Green paper tigers

Here in the UK the autumn party political conference season is underway, with the party of government, Labour, due to commence its proceedings on Sunday (23 September) and the environment being high on the agenda of all.

This year, Labour media passes have uncharacteristically arrived for all but one of our party and, instead of the usual plastic credit card format, they are made of sticky-back cardboard which folds in two to create a slightly flimsy card with holes punched in it so you can attach it to a lanyard (supplied, but not made of organic woven FairTrade cotton).

According to the accompanying blurb: “The lightweight credentials are environmentally friendly, cost effective and received very positive feedback at the recent Leadership Conference.”

All well and good, but what of the conference fringe guide, which is the compulsory bible of anyone interested in finding the real debates at these largely staged and contrived events? The Conservative and Liberal Democrat parties have made these available in downloadable PDF format on their respective web sites well ahead of their own events.

Not so Labour. Their fringe guides, typically around 140 pages of glossy A4 paper, are not made available to the press in any other format than printed, and then only on the day of their arrival. Exhibitors, fringe event hosts and delegates all receive their hefty fringe guides by post.

So well done to Labour for managing to be unfriendly to both the press and the environment at the same.

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