Yesterday (Saturday) I trekked up to Manchester for the annual Labour Party Conference. This will be my third conference and the second in Manchester. I call the Saturday Day 0, because officially the conference doesn’t open until 10am Sunday morning, but there are the regional receptions to go to on the Saturday night, which act as a good “warm up” to the week ahead. We had some food and drink and a range of speeches. So it is now very much time to settle in and enjoy catching up with friends, some robust debate, and seeing what we as a Labour Party are going to do in the run up to the General Election.
This year in Manchester is very different from my first conference in 2010. Then I turned up, and didn’t really know anyone and spent quite a lot of time simply listening and soaking up the atmosphere. This year is already very different to that, having been catching up with friends and meeting new people already. At the South West reception things got rather heated, but that was mainly down tot he room size and having so many people in it. The first Speech was Ed Miliband, who did a good job of welcoming us all and highlighting the task ahead. We then had speeches from Harriet Harman, Ed Balls, Dawn Primarolo, to name a few.
After the reception, a few of us went and explored China Town and I had great plans of going on to the LGBT disco, but I guess I started to show my age (and the effect of 3 young children) when I had to take the decision to crash in my hotel room. No doubt I’m inline for much mocking this morning, but I think I made the right decision as I have been up and about this morning, and now just getting ready for Day 1.