Labour Party Conference 2009

October 2, 2009 at 2:30 pm / by

Here are the photos from Conference as promised. I also picked up a copy of the Camden New Journal on my way home. Has anyone else seen it? If not, there’s a double page spread on Conference where, to my delight, I feature twice.

You can view the articles here if you haven’t got your copy of the CNJ yet.

(Not my best photo as my sister put it ……Cheers hon. I love you too)

I had a chat to one of the CNJ reporters in Brighton where he asked me a series of rapid questions.

Firstly I was quizzed about my feelings regarding Conference. I told him that Conference this time seemed to have attracted more people my age than ever before. There was a real energy amongst my peer group as we felt that this is the time when our opinions really matter. Clearly some of the old practises in the Labour Party and in politics generally need to change and this is our chance to contribute to shaping the political landscape.

The Young Labour fringe I attended had delegates ranging from 18 to 27 who were brimming with enthusiasm and fired up even further after Mandy’s dazzling performance. We discussed issues ranging from modernising our voting system, to making politics less London-centric to our vision for a Parliament which truly reflects the makeup of society through the introduction of mentoring and shadowing schemes. We talked about the concept of assimilation which some people thought contradicted multiple identities.

I also felt encouraged by the sense of unity amongst the decision makers in the Party. Over the last few months, politicians’ breaking ranks at important times, the internal fighting and personal squabbles has damaged the hard work done at the grassroots level. What we really need is a well thought out plan of action over the next few months, supported by leaders and activists, and it feels like this was finally taking shape at Conference.

Additionally, Labour Party members and visitors engaged in some brilliant debates at the fringe meetings. One particularly interesting discussion was that of the BNP going on Question Time. Although there were several delegates against giving the BNP airtime, ultimately the BNP has been elected by the British public. The fact is that the BNP prey on vulnerable voters who have become disillusioned with mainstream politics by offering them seemingly simple solutions. I think the more exposure they get on programmes like Question Time, the more they will be shown as racists with no credibility. If anyone’s got something to hide, it’s the BNP. Their past, the criminal activities of their leadership, their racist policies all need to be examined in public.

The reporter also asked me about the issue of leadership in the Party and I said that Gordon Brown is the right man to lead us into the next election. He asked me the question again and I reinforced my statement that there’s no question of changing leaders now.

He then turned to issues in Camden locally and asked me about how I’d feel about forming a coalition with another political Party. I had to be honest and say that getting into bed with the Lib Dems would be highly undesirable. What can I say – I just won’t feel comfortable collaborating with a Party that petition against their own council!

(You can read more about this bizarre incident here)

Finally the reporter asked how I’d feel about being a councillor in opposition in Camden. To which I answered that there was no question of that because we were going to win the council back in May 2010 anyway!