Posts Tagged ‘Labour Friends of India’

Conference Notebook

01/10/2012, 01:19:30 PM

by Jon Ashworth

An eminent philosopher gave us an exhilarating, thought provoking and at times brain aching lecture on the floor of Conference yesterday. It was certainly a departure from the usual Sunday Conference afternoon though I concede the jury is still out on twitter as to whether it succeeded. But it was definitely popular in the hall. Just fancy, a party Conference discussing big ideas, whatever next?


For ten years I spent the Sunday evening of conference locked in soul destroying conference rooms in, often, soul destroying compositing meetings. Usually these gatherings would go on till the early hours of Monday morning but I’m told this year they were all done and dusted in a few hours, it was never like that in my day!


Freed from any need to be in an arid room trying to hammer out a political compromise,  I’m able to explore the Sunday night receptions. Deciding to give the rival Compass and Progress rallies a miss I head to Labour Friends of India where I’m joined by many friends and colleagues from Leicester. Brent MP Barry Gardner excels as the compere without compare and I get the chance to say a few words. Sadiq Khan joins us and tells an anecdote about a senior shadow cabinet member who addressed this gathering a few years ago with the opening line “it’s great to be here at Labour Friends of Israel…” Moments later a shadow cabinet member arrives to address us and makes the same mistake.


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