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I tried to sneak into the Conservative Party conference

Nimrod Kamer’s survival guide to any political event.


Nimrod Kamer


Posted on Oct 6, 2014   Updated on May 30, 2021, 11:27 am CDT

Every year, British political parties fence off vast areas in random city centers and hold conferences—charging hundreds of pounds for last-minute entries, chilling with lobbyists, visiting think tanks surrounded by leaflets. Pretty boring.

I went along to see what all the fuss is about.

Without a press pass, I was rejected by security. Here’s how much it costs to get in for media. 

Here’s how much journalists need to pay #CPC14 to get in last min

— Nimrod Kamer (@nnimrodd) September 30, 2014

That’s around $1,300. Even charity workers can’t catch a break. They were charged almost $1,000:

Here’s how much a charity observer needs to pay #CPC14 to get in last min

— Nimrod Kamer (@nnimrodd) September 30, 2014

Party members also pay just as much.

Rupert Myers published a guide to surviving these conferences on GQ—but what good is a free bar if you can’t even get to it?

“Head to the bar and stay there” @RupertMyers on how to survive a political conference

— British GQ (@BritishGQ) September 30, 2014

Some say a ticket is cheap if you apply months in advance—but that defeats the entire purpose of a conference. The whole point should be allowing locals and bystanders who are curious to know what’s going on inside the opportunity to get involved. Otherwise why even bother doing conferences in city centers and not in the woods? 

Applying early means you’re a loser. No one wants to plan ahead to go to these events. Most of the people I met in conferences were wealthy lobbyists or think-tank aficionados. If you’re smart, you’ll never stay for more than two hours and never check the schedule in advance. 

I’ll leave you guys with what I told Myers—my top tip for surviving any political conference: Your mood when heading to a party conference should be “Please, I wish they won’t let me in this time.” 

Screengrab via RT/YouTube

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*First Published: Oct 6, 2014, 5:53 am CDT