Wednesday, 30 September 2009

Postcards from Brighton

A few snapshots from Labour Party Conference in Brighton. Walking down from the train station the Oxfam shop manager was prescient with this sign outside their shop. Peter Mandelson was like a box to box midfielder, here, there and everywhere. Breaking up things and scoring goals like a Frank Lampard. Cliche of the week were the many people who decided that they had finally decided to love Peter Mandelson. The star of Conference, with Ed Miliband the other person who had a very good Conference.
Brighton is always the most expensive place to attend a Conference. £3.50 for a so so (I'm told) cup of coffee in a paper cup was the worst example of overpricing I saw.
There are always protesters, impassioned, quirky and bizarre. My favourite was this man who went to fringe meetings and held up this sign quietly, turning it this way and that saying...
"Abraham Lincoln said: 'The greatest fine art of the future will be the making of a comfortaable living from a small piece of land.' Domicile Allotments - The Simple Solution to Climate Change."
We need to do more than just have more allotments but I am all in favour of more people growing their own fruit and vegetables.
I was sat next to the press section for Gordon Brown's speech. I watched how they observed Gordon Brown speaking. As soon as he started Ann Treneman of the Times rolled her eyes and clearly was deeply unimpressed. A closed mind from the start. Sat between Simon Carr of the Independent and Quentin Letts of the Daily Mail she was part of a little glee club whispering asides, nudging each other and sharing in jokes.
They behaved like the naughty children at the back of class who have attention deficit disorder and struggle to concentrate. By contrast many of their peers paid full attention, notably Jeremy Paxman. I suggest next week/year the television stations have a camera or two observing how sloppily some members of the press go about their work.
This is the last Conference in Brighton for 5 years I was told by a local. The Brighton Centre owned by the Council is to be redeveloped. Apparently the Conservative run Council is struggling to do this. The Council puts forward plans to Planning Committee only for the Planning Committee of the Council to reject the plans.....submitted by the Council. talk about the left hand not knowing what the right hand is doing!
Local people are very concerned because conferences bring in a lot of money. The Council appear to be factoring in the loss of revenue as the Brighton Centre has become the Brighton Cent.

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