Convention on Modern Liberty

Posted in politics by allovermcr on March 2, 2009

Convention on Modern Liberty logo

The Manchester Convention on Modern Liberty event on Saturday was a timely opportunity to discuss civil liberties issues in a relatively informal setting.

By and large it was a success – the odd technical hitch didn’t really hamper debate and there seemed to be something everyone could learn regardless of how much background knowledge they had. Breakout sessions were well received, with people genuinely torn over which to attend (a personal highlight was the session presented by Helen Wallace, director of Genewatch UK, who managed to touch on several important topics in a relatively short amount of time).

It was a shame, then, that the event wasn’t better attended. Attracting around 100 people (give or take) it was by no means empty, but considering it was taking place in a city the size of Manchester – one that has also historically been politically active – it could perhaps have hoped to attract a couple of hundred people. In particular there seemed to be few people under the age of 25 in attendance. The fact that it took place in Manchester Uni’s student union made this particularly surprising.

I’m not sure how attendance compared with other COML satellite events, but wondered whether with a bit more publicity and more signage on the day it mightn’t have attracted greater numbers.

At a time when apathy towards political parties is running high it was a real shame that even a non-party event such as this didn’t draw a larger crowd.