Friday, 25 March 2011

The day Five Leaves changed Government policy on Arts and Culture

Well almost. Admittedly Labour is not yet in power, but they will be. Sometime. So it seemed important to take up an offer to meet with Gloria De Piero and others from the Shadow culture team. I had many important points to make which would surely become Labour and then Government policy in due course. Except where was the stall they were on? The glossy brochure did not mention it. The stewards had no idea. The whole event was alive with excited people, many of whom were already stocking up on the free meal deal at the cafe, as they waited on Ed's speech later, meantime seeing and being seen. They still are, with Ed on in a bit. It's a Q & A and I would be tempted to ask "how do you think you can run a Government when your people put stalls in narrow corridors?" Because that's where the stalls were, with tiny workshop discussion spaces. The biggest crowd was at the first stall, trying desperately to find out if that was Harriet Harman trying to make herself heard. It wasn't. The stall was - in this narrow corridor - handily directly opposite the free coffee and meal point. So anyone wanting to go further had to use their elbows or a battering ram to get through. Tough luck if you had a wheelchair.

Finally I made it to a crowded stall advertising "Talented Britain". Hang on, I wanted to talk about arts, literature and culture, not something that sounded like a crap TV show. There was room for about four people to meet a couple of shadow ministers and a whirl of people who looked like they were from the cultural industries. With the background buzz, the heat, the crowd, the echoing corridor, I could not hear a word. So that was that then, a free coffee and back to the office, my brilliant ideas stillborn.

1 comment:

David Belbin said...

I got to the stall at two minutes to twelve, by which time it was quiet. I was introduced to Gloria, who said 'Excuse me a moment while I get some water'. She started to leave the stall but was introduced to someone else who she proceeded to talk to. I waited two minutes, then grabbed a free lunch and went to eat it at Bromley House. An abysmally organised event, although Ed Milliband was rather better than I was expecting.