Yesterday the Labour Party invited representatives of Small and Medium size Enterprises to a consultation on future of party policy. The event was held at Birmingham University’s Business School and proved enlightening if not actively useful.
The day launched the first draft of a report by Venture Capitalist Nigel Doughty, who amongst a huge range of interests happens to own Nottingham Forest. Ed Miliband was due to be there but stayed in London in order to try and hit David Cameron with a big stick. Instead the star of the show was Shadow Secretary of State for Business Chuka Umunna MP who was impressively clear and humane. In the photo above you see him displaying ‘demonstrably listening to other panelist’ body language.
Shadow Minister for Small Business Toby Perkins MP is demonstrating he needs a refresher on that technique both in this photo (far right (not politically)) and in the subsequent focus groups in which he undermined the ‘we are listening message by speaking for longer than those he was supposed to be listening too.
My 2p worth were points lamenting the passing of Creative Partnerships and pointing out the tension between exam focused achievement and learning for creativity, plus an endorsement of The British Council as a driver of exports for our field.
There was the a bit of buffet food and a chance to quiz the very amiable women from the Labour Party who work on the policy itself – they seem to have an exciting job. It was possible to feel the lure of that life, though of course I would make a terrible politician so there was no genuine envy involved.