BEFORE IT`S TOO LATE..
There`s something desperately sad about political party conferences. The false `togetherness,` the stage managed everything, the coreographed applause, the standing ovations, the pathetic preaching to the converted and the self centred notion that the nation out there is either interested or cares about their ramblings. But the saddest thing at this week`s Labour Party Conference in Liverpool was the guest appearance by 16-year old Rory Weal.
Now on one level he is to be congratulated for having the courage to stand up and deliver his `speech` to a wide audience both in the conference hall and on television. On the other hand, there`s something vaguely worrying about Labour having to rely on a teenage schoolboy to bring much needed headlines and something vaguely sinister in them using this young man in such a way. I witnessed someone old before his time, someone who should have been somewhere else, doing something completely different.
Each of our three sons went to the same school as Rory still does - Oakwood Park Grammar School in Maidstone - but when they were there I`m convinced they were more concerned with things like football, cars, music, girls and all the usual stuff that adolescents are supposed to be in to. Not for a moment did any of them show the slightest interest in the kind of fol-de-rols that go on at party conferences and, as for standing up and having the pretension to address the nation, well, forget it.
And yet Rory has been feted, admired and given more publicity than he could ever have imagined; some of it good, some not so good. For it transpired that rather than being a downtrodden victim of modern day society, he has come from a privileged background, with a millionaire property developer father and a comfortable £300,000 family home in an affluent suburb of Maidstone. All was not as it seemed, it seems, but that should come as no surprise given the counterfeit nature of politicians, political parties and, most of all, their conferences.
Rory is clearly an accomplished actor. He had learnt his lines, he looked the part and his delivery was convincing and so maybe that is a path he should pursue rather than the preposterous world of politics. But surely, at 16 years of age, the one thing he should do more than any other is simply get a life. Before it`s too late.