Monday, January 19, 2015

Good Fabian conference - but we don't do "Stand Up"

Writing today on Conservative Home Peter Franklin called the Fabian Society annual conference a "Weekend comedy festival".  Here is my response.

Were you there Peter, or is this an attempt at a joke? Like the idea of Labour having "friends at the BBC". Ho ho! I was at the Conference and whatever else it was it wasn't a bundle of laughs. It was packed, and there were lots of young people there. Ed's speech was pretty good - more style than substance perhaps but it was good. Look out you Tory Miliband haters - this man is good on his feet and especially good answering questions. He was genial, thoughtful and articulate. He'd hold his own against Cameron in a debate and probably rather better than that.  

The reason I'm a member of the Fabian Society is because it is about substance. Take my special subject of Pensions. The pamphlet the Fabians put out on the subject a couple of years ago is serious stuff, and makes some valid criticisms of aspects of the Coalition pensions policy. Not many jokes in it it's true, but it is sufficiently robust that it will form the basis of Labour's Manifesto on the subject. Or take Europe. I heard more commonsense spoken on the session on Europe on Saturday than I have heard at any similiar gathering of those on the Right. It is possible to have a sensible debate on the EU without polemics you know! And the Fabians did it.  

I encourage those of any political persuasion to take the Fabian Society seriously. Even if you don't agree you'll have a stimulating debate. But we don't do stand up....


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