Well, it's SNP Conference this week and I'll be packing up my over-sized suitcase as usual and heading along.
There are 3 debates on the agenda that I am particularly interested in contributing to - those on asylum seekers, alcohol abuse and deprivation. I will update next week on whether or not I was selected to speak in the debates and regarding the outcome.
The resolution on alcohol abuse will no doubt generate an interesting exchange of views due to the YSI's amendment on the Government's proposal to raise the age at which you can buy alcohol in off-sales to 21.
Contrary to press reporting on this issue, the YSI have not 'hijacked' this debate at Conference. For every National Conference and National Council, all SNP branches, constituency associations, elected members and affiliated organisations like the YSI can submit resolutions for debate. Earlier this year, one branch submitted a resolution about the Scottish Government's consultation on alcohol and this was published as part of the Conference agenda. At this point, the aforementioned bodies and individuals can submit suggested amendments to these resolutions, which the YSI duly did. This was accepted by the committee responsible for putting together the agenda, which is facilitating the debate in question.
To suggest that the YSI have somehow set out to hijack this debate at Conference does them and the SNP a disservice. The YSI have enaged in the formal policy-making processes of the party, with a very measured amendment. And the SNP has accepted this amendment, because the party is relaxed about internal democratic debate.
I am looking forward to hearing all of the various views put forward, and I hope to add my own.