John Major loses his voice in Partners in Crime horror
‘Partnerships for Change’ was a government-sponsored conference in Manchester from the 20th-22nd of September, as a follow up to the ‘Earth (Rapists’) Summit’, last year. It was yet another attempt to portray the crisis as something that can be fixed with high levels of technology, economic growth and increasingly centralised power structures. Not surprisingly grassroots groups were not invited.
As well as a vibrant alternative fringe of meetings, debates and demos, the conference was well and truly sabbed. A women-only group forced John Gummer off his ceremonial tram ride while two activists infiltrated the conference and caused a good deal of havoc. Things continued to spice up: NatWest’s international banking office was closed down and occupied for 24 hours - imagine the amount of money that cost NatWest. Finally the organic cherry on the carob gateaux came when it was time for Major’s recorded video message to be played to the conference (the poor host was abroad on a trade mission!). The video had disappeared! A red-faced government PR officer later admitted to the Financial Times that it had been stolen, ‘and that we suspect Earth First! has something to do with it’. Nod, nod, wink, wink - say no more!