I simply cannot believe that there can be as much confusion as last year surrounding Tory conference passes, but my faith is misplaced, it seems. This year, for the first time, you can apply online for your pass, but even though you send it in online, it seems you also have to print it out and send it in because the Police require signatures. This is not really made very clear on the site, and early online applicants are being phoned by the organisers and asked to send in a form, which they didn't realise they had to do. I know three people this has happened to, including one MP. It could be avoided purely by having an introductory page explaining the process in detail.
The new conference company, Fingerprint Events, also require new pictures because their predecessors, CCO Conferences, refused to hand over the picture database, no doubt citing some spurious data protection reason.
I have just applied for a pass, so we'll see what happens now. I'll keep you posted.
PS If you are a Conservative Party member and wish to attend the conference click HERE to go through the process.
Applied ages ago and received confirmation that my application had been received - (though my wife's went missing in the post!)
Much better than when I used to have to organise passes through CCOCL - when I always had to send them special delievry as they always seemed to go astray.
If I remember correctly you do get emailed to remind you to print your pass off.
All that just to see Bungo the Bear address his Rainbow Alliance?
I think I'll pass.
It was bad enough having to go to Blackpool but reading this has made my mind up. I will give it a miss and leave it up to others to endure the teething troubles.
Chaos..nevermind Chaos; how about the good council tax payers of Birmingham who have had 2 million squid of THEIR money paid in subsidy to the Tory party to pay for their 2008 conferance in the city. Birmingham is a NOC council with a slight tory majority of council wards. Tory councillors agreed to GIVE Cameron £2m if the confernce came to the city..DISGRACE
How can we be expected to believe the CP will be an efficient and effective Gov't if they can't organise their own party conference?
It would appear my view of them increasingly as incompetent is being justified by events.
..but once they know it is YOU..
Well if you can't get in,do come to the annual party conference of the Save Bedford Hospital party on 2nd October
I might go I will be living close by . For some reaons Mrs. Newmania isn`t all that keen ..? Bewildering ?!
And there was I thinking that the Conservative Party was agin ID cards.
Everything about the Party appears to be in chaos, so why should conferences passes be any different.
Just about sums up the party cant even organise its own conference.
There needs to be some serious shake ups. what a mess.
Ouch, well Iain thanks for the warning. No way I am gonna bother with it this year either. I got better things to do with that load of hassle.
And you want to run the country ?
I agree the need to sign the form could be made clearer at the begining, but it is pretty obvious from the last page which asks you to print, sign and post the page with a photograph.
Having been one of the worst affected at last year's party conference I used the online system for the Spring Forum with a sense of fear and trepidation but it worked very well and the email communication throughout to let you know what was going on was great.
If it works as well on the larger scale of conference it should be a success.
Have faith Iain!
Speaking of hassle, the logistics of putting on UK party conferences MUST be a nightmare for the organizers. And yez insist on having them annual.
Are the other parties any better (or worse) at organizing these jamborees? But of course ye Blue Mob likes to think that yer charaterized by ruthless efficiency . . . when like the Cheney Adminstration yer only ruthless!
Interesting about the sophisticated IDs. When I attended the 2004 Democratic National Convention in Boston (in a menial capacity) the credentials I was issued didn't have any photo ID. I just offered me humble services, got put on a list and was given a daily pass. Which gave me access to the floor & galleries, and most of the various back rooms.
Funniest thing that happened was the young woman, a media intern, who thought that I was TERRY McAULIFFE (former DNC chair) because his name was on all the credentials!
Incidentally, inside the convention the celebrity watching was impressive: saw at close quarters Bill Clinton, Jimmy Carter, Ted Kennedy, Willie Nelson and that awful woman from the first seaon of The Apprentice (US version). Also bandied a few words with Katie Couric (now NBC Nightly News anchor) and shook the hand of John Lewis, the GA Congressman and civil rights movement hero (he was one of the marchers brutally attacked and beaten by Alabama state troopers at the Pettis Bridge during the 1st March on Selma).
Whole experience had its ups (Barack Obama's amazing speech) and downs (18-hr days in sweltering heat) but wouldn't have missed it fer the world.
SO if you have a chance to go to this years Tory clambake AND that's really yer cup o tay THEN perhaps yez really shouldn't sweat the small stuff.
Erk...yeah, need to hand mine now, cut-off point is today, n'est pas?
Really don't fancy waiting outside for 48 hours a la Bournemouth '06...
Yes, they emailed me to say I didn't sign the form, the one they emailed in the first instance without the signature line at the bottom. They emailed me a link to a different form which does have the signature line at the bottom. This email was marked "reminder" but I never received the first one with the link in it.
However, I have now received confirmation email that they have everything to hopefully OK now.
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