Conference Diary - Sunday

Filthy weather on the drive down to Birmingham, but not too much in the way of roadworks on the M6 so the Copeland delegation made good time.

The efforts made to ensure that the conference speeches were not dominated by "big names" but included non-politicians seemed to be stronger than ever this year. The "Welcome to Birmingham" opening speech was delivered by the voluntary party president, who happens to be a Brummie this year, rather than by a civic dignitary, though I assume out of courtesy a slot will be found for the Mayor at some stage.

The first hour of conference consisted of a series of short presentations, each of which began with a speech by a newly elected MP, who then introduced a member of the community from their constituency. Between them both the new MPs and the non-political speakesr covered a very wide range of ages, types of community, interests, both sexes, and ethnic origins. So for example we had a community leader from Birmingham, a member of a parent's action group from Bristol, an 18-year-old woman, a small businessman, and a student.

Excellent speeches by, amongst others, Baroness Warsi, Lord Young, Eric Pickles, and William Hague


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