Sunday, September 28, 2008

Labour's Conference

The Labour Conference has come and gone. Central Manchester looked like a police state for the duration: coppers everywhere, a little OTT perhaps. (Last Saturday there was a demo against the Iraq war. I saw a policeman - an officer by the look of it - on the steps of the BBC building with a telephoto lens, photographing demonstrators. Agree with the demonstrators or not, they are simply exercising their democratic rights. Is it entirely appropriate to treat them as potential criminals? I suspect that the intelligence services over the years have spent far too much time and resources spying on student Trots who are no danger to anyone except possibly themselves, while Combat 88 and Islamicist nutters of one kind or another slip under the net).

Anyway, Brown's speech went well, at least until her husband came on stage. Actually, Gordon's speech was well-recieved - the line about this being "no time for a novice" was a well-crafted blow at Miliband - and Labour seems to be enjoying a post-Conference bounce; but we will have to see the lie of the land after the party conference season is over. The most cringe-making moment must have been David Miliband's insincere, underwheming and oleaginous praise for Brown: "Gordon, it's not just about politics. You have transformed the debate about international development in Britain, and we should take inspiration from that!" Simon Hoggard commented: " I was reminded of a Chinese dissident at a show trial during the Cultural Revolution, dementedly praising Chairman Mao before being taken away to be shot". And "Gordon is alive"...for the moment.


Anonymous Miles said...

Brown's speech went well etc is a top joke!

12:40 pm  

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