The Malcontent on: party conferences

So, it’s party conference season again. That time of year when a circus of second-rate politicians to decamp to some concrete monstrosity in the middle of a post-industrial swamp to pretend to be in touch with the poor. Three days are then spent in the glorious democratic ritual of making over-prepared speeches introducing policies that are about as plausible as a sober fresher, and have probably been tossed off on the train from London over lu

kewarm coffee and an overpriced train panini that tastes as if it’s been made out of the train’s brake-blocks itself. It’s a far cry from the politics of the Dreaming Spires, characterised by a bunch of hacks no-one cares about mindlessly amassing power…oh, wait.

I am reliably informed that the last Liberal Democrat convention turned into some sort of bizarre homage to Oktoberfest, with the guzzling back of great flagons of beer throughout proceedings (although their policymaking remained consistent.) Which got me thinking, this could become a template for all party conferences. The Conservatives are already well prepared, with a background in the alcohol-soaked racist pit of Port and Prejudice, and a couple of bottles of tawny would go a long way toward altering Cameron’s nauseously shiny complexion. And if Ed Miliband really wants to reach out and touch the nation’s hearts and minds, what better way to do so than by staggering down the streets of Toxteth knocking back a two-litre bottle of White Lightning, roll-up hanging from the corner of his mouth, before collapsing on a park bench in a sleeping bag to read Labour’s Policy Review? It certainly gives a new dimension to the term ‘political lightweight.’

Which brings us to the next improvement to conference season. The party leaders are all Oxford-educated (apart from Clegg, who went to some polytechnic called Cambridge.) Their charade of actually giving a shit about common people is transparent to the point of futility- so why not drop it and bring all the conferences to Oxford? If we’ve survived the latte-drinking, café-occupying shock troops of summer’s American coup d’etat, we can survive a few hacks. We have the multi-storey car park at St Catherine’s College to solve transport issues. For a small fee, rowing-boats, punts, the Octopush underwater hockey society and tortoises could be used to settle party leadership elections- so much more interesting than mere democracy. As for nightlife, Camera’s already full of pretentious Tories in suits, getting anyone to go to Wahoo is almost as difficult as getting someone to vote Labour, and for Clegg and Co., there’s that hole next to Bridge that no-one’s heard of. Let’s just hope Michael Gove doesn’t try and shark any freshers.