|Me at the #MKconf|
First and foremost I really enjoyed the day and I think it was a great event. This is only my third party conference and I definitely think it was the best yet. I much preferred the venue and the main chamber of Lys Kernow it obviously has a lot more significance especially looking forward to next years Cornwall Council (and town and parish council) elections. This is an exciting time for the party, feelings are running high and there is a real sense of positivism for a number of good reasons. But there are also a number of great challenges and a lot of hard work facing the party, in next years Cornwall Council and town and parish elections, the European elections the year after and the general election the year after that.
There is lots of coverage by party members of the conference speeches etc rather than post loads of links it's probably easier to have a browse on the Mebyon Kernow facebook page. I did suffice to say enjoy all of the speeches and it is easy to see why all of the MK spokespeople that day have been elected, they speak with confidence, passion and I found them all insightful and inspiring. That's exactly what the party needed to be inspired and as a party we need to be inspirational.
The challenges facing the party in next years elections are great but also so are the opportunities. I think there is a good reason that there is a growing confidence in the party, we have a bigger profile than we've ever had, we've got more councillors than we've ever had. But to really make a difference in Cornish politics to really get our policies on the agenda we need to do better than we have done before. Of all the speeches I think Loveday's spoke to me most, as she explained there is a growing awareness of Cornish identity, people are thinking about it and talking about it more but a she rightly pointed out those conversations need to be had in the corridors of power not just in the pubs and living rooms of Kernow. In short it needs to be Mebyon Kernow's duty to reach out to these people, to get people that want change involved in politics.
It's not just a growing sense of Cornish identity and a growing pride in Cornwall that this applies to, its fundamentally policy too. I find myself time and time again talking to people and finding myself agreeing with them about the state of the housing market about the scandal of second homes, about the state of the economy and employment in Cornwall, about the need to move up country to find decent work and a whole host of other things. There are a lot of people that feel disillusioned with politics and aspects of society in Cornwall and I feel the same, like many others I grew up without a bright future the industry of our forebears gone (the factories my grandparents worked in have either been skat down and are now houses or lie derelict, my fathers fishing boat sold on) I felt that sense of despair the grim thought that the future held minimum wage jobs and dingy bedsits.
We need to show to people that we offer a solution to this problem, we need to engage with young people like I was, in fact -not so young- people like I am. To show that people like me joined Mebyon Kernow and got involved in politics because they want change, because they want a better Cornwall. We need as a party to demonstrate that we alone present a challenge to the status quo, that we have fresh ideas to inject into the stale policies we've seen over successive council administrations in Cornwall. The other great challenge is of course voter apathy, lots of people that feel the way we do have disengaged with politics, they don't see the point in voting. This is the great challenge for parties like MK that believe in democracy. If we can demonstrate to the electorate that we offer something different that its not the same old Westminster consensus of centralisation and neo liberal economics, then perhaps we can turn around MK's fortunes.