Party Conference season is upon us again, and, with it, a new set of fine promises and rhetorical flourishes, as each party’s top dogs take the podium. But what happens to those pledges, vows and forecasts once the banners are taken down and the party faithful turn for home?
Cast your mind back to November 2013, and you may recall that there was bit of a fuss about the fact that the Conservative party had removed old speeches from their website.
Not just that, but they’d also effectively erased them from the places where you can commonly find retired internet content… unless you really know where to look.
Was it a sinister rewriting of history, or a simple spring clean of elderly content? Well, that depends who you believe – but here at mySociety, we do think that you should be able to hold political parties to account for promises they made in the past.
Not only that, but we happen to have a splendid tool for publishing the spoken word: SayIt.
So we thought we’d track down that missing content and put it online for anyone to search and browse. And because we are a wholly non-partisan organisation, we did the same for Labour.
Note: we’re not intending to update these collections regularly – it’s a one-off initiative, designed to fill a gap in the public archive. And within the confines of this project, we’ve only published Labour and Conservative speeches.
On the other hand, if you’re interested in setting up similar sites for the other parties, or even taking over these ones, SayIt is very simple for anyone to use: just get in touch.Image by Klaus Riesner (CC)