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National Delegate Conference 17-20 June 2008

Rulezzzzzz - No way!

John Stevenson
John Stevenson raises a laugh

by Kate Ramsden

Well, no one could accuse Thursday's rules debate of being boring. It's fast becoming one of the liveliest parts of conference, and this year was no exception.

Two card votes (click here for rule change on qualification period for members), a range of entertaining debates and even some humour, courtesy of our own John Stevenson.

He had conference laughing out loud as he spoke against a rule change which would allow delegates one minute to call for a card vote.

"I undertook some scientific experiments this week to see what you can do in a minute," he said. Conference was ahead of him on that one and, from the laughter, read a tad more into it that John actually said.

When things died down, he added, "You can walk from the conference centre up the cruelly steep Priory Road as far as the Trouville Hotel - You can walk it in a minute, you just can't breathe when you get there!"

When he followed up with "In a minute I can walk from this rostrum, have a brief chat with Rose Jackson at the back of the hall, get to the toilet, have a bog-standard pee and get half the way back", Conference let out its biggest chuckle of the week.

He warned that the rule change would cause unnecessary delays. "We'd have to sit and wait. As I have scientifically proved, you couldn't even go to the toilet, because you would only get halfway back before the minute was up".

On a serious note, he described the rule change as a recipe for chaos, delay and disruption. Conference agreed with him and rejected.