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The Bell Tolls July 22, 2006

Posted by dylanjeffrey in Commentary, Reflections.

dylan_jeffrey.jpgWell it’s now late on Saturday (22:43 GMT) at the Department for Communities and Local Government and the only people left are the security personnel and the Emergency Planning Team sleeping somewhere close by – just in case!

The candles are still burning at the Conference Office at 21c as Susie puts the finishing touches to what looks like being two great events and the communications are still hot over the telephone lines between the Conference Office, the Department and our associates in the USA, Belgium and the UK even at this time of night. Tiredness has been and gone and like a good meal it is all about the preparation before one is allowed to enjoy the fruits following a toast to celebrate.

My flight to Budapest is tomorrow and the overall feeling is that things are almost there and it is really looking good. The banners have been produced, the bags have been organised, the programmes (40+ pages) have been printed, speakers have been informed, delegates have registered and the mass exodus from around the world is about to begin.

I was thinking about what would make a good theme tune for the event (in real terms, the only theme will e-participation and local democracy) – should it be something classical like Holst’s the Four Planets or maybe something from Elgar or Mahler, or maybe something poptastic like Celebrate from Kool and the Gang or Copa du Monde from Ricky Martin, maybe something instrumental like Albatross by Fleetwood Mac. However for me I would like it to be One Love by Bob Marley and the Wailers – a real feel good tune.

The only music you will hear in Budapest is the up (beat) words of the speakers and delegates as we get to grips with the issues. It promises to be exciting, interesting and stimulating and should provide some answers about the future direction of this work on an individual, local, regional, national, continental and global basis. The other music in Budapest will be at the gala reception on Thursday night when there will be music from an indigenous Hungarian gypsy band who will be accompanied by folk dancers.

I am looking forward to meeting many old hands and lots of new faces. Roll on Wednesday!

Dylan Jeffrey

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