It is fashionable to be disparaging about market forces. All too often this attitude is justified as, unfettered, these forces produce outcomes that are less than optimum – or worse. But reason demands we allow that every once in a while market forces are actually an effective way of resolving complex issues of supply and demand.
The SNP Conference offers organisations unique access to nearly 4,000 political leaders and activists, The people who shape party policy and, thereby, government policy. The people who are among the most active in politics at every level from grass-roots to cabinet. People who are knowledgeable and influential. There’s massive competition for places. This has to be managed.
The likes of Common Weal are making a fuss about the cost of this access. The question they fail to ask while whining about these charges is, how else might the SNP go about the task of rationing such a valuable commodity? The party managers have a duty to maximise the return to members – who actually own the commodity being haggled over. They have no duty to subsidise other organisations. And doing so would involve subjective judgements that would inevitably provoke even more graceless complaining from those who considered themselves unjustly denied the patronage of the SNP.
If we could all just stop the knees jerking for a moment and look at what the result of the new pricing arrangements has been. Has it not worked out for the best all round? It has made this new venue possible, opening up affordable space for even more organisations, while allowing the SNP to cover the costs of mounting the biggest political event in Scotland – and maybe even replenish the war-chest it will need in order to fight next year’s crucial council elections and the coming referendum campaign.
Sometimes market forces actually work to everybody’s benefit. This may be one of those occasions. It would be gratifying if people could see it as a happy outcome rather than just another excuse for petty, pointless and exceedingly tiresome sniping at the SNP.Views: 1938
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