September 22, 2006


Monday I'm off to conference- what can we all look forward on the train to Manchester?

Well firstly one has to say that the terf warfare in recent weeks has somewhat died down (even with Charles Clarke's "after lunch" outburst). Certainly there will be a few rogues on the left still looking for a fight, but the messages coming out from the top is to stay stum.

Moreover one has to wonder if a little of the old New Labour (apologies...) magic is not still at work when one reads the dire predictions circulating in the media. When I spoke to a senior journalist from a left looking quality sunday recently she was of the opinion that conference was bound to a be disappointment, in the sense that it would lack the necessary intrigue to fill column inches, because of the extent to which it had been built up.

It reminded me of the days when Campbell & all, ahead of any potential bad news days, would brief any journalist who would listen that the news was worst then anyone could possibly expect("Could it be the worst week in New Labour's history?" the headlines would read... ) When the bad news finally broke all those "in the know" would tell us that the news had not had been as bad as expected.

My guess? Both Blair's and Brown's speech will be barnstorming but both will be over analysed. Watch out too for Alan Johnson's, who if he is serious about challenging Brown for the leadership will be looking to make a real impression on delegates.