England's political conventions have relied more on booze and debate than American-style showmanship, the Wall Street Journal reports. That has mean no flags, no banners, no stadium-sized crowd, and no rock & roll. Which is why some stalwarts got uppity when the Labor Party added a videoscreen and the prime minister's wife at the party's annual convention in Manchester this week.
"It's become a show," said one veteran who refused to go. "It used to be a good debate. We used to get together at 6 o'clock over a pint, but them days are gone." But it's still no competition for Obamamania. The Labor Party event, which featured Prime Minister Gordon Brown's biggest speech yet, drew a mere 15,000—far fewer than the 85,000 who stuffed the Pepsi Center to see Barack Obama at the Democratic convention.