Author Archive for Lord Bates

Rediscovering the island of Ireland

Lord Bates

One of the consequences of the years of the troubles has perhaps been a reluctance of some to travel and explore the natural treasures of the island of Ireland. On a recent visit I was delighted to see that old images are changing fast. The last time I was in the North of Ireland was…

Bio fuels hunger?

Lord Bates

When biofuels were being proposed as a possible solution in the search for reductions in emissions no one could quite have imagined the impact which this policy would have on the poorest on our planet: First, the feedstock for the biofuel production is being imported into the richest developed countries of the US and EU…

Do Party Conferences Still Have a Role?

Lord Bates

We are just nearing the end of a six week long stage managed series of party political broadcasts:

Green Party of England and Wales – 7 to 10 September, in Bristol
Trades Union Congress- 9 to 12 September, in Brighton
Plaid Cymru – 13 to 15 September, in Brecon
UKIP- 21 to 22 September, in Birmingham
Liberal Democrats – 22 to 26 September, in Brighton
Labour- 30 September to 4 October, in Manchester
Conservatives – 8 to 11 October, in Birmingham
Scottish National Party – 18 to 21 October, in Perth

What useful role do these gatherings play in the modern political process? Do they turn people on to politics or turn them off?

The first Conservative Party Conference was held in 1867 at the Freemasons Tavern in London under the initiative of the new Leader of the Conservative Party, Benjamin Disraeli of whom we have heard much over the past few weeks. The idea of a conference and the formation of the National Union and a couple of years later Conservative Central Office were all part of the modernising of political parties in response to the Second Reform Act of 1867 which had extended the franchise to 1.5 million working men.