I’m very pleased to be at this year’s Labour Party conference in the beautiful city of Manchester. Conference isn’t just an opportunity to hear from the party’s leaders – though Ed Balls did a great job this morning highlighting the government’s failure to offer any credible plan to kickstart the economy, and Ed Miliband’s speech tomorrow promises to build on his vision for the country – but is also the place where grassroots Labour members, local councillors, and members of regional/national assemblies come together to share their ideas and experiences with another.
The Fringe events at this year’s conference highlight just how productive and useful are these intellectual and experiential exchanges. Today’s events, for example, include everything from exploring proposals for a ‘national care service’ to reviewing best practice for regeneration schemes which create good decent jobs. These are the sorts of discussions that need to be happening to develop good, solid ideas which serve as alternatives to the coalition’s uninspiring and ineffective policies.
As a London representative on the National Policy Forum, I am participating in as many of these fringe events as I can, so that I can bring these ideas to the NPF to contribute to our policy-making process. As always, if you have anything to add, please share your ideas with me by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org
If you were unable to make it to Manchester, you can follow every minute of the conference thanks to live coverage from BBC Parliament.