A film night, at Conference? Really?

Party conference serves so many purposes. It’s there to make policy, to deliver training and for members from around the country to get together and chat. I have to say that I’ve never thought that the big thing missing from our annual gathering was a film night. In fact, putting me in a warm, dark room after 4 sleep-deprived nights is likely to have me snoring in seconds.

I was therefore surprised to see some weeks ago that a film night was to happen and the party  was running a vote on its website so that people could choose what film was shown. We could choose between all sorts of blokey political culture from Watergate to In the Loop. Why could we not have had Aaron Sorkin’s The American President on the list? What about Made In Dagenham, a film about the fight for equal pay at the Ford car plant. When that latter film came out 4 years ago, Lynne Featherstone criticised it being given a 15 rating because it had one incident of the F word (not the federalism one) but praised the film itself:

That fight still goes on today – with a pay gap between men and women in full time work – as unacceptable now too.

But outside of the issue itself – which is extremely timely with the coalition commitment to promoting the right to request flexible working to all and promote equal pay – it is just a brilliant film.

It is in the genre of Billy Elliot and Brassed Off – and I hope that everyone sees it – as it is truly inspiring.

I know I should have complained about it at the time but I have been a bit preoccupied with affairs up north. Anyway, the people have cast their vote and the film that will be shown on the Saturday at 8pm and the Tuesday at 6:15pm is In the Loop. Just as we’ve got over the idea of Malcolm Tucker in the TARDIS, we are reminded of Peter Capaldi’s brilliantly funny performance. It’s  a film from exactly this point in the electoral cycle before the last election. Those were the days. We were the good guys, then. We still are, but not so many people think so.

Later this week, I shall go through the Conference agenda with a fine tooth comb, but in the meantime, here’s my guide to the craziness of conference from last year. I’ll update that too for this year.

* Caron Lindsay is Editor of Liberal Democrat Voice and blogs at Caron's Musings

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  • Rabi Martins 21st Sep '14 - 1:00pm

    Personally I would have voted for
    Carry On Regardless
    if had been on the list … given how little attention th eleadership pays to conference resolutions these days

  • Seems like a good idea to me. I think the film choices are spot on actually because of the so-called’ blokey culture’ of the subject matter. Aren’t we endlessly whining about the public being switched off and their perceptions of politics and politicians? Watching these movies which reflect these public attitudes culturally rather than through the perpetually sniping media (thus making it easier for us to dismiss criticisms) should lead to conversation and reflection on ourselves and our world. It is tough to see ourselves as others see us, and hasn’t that always been a (only ‘a’ not the whole reason) function of literature, art, films, books and poetry?? Good subject choices which should promote thought and introspection and realisation of us and how we are seen. I think watching a film like Made in Dagenham whilst worthy and all that well, so what? We’re all going to agree with it and we’ll all feel a glow of self-righteous validation of our principles so where’s the interest and learning from that? Speaking to ourselves about things we all agree with just perpetuates our isolation from the general public. Here’s to film night, a good, new idea and I hope its a success.

  • ‘No’ the film about the refurendum which ended the Pinochett dictatorship would have been another worthy of inclusion. I voted for Wag the Dog though I lent my copy of it to someone at Uni and never got it back.

  • Just to say this has nothing to do with the Conference Committee.

  • Caron Lindsay Caron Lindsay 21st Sep '14 - 7:28pm

    Actually, the other one I thought about adding was Primary Colours. But I guess I lived through the mystery of that at the time and it’s a bit old now.

  • David Evershed 22nd Sep '14 - 1:44pm

    How about Animal Farm (1954)

    A great story and a film with an arty retro feel that is currently in fashion.

    See http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3YYEoWAAmDE

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