#Lab12 – How was it for you?

4 Oct

Women on the left give their thoughts on Labour Conference 2012

Want to share your thoughts on the week in Manchester? Please get in touch with us via our contact page.

Christine Quigley: Manchester this year hosted a party fired up and beginning its fightback. Ed’s speech had enough policy to keep both Labour members and political journalists happy, combined with a direct and warranted critique of the Tory-led Government designed to appeal to both Labour’s core and key swing voters. While Labour activists leaving Conference won’t quite be going back to their constituencies to prepare for Government, the atmosphere is one of a party ready to fight for our beliefs and in a good place to build for the 2015 election (@c_quigley)

Eleanor Saunders: Frustrated that the most interesting fringe I went to was an all-male all-white panel! But the M4C fringe on Lab Women’s Forums & community organising was interesting – good to have some very practical ideas (rather than just theory & rhetoric, which some fringes are). Interesting approaches to consider. (@Eleanor CS)

Amy Jackson: Really boosted by how positive this year’s conference was. The party seemed united and although there is clearly still a lot to do, we are going in the right direction. Stand out moments for me were Ed M’s speech (obviously), Len McCluskey’s speech on the banks, the Demos fringe on how social media can do more to keep power in check and the Shrewsbury 24 fringe. And very pleased to read that 1200 new members have joined sine the start of the conference – impressive stuff! (@AmyJ_N4)

Kate McKenzie: My conference highlights were meeting these superb women: Frances O’Grady, Jo Brand and Polly Toynbee, joining up with old campaigning sisters: Gaby Weiner, Michele Paule, Bev Clack, and staying up late being women who sort the world with Jenny and Lizzy!

Annie Higgs: One thing made me smile…  Stella Creasey has a male assistant who carries all her stuff round for her. She does move around quickly. He’ll never gain weight with what he has to carry.
One thing made me applaud very loudly…  In a debate at Women’s Conference, a woman councillor from Pontefract described her struggle to stand for Council. Her branch refused to sanction a woman. The CLP had to overturn their decision. She had verbal abuse, her car had acid thrown over it and the former labour MP actively canvassed for the Independent candidate standing against her. (This is now under investigation.) She did get elected and is working very hard for Pontefract. Congratulations to her!! Some women have such a hard time in their Constituencies!! (note from Eds: We have full story on this woman’s experience on Left Out)

Annajoy David: Good Things: Kerry McCarthy MP organised a Free Pussy Riot evening of culture and discussion and it was great to see it being sponsored by the Musicians Union. Common sense prevailed! Labour members voted that women’s officers were reinstated as statutory roles for CLP elections.

Memorable moments: Spending a few hours in the Midland Bar with the MP for Ilford South , Mike Gapes. What a great hardworking MP. Listening to Michael Sandel, Dame Tessa Jowell and the whole Olympic session, missing my daughter.

Could do better: Education and Young people at the end of conference: Young people are our future and we should open with them not close. Not a good symbolic message!

Favourite Fundraiser: Labour List Karaoke Night

Favourite Reception: Labour Business, would have liked to see a few interactive business presentations being championed by us from up and coming UK companies…. perhaps next year?

Surprise of Conference: The best DJ award for Lab 12 goes to Tom Watson. Who knew he was so good? !


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