Sunday 21 September 2008

Sun in Manchester

Yes indeed. Sun to hide the gloom around the economy and the Labour Party; for yes I am at the Labour Party Conference. Arrived yesterday evening. I have to admit I was coming earlier but it was a glorious sunny day and it was the Charlbury Street Fayre so Istayed for the opening by Sir Ben Kingsley , who lives locally and then some Christmas shopping. The Hospice stall is always rather good . Run by the wife of the former HBM Ambassador to Hungary it usually has a fine selection of pictures and curios. I buy 2 fine prints from 1795 and a Staffordshire tea pot. Sparkles enjoys the sun and the attention of her many dog friends.

Then it is a cross country train to Manchester ; 3.5 hours is not bad and I arrive in time for a bottle of champagne with my Deputy , the redoubtable Dr Kyle, before plunging into the maelstrom of networking. I bump into Ed Miliband , who wants to know if I heard his speech . regrettably no but I had heard he had mentioned the role of the third sector in delivering public services. Well done that man .

I had promised myself that i would pace it but a late night meant a late start to Sunday . I arrive in time to hear Jack Straw who talks of being tough on crime and tough on the causes of crime I was obviously still sleepy as i must have missed the bit when he talked of what we must do to tackle the causes , but did hear the bit about forcing those on community service to wear fluorescent jackets . No mention of the role of the third sector and community organisations in delivery . perhaps this would have served him better than a gimmick.

Now its off to do the exhibition stands . There are many acevo members here . Exhibiting their important work . I am off to show them my support.

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