Tuesday, October 3, 2006

Great Accreditation Fiascos of our Time Nos 95 and 96

I am delighted to say that, as hoped, Iain Dale has revised and reposted his piece with the above title (except it was 'No 94') about the mayhem in the Tory Bournemouth conference queues.

It turns out that it was the Deputy American Ambassador who had to wait for security clearance, not the actual ambassador per se.

I am delighted that I did not join (phew!) the conspiracy theorists suggesting that Mr Dale had been "gagged". Perish the thought.

I repeat, with all sincerity, that Iain's 'Accreditation' piece brilliantly answers the question: "What is Iain Dale for?"

The Great Blogmesiter has now put the cherry on the cake by giving us another delight on the same theme entitled: "A message from the queue", which includes these gems from a rain-sodden queuer:

The security vetting has stretched to day three. Over 2,000 people have had the conference ruined by a security procedure that amounts to little more than window dressing...Furthermore, the ticket office is chaos. Nobody knows what is going on. Nobody has any information and people are waiting 3 hours to be told "sorry you application is still being cleared."...Names who were not cleared in time included: The Deputy American Ambassador (probably one of the most security cleared men on the planet), Bangladeshi High Commissioner, Michael Dobbs, Lord King, Andrew Lansley, Sir Malcolm Rifkind, Andrew Gilligan, Huw Edwards BBC News, Martha Kearney, Clare Kerr (Ancram's daughter), Robin Lustig.

I merely pass this all on in the interests of open communication. I wouldn't even dream of gloating. Perish the thought. There but for the grace of God.....


  1. At least our conference is considered important enough to merit security...

  2. Hang on a minute, dearest Iain. You entered the Brighton Conference Centre by the rear entrance didn't you? I know that you certainly did so on Tuesday because I was on the door all day and you didn't go past me (unless it was during my break - which is doubtful as it was late in the morning). So presumably you didn't notice the team of a dozen personal protection officers who were meticulously searching every single bag which was brought into the centre. There was additionally a team of ten volunteer LibDem member stewards who were checking badges and mobile phones.

    Of course, security was not at the same level as the Conservative conference but then again, the budget for the LibDem conference is much smaller than the budget for the Conservative conference.

    I would also add that a record number of delegates attended the LibDem conference and yet on the busiest morning, Thursday, there was never a queue longer than ten people to enter the centre.

    Also, the registration centre in the Metropole had no queues whatsoever - which was a first.

    So I admire you revealing the intricate machinations of the Conservative conference, but surely the art of organisation is a matter of fitting the arrangements to the task in hand? By that token, the LibDem conference was an administrative triumph.