Monday, October 09, 2023

Labour Party Conference 2023 - Monday

Day 3 of conference for me started with another morning run along the Mersey and back (3.4 miles different direction from yesterday).I met on route an influential Council leader who berated me for running so late in the day. He had gone for his run that day at 4am! 

I had to do some union casework stuff in the morning then started the day with meeting a former Newham Councillor ,who now works for a campaign group and one of their researchers. It was really interesting environmental subject matter, which by coincidence, was linked to my LAPFF fringe from yesterday. I really hope we can can work together on this issue and others. 

Next I went to a social housing fringe on supporting strong communities sponsored by Guinness Partnership (not the brewery!).  Some good ideas and provocative speakers but nothing from actual tenants or housing trade unions. 

I left early to go to a 121 London UNISON Labour Link meet but stopped off at the Friends of Israel fringe venue, which was packed with delegates discussing the dreadful war and massacres that has erupted. Many of the Israeli political speakers who were due to speak at conference have cancelled since they have been called up as reservists to fight.  I asked about an old school friend of mine, who had emigrated to Israel and had served in the Army, whether he would be called up at age 60 and was told he probably would be but not for a front line position. 

Afterwards I went to one of the very few pension fringes at conference this year about "Pension saving under a Labour Government". A really important issue and it is astonishingly how little is known about what Labour will do if in power on pensions (if we win, obviously fingers and toes crossed).  I asked a question on possible Collective Defined Contribution schemes being a possible way forward in my Housing associations and Charities sector which got a maybe but positive response.

I went back to my flat to do some more case work and then went to the Labour Housing Group fringe which was really packed. Interesting that so many people "in suits" attended compared to previous conference LHG fringes in recent years. I am sure that this has nothing to do with the perceived likelihood of Labour winning the next general election (again fingers and toes crossed). 

Afterwards I discovered I had triple overbooked myself and could not attend my favourite conference fringe, the Labour Irish, but went for an arranged meal with Newham comrades at a great turkish restaurant in Bold Street. 1.5 days to go. 

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