The trip from Brighton railway station to registration at the Metropole brought home to me that this Xanadu is not a workers paradise; loan shops and estate agents vie for attention on the route into town, the garish frontages offering false hope to the downtrodden or domestic bliss for the well heeled.
Registration went smoothly. I was delighted to be given full CLP delegate accreditation as documents sent some weeks ago in the post had gone missing but a concerted effort by our branch chair and a timely intervention by Councilor Alison Martin, the Mid-Derbyshire Women's Officer had confirmed my status. Thank you to both.
After I had deposited the suitcase in my digs, closed my eyes for a moment to clear my head of the champagne, I set forth for the event of the evening, the Campaign for Labour Party Democracy rally in the Friends Meeting Hall which is situated (for those who know Brighton) in the Lanes area of town. Sitting in the hall I realised that I'd been there before and sifting through this colander in my head that masquerades as a memory I dredged up a dim recollection of an extra-mural lecture about plate tectonics in 1969. This was exciting and cutting edge stuff in the sixties but here I was back in that very building, 46 years later to watch as succeeding speakers mapped out the fault lines that define the Labour party in 2015. The choice of speakers was well made as the CLPD started to provide a body of facts and evidence to flesh out the Corbyn factor. There was even a reference to Rip Van Winkle from one who had been away on holiday at the start of the leadership campaign, incommunicado on some island being swept away (tectonically) from the larger lump of land where Jeremy's rise was being played out. The amazement on returning to find Jeremy as the front runner summed up the tone of the other speakers.
On the policy front much was made of the need for a debate on Trident and the armed services. Apparently those who run the conference will try to block any resolution in that direction. Of course this issue must be debated so I will do my best to ensure that it happens. The voting on what motions are allowed starts this morning so I must not be late.
So now I leave you to prepare for a day of composites, resolutions, fraternal greetings and ....... who knows. As I look up from my computer I am surprised to see the sea through the window. I wonder how many attending the conference even know that the sea is there. In the words of Frankie ............. I am a long way from home.