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Sunday, September 23, 2007

On Holiday

24 hours in Bournemouth already - time flies when you are having fun. As I couldn't get my conference security pass sorted out until late this afternoon I spent the weekend doing what comes natural in Bournemouth. Augustus and I walked some of the seven miles of golden sand (well, some of the cleaner bits, and I did have to carry him for a large part of the way). We visited one of the piers, checked out Boscombe Gardens and have a lovely cup of tea with some other disappointed delegates at the Old Station Tea House.
Bournemouth - a great place for a lovely cup of tea
I missed the Chelsea/Man U game as I was enjoying delicious haddock and chips at the Westbeach on the sea front, which calls itself Britain's best seafood restaurant and deserves the hype. Eventually I got through security in the underground car park at the Bournemouth International Conference Centre and got into the hall, where I bumped into my old bed-mate "Thicko" Watson just in time to hear his post-debate briefing for bloggers (an excellent innovation). According to Thicko we are finally moving towards the style of deliberative policy making favoured by the highly successful Nordic social democratic and labour parties - and both decentralising power to members at the start of the process and giving them the final say in an OMOV ballot at the end. It's going to require a big input of resources by the Party into policy making but hopefully we'll see quality policies as a result.

At least that's what Thicko told us all. It didn't exactly square with Tom Brown's comments in The Scotsman that the conference is now only fit for sycophants. What's a sycophant, anyway? I don't have a dictionary with me, but I'll ask a cabinet minister or someone else really senior in the Party as I'm sure they'll all be able to give me a correct explanation as they always get everything right.

I hear that the debate on party reform was low key, as we'd f****d the four main unions well before conference so they were like a bunch of poodles. The only significant opposition speeches were from loony leftie multi-millionaire Michael Meacher and Tower Hamlets' veteran hard left Belle Harris who virtually no-one has ever heard of. Hardly a winning oratorical combo. But then it wouldn't be, would it? We've kicked half of the lefties out of the Party and most of the rest have left the Party in disgust. Slashing the membership to less than half what it was when New Labour took over certainly did the trick.

My National Policy Forum election looks like it is going down to the wire, with 7 of the 10 London candidates having some chance of getting elected. Voting closes noon tomorrow. I'm gagging to make my usual rude comments about the other candidates, but they've threatened excommunication and castration if I do. I'd still love to find out who it was who told Adele Reynolds on the spoof Luke Akehurst blogsite: "If you vote for Luke I'll go down on you." It just doesn't bear thinking about.

1 comment:

Samantha Grobelaar-Smythe said...

Did you try the scones? I think they are some of the best to be found on the south coast. And far more pleasant than having to listen to that nasal Scotsman droning on and on about scrubbing hospital floors and organising thousands of customer focus groups.