Sunday, 22 September 2013

Sunday Afternoon

I'm now seated in the conference hall, listening to Liam Byrne talking about disabilies.  He is getting a good response from the the hall, which is close to full. Delegates - who have the right to speak and vote, are in the first twelve rows. I have a balcony ticket so am in the tiered seating area. It has lready been a busy day. I posted this morning from the Hilton Metropole. Those of us working or reading in the Bar (coffee only), watched Ed Miliband on the Andrew Marr Show. On our way to the Metropole, we had passed the seafront structure where Marr was broadcasting from.

I had to pick some stuff up from the city centre then made my way to the Europe Rally at the Odeon cinema. I filmed a number of the contributions and hope to share them with you when I return to Milton Keynes. We heard about the work of the European Parliament, and the importance of the Euro-Elections in May 2014.

I've met a lot of long-standing friends in the last few hours - a number of people are regular attenders at conference - and met many first time delegates. As I play no official role, I have freedom to do what I want - but delegates face a punishing schedule. They are here on behalf of their constituency Labour Party or their Trade Union. Generally they are expected to give a report upon their return. They have to vote on a number of matters during the work, and may have been mandated to vote a particular way on specific issues - by those they are representing.

As I have been writing, the subject matter has moved on. The Welsh Report is being given. Conference will adjourn at about 5pm, and I will be off to a series of  "Fringe Events". Some will involve speeches & debate, whilst other will be more of a social nature.

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