coalition difficult, and we don't understand why we are getting all the flak when we are the ones who are the brakes on the Tory juggernaut - or rather, we do understand, but we don't like it. But the doom mongers who say the party is going to fracture? I don't think they know us very well. This party has seen much much worse adversity than this, and come through with head held high. So yes, we're a little hurt, a little fragile, and a bit annoyed at our continued batterings for things which either we can't do anything about, or we are actively trying to do what the people who are bashing us want us to do and they're bashing us anyway. But we're not splitting, we're not giving up, and we're not losing our determination.

We're not a party of superficiality, we're a party of substance, and if you keep bashing away at the surface, all you are going to do is reveal that substance more clearly.



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