Thursday 24 September 2015

Labour Party Conference ........... reports from the pleasure dome

BelperStuff is busy packing a suitcase, fleshing out an itinerary, checking out which fish & chip shops sell Huss ................ yes BelperStuff is off to the Labour Party Conference in Brighton. The intention is to somehow produce a daily blog digest so that those unable to escape the reality of the need to keep the wolf from the door can shake a collective bewildered head in wonder at those brave Labour souls who put their livers at risk each evening in a variety of Brighton conference bars. I have to admit that I've never before been to such a gathering but I've been advised by members of the Belper & Duffield  Branch who have attended conference that the real test of stamina involves the evening intake of alcohol. The standard of blog posts in the next few days may therefore be of variable quality.
Brighton Pavilion

Brighton is famous for its architectural embodiment of the romantic movement, pavilions and domes so it's no wonder that I am reminded of Samuel Taylor Coleridge and his greatest work (perhaps the greatest romantic poem) Kubla Khan. This opening line keeps repeating in my head:

"In Xanadu did Cor Byn a stately pleasure dome decree"

It is such a pity that the Brighton Dome (situated behind the pavilion) is not one of the conference venues but the idea persists that BelperStuff blog posts will be as messages from the pleasure dome. The resurgent Labour party does feel like this ............ not so much a realignment to the left as a rejection of the apologist politics of the centre right. Warnings of un-electability may still ring out from the great and good of the party but the dam of discontent has burst, an emphatic rejection of the underlying neo-liberalism that defined three of the leadership candidates. An article in the New York Times by Paul Krugman (a favourite commentator of this blog) puts it neatly link to the article - Labour's dead centre.

I am not expecting any triumphalism of the left at this conference; I am confident that the majority will be metaphorically rolling up their sleeves for the fight to come. In that spirit I sat with our branch chair (Carol) today to look through the plethora of conference events, making a shortlist for me to attend. Many meetings are timed to take place at similar times so that there is a lot that I will have to miss ............ that said, I think we have mapped out a fair representation of the topics that will interest our constituency and branch members.

For those who are appalled at my high-jacking of such a wonderful poem here is a reading from YouTube:

I rather like the ending;

That sunny dome! those caves of ice!
And all who heard should see them there,
And all should cry, Beware! Beware!
His flashing eyes, his floating hair!
Weave a circle round him thrice,
And close your eyes with holy dread
For he on honey-dew hath fed,
And drunk the milk of Paradise.

............... though I cannot quite imagine Cor Byn drinking the milk of paradise!!!!!!! We leave that to the foolish membership of the Bullingdon Club.

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