After an earlier Q&A; session I started off Tuesday, with another training session, this time on the theme of ‘beating the lib dems’. The main presenter of this was Tom Watson, now an MP, but formally at different times an organizer for the Party and head of the political office for at the time the AEEU. This again included the old favourite joke of Lib Dems and Tories on a cliff.
As always although the security was tight for the whole of conference, it was as always verging on the ridiculous for the leaders speech, no coats, no bags, were allowed in, despite everything been checked, and searched prior to you entering the secure conference site.
The Prime Ministers speech took place following an introduction from Ian McCartney, and was as had been reported in the papers a solid speech, setting out a strong agenda for the forthcoming term, but with no hint, of his impending retirement which despite been a strong source of comment prior to the conference, showed no hint of that been anytime soon.
In a continued trend from the last time I attended conference the Tuesday afternoon after the leader’s speech and with a much reduced attendance the sessions consisted mainly of the treasurer’s report and the various constitutional rule changes.
The majority of them were minor changes, such as allowing councillors to be able to attend conference as ex-officio delegates along with the creation of a disabled officer’s post.
The main controversy was over the change to the membership fee’s, which had a number of members speaking against, including some of the unions, that questioned the way in which it had been announced late, and that more consultation should have happened first. I like a number of delegates voted against this, believing that although the case and the reasons for the increase were strong there should have been more consultation with constituency’s and affiliates before it implementation.