Washminster

Washminster
Washminster

Thursday, 30 September 2010

Conference winds down (and so do I)

The Leader’s speech has been delivered; a number of visitors have left Manchester; and there is a much thinner fringe programme. Apart from the speculation about David Miliband’s future, there has been a less fevered atmosphere than previously. Yet while it has been more relaxed, I’ve probably done more. With the pressure off to rush from event to event, more time has been available to chat with friends – and to talk about the future. So while the anticipated announcement about DM came – he will be stepping back from the frontline of British politics – at least for a while – I have been exploring a return to a more active role.
By the end of the day I had consumed more coffee than was probably good for me – but had enjoyed some good company and progressed with planning activities for future months. I also was able to pop into the conference hall to hear an impressive speech by Ed Balls. The hall outside also had many TV screens so it was possible to watch some of the floor debate – I particularly enjoyed a short speech by Stephen Pound – a serious looking man – who uses humour to devastating effect. In the afternoon session Eddie Izzard and Ed Miliband did a double act, while new members spoke of the reasons why they had come to Labour.

In the evening I went for a random walk around the great city of Manchester. It really is worth a visit. There is a vibrant shopping area – and a wide range of restaurants. Some of its magnificent Victorian buildings remain – and they are worth seeing. I passed a number of restaurants – but didn’t go in. Then on a whim I decided to eat at a Chinese buffet close to the Chinese Arch. It was a good choice – as a couple of friends from Milton Keynes were sitting in there (I’d love to know the probability of such a chance meeting!)

Packing also had to be done – as conference finishes this lunchtime. I shall be heading out soon to upload this post; read some news and have a couple of coffees. By this afternoon I should be home. First task – to book accommodation for next year’s conference in Liverpool. Then, to catch up on all the reading - I'm bringing home some excellent food for the mind!

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