It’s that time of year when the UK political parties begin revving up for their annual conferences. If you listen to the news you’ll already be hearing rumblings about what plans and policy ideas are being mooted by the parties.
This year there’s bound to be a focus on the Conservative and Liberal Democrat conferences in particular. A coalition government is a tricky thing to keep balanced and the speeches and ideas which surface at each will set the tone for the next year in the House of Commons and the future of the coalition.
What’s being said at grassroots fringe meetings?
Party conferences are where the real grassroots feelings come to the fore regardless of the direction in which the party leaders wish to drive the agenda. All the speeches on the main stages and at fringe events are closely monitored and reported in the media.
How can the parties stop misreporting and rumour from circulating, particularly from fringe events where the most controversial stories usually come from?
Sure, they can have a video made or make an audio recording, but the only way to get a full view of what was said and by who is to have a written record; why do you think Hansard has transcribed every word in parliament since 1829? A transcript of the speeches, including questions and heckles, maybe combined with a video, will ensure that an accurate record is preserved for posterity and reference.
Why transcribe when all the speeches will be pre-written?
Most politicians have speech writers these days but that doesn’t mean they stick to the script. Leaving any off the cuff remarks to be quoted by a journalist could be a disaster, so having a professional transcriber is vital.
The dates of the 2012 UK party political conferences are as follows: