Luke Akehurst is being complimentary about grass roots Labour people and our ability to grasp and debate contentious policy areas in our constituencies. Hallelujah!
Once again Luke got the impression that most of those gathered to debate Trident supported CND's Kate Hudson rather than his good self.
Luke asks the National Executive Committee and National Policy Forum to take note of the fact that : "there are a lot of people out there in the party with intelligent contributions to make to policy debate and a lack of opportunities to contribute".
"It was one of those good debates where you come away with respect for the integrity and thoughtfulness of the position taken by your opponent".
The mystery for me then is why party managers - elected and salaried - make such an effort to keep these debates off the conference floor.
In Brighton 2005 delegates were urged to vote in the priorities ballot to include and then defeat nasty Trade Union resolutions on NHS Privatisation and Trade Union Rights (Gate Gourmet). The delegate (aw shucks) who stood up and suggested voting for four CLP resolutions got some hard stares I can tell you.
The same line was occurring in each of the regional briefings however and when followed by naive and/or loyal delegates kept Iraq and Trident Replacement off the agenda. At least this meant some of the loyal "resolutions" which had not been passed by CLPs but which were passed by CAC didn't need to be used to try for a pro-war resolution if worst came to worst. Probably for the best.
In Manchester 2006 the same line: "It's a tradition to vote for some of the Union motions, and they vote for some of ours" Anon Minister (BB), again kept Trident and Iraq and Civil Liberties and so on off the agenda.
Luke Akehurst believes I think that delaying or opting against Trident replacement could make Labour unelectable in the super marginals. I'm not so sure. And I don't believe that chasing the votes of some of the floaters in these places is a sustainable option for the party.