Liverpool Labour Party Conference 2011 Day 1
A Hard Day's Night
I was still ill this time last year to go to the Party Conference and so missed
Ed's coronation which was a pity as I had supported him. In 2007, I had voted
for Harriet Harman as deputy leader and she just crept in at the last. I had
wanted a woman to be our deputy and was glad to see the Party is to enshrine
this in our regulations. I had been ever present since 1994 when Paul , now the
MP for Newcastle under Lyme, joined me in Blackpool to hear Blair's speech to
ditch Clause 4.
So, on Sunday, I caught the 0915 train from Euston to Liverpool Lime Street.
It's amazing who you meet on a train - Mike Foster, my former researcher, who
was just back from an 11 day visit to China; Margaret Hodge MP who had been
across the airwaves this week with her committee's report on the £500m failed
fire brigade centres (made worse when Prescott then responded on the Today
Programme blaming civil servants - well we had 13 years to reform them...) and
Simon Hoggart of The Guardian.
We arrived just after 1.30pm and I walked down to The Adelphi - once
Cunard's stellar hotel now a faded and fading star- to check in. I had a quick
lunch - a snip at £6 - and then walked the mile or so to the Albert Dock to the
new-ish conference centre. There's really not much to go to on the first day as
every one is usually travelling and like Edinburgh only the Fringe is worth
anyone's attention except the Shadow Chancellor's speech on Monday and the party
leader's on Tuesday.
I did though go to an IPPR fringe panel on Growth in the Economy which was
packed. Vicky Price currently in the news for her impending divorce from Chris
Huhne MP was excellent value as was our own John Denham. I asked about whether
we would be brave enough to allow private post graduate universities to flourish
as India has done?I bumped into Ed Miliband and we had a natter and that
essentially is what conference is for.....bumping into people.......
Then inevitably I went to the bar to find Paul Farrelly and we then went out for
supper. At a little after 2.30am I was tucked up in bed. I never seem to learn
that at Conference you need to pace yourself.