When I arrived for the Conservative Party Conference last Saturday I was expecting a hostile and turbulent few days in Birmingham. With the Tories suffering in polls and calls for a change in direction in the party I was anticipating many arguments and confrontations as discussions on the government took place. Instead I was shocked to find little opposition over the entire conference; I could even go so far as to say atmosphere in Birmingham was positive despite all the headlines and controversies surrounding the current coalition. As I walked around I was astounded by the happiness on everyone’s faces, was I only person arriving in Birmingham pessimistic?
Throughout the conference there was little or no discussion on what was happening at the conference itself. Most people were unanimous in saying that Cameron or any other politician there had given a great speech. Instead everyone was more pre-occupied with what television was not broadcasting, the fringe events. Before going to the conference I had no idea that I would be having casual conversations with MPs as though it was normal. In fact, if somebody told me that I would be standing around laughing and joking with Eric Pickles about our favourite hobbies or listening to Iain Duncan Smith tell jokes I would have laughed.
By the end of the conference I found myself also rather upbeat and cheery. I went to Birmingham with low expectations and left with many random stories I am sure I will never forget, but more importantly for me I found new confidence in politics. Like many people I am struggling to decide what I want to do in life and how I can make a positive impact on the future for others, more personally to me however I was also uncertain if the party I vote for really had my interests at heart. Immediately after leaving I understood that this is the beauty of a party conference; the ability to restore hope in their party faithful. Although I never attended the Labour Conference or the Lib Dem Conference I am certain that these two events had the exact same effect. With public opinion on the leaders of the three main parties at an all-time low, as many view the leaders as not in touch with reality, it is comforting to speak to MPs who can entice you with stories of their lives and the show you that actually majority of politicians are no different to us. They two like to have a laugh or even like sitting in front of a television watching soaps with a takeaway.