Common Wealth took off to Manchester for the 2015 Conservative conference. We had a brilliant morning making banners at Common Wealth HQ, and set off in the afternoon for an early start on Sunday. The atmosphere at the march was great, and there was a real sense of unity from everyone involved, from all different walks of life.
The scary part was how protected the conference was from the general public. Out elected government felt the need to hide away behind layers of steel, police guarding every possible entrance. That was a let down. How can we have a march – a demonstration of our anxiety towards the way the government is doing their job, if we can’t even confront them?
As it turned out, we had the chance to talk to some of the conference members as they entered the quarantine through the ‘walk of shame’. Not all of them we’re conservatives, so we asked each person as they entered. Talk to a Tory.
Not content with the situation, a couple of us decided to try and get into the conference, you know, to just have a look. We walked into a close-by cinema complex and sussed that there was an entrance to the back of the conference behind, so we shimmied through a few fire doors and got to the security gates (G4S working with the Police). And that’s when we entered the underground car park (two policy men decided not to stop us?).
We then realised where we were. Right underneath the conference, in the belly of the beast. Shit. We were spotted and told to get out of there. We passed a control room, shit again…it’s full of Police, but looking really hard-core, SWAT looking bizzies. We shouldn’t be here.