Monday, September 29, 2008

Party Conferences

I didn't pick up much from the LibDems, though Vince Cable gave a great speech. I didn't rate Nick Clegg much though.

I was at the Labour Conference as delegate for LGBT Labour as an affiliated socialist society, mainly to move a rules debate to add gender identity to the rule book.

The mood of the Conference was best described as 'grisly'. I think that, with some remove, it did its job of stabilising the government (inspite of the bizarre story about Ruth Kelly leaving the government being 'released' at 3am after Gordon Brown's speech).

Brown is much safer in his job now. First because he gave a good and well received speech and also because David Miliband got photographed holding a banana. So things are much calmer - no doubt there'll be trouble ahead, but for now things are a bit more stable.

Not the least of my worries was to work out the procedural rules of moving a rule change. This was not as straightforward as one might think if you're not a Party Conference afficianado. Anyway the rule change was all but unanimously passed, making Labour the only one of the three main political parties to explicitly include gender identity.

In addition the National Policy Forum Report contained several important areas of commitment to LGBT equality (health, education, international issues) and commitment to progress the Equality Bill.

The Tories' Conference is now well underway. I cannot believe how insubstantial and shallow Conservative responses to the current dificutlies that is making Gordon Brown look competent and effective by comparison - though I am biased.

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