Conference Review


This year I attended conference as a Trade Union Delegate on behalf of UNISON. Conference this year was upbeat and inspiring and gave a real feeling that the party was moving forward, ready to govern again and with a leader who is growing into the role of prime minister in waiting.

There was the usual array of speeches from delegates, staged “sofa chats” and shadow cabinet speeches alongside the leaders speech, q and a session and fringes. This year there was also a lecture from Michael Sandel professor at Harvard university, who actually got conference engaged in genuine debate, and a session dedicated to celebrating the Olympics, where so proud were we of the spectacle of London 2012 that Tory Lord Seb Coe got a standing ovation, surely a first at labour conference!

I spoke on the panel at a fringe event. The fringe was on the housing crisis and I gave a perspective from the unions. As a low paid worker it is almost impossible for me to get on the housing market so it was good to share my perspective with housing minister Jack Dromey. Big thanks to Housing voice and UNISON for inviting me

It was also great to give my second speech in two years on the conference floor, this time on the importance of a living wage. This is something I hope all
Labour run Council’s introduce in the near future and to all those Labour Council’s in Nottinghamshire – I’ll be coming to have a word!

I met several great people this conference and we come away as friends, comrades and ready to take on this government.

So the high points-
– Ed Miliband using the word comrade
– Singing the red flag
– speaking at conference again
– catching up with old friends and meeting new friends
– being confused with the leader of Camden council (don’t ask!)
– not catching conference cold (yet!)
– a commitment to sort out working class representation in parliament

And the low points
– no rethink on public sector pay
– Late nights and early mornings
– smaller secure zone

So as you can see the high points far exceed the low points.

I think we stand a good chance in 2015 and the work starts now.

Let’s go do this!



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