So 2 days after #NetrootsUK, and a load of recriminations rumble on, mostly on Twitter. Sigh. Here’s a selection.
@Jessica_Asato I would like to have gone just as ordinary attendee but received no info so assumed was an invite only event
— Luke Akehurst (@lukeakehurst) January 8, 2011
@LukeBozier V. old excuse of sexism: "We'd promote women if only we knew who they were!" #netroots I thought you didnt want to fight abt it?
— Yonmei (@yonmei) January 10, 2011
Look folks, events can always be more representative, more diverse, more gender balanced. But look at #NetrootsUK and compare it to almost any Labour event I have ever been to, and it was not at all bad. Compare it to Labour Party Conference, a preserve of old, white men, and #NetrootsUK was reasonably gender balanced, reasonably ethnically diverse, and definitely younger than your average party political meeting.
Let’s also not forget that it was organised by the TUC in double quick time, with plenty of volunteers chipping in with suggestions and helping out, summed up by this from Nishma Doshi:
@MissEllieMae How was it elitist? I had a panel session and I'm hardly in the leftie "in-crowd" – whatever that is. @jonworth
— Nish D. (@acaciathorns) January 10, 2011
This was the first ever event of this nature in the UK, and it generated loads of good conversations, ideas, energy. It will have helped provide the skills and the networks to boost representation of all kinds of groups online. This is most definitely a glass half full, not a glass half empty. Or did I go to a different conference to everyone else?