Tuesday, 27 September 2011

Labour Party conference

I've been spending the last couple of days in Liverpool here at the Labour Party conference for the day job, and will be in Manchester talking to the Tories next week too. It's very much a different world - a bubble of a sort in which the tribe talks to itself and listens to speeches from its leaders aimed at geeing them all up.

Frankly for the non member that stuff is all a bit boring, but what certainly wasn't tedious last night was attending the Labour Friends of Palestine event, along with W12's MP Andy Slaughter, himself a leading light of the group.  First up to speak was an MP from Rochdale who thundered on about the Middle East in a thick yorkshire accent, but next up was the star of the night for me - the Ambassador of Palestine to the UK Manuel Hassassian.

He spoke against the backdrop of Palestine's application to the United Nations for independent statehood, and as he went on grew louder and visibly impassioned. 43 years of suffering was enough he declared, and the people of Palestine were no longer to be the objects of history but control their own destiny. It was passionate stuff, and actually very moving. 

There are equally impassioned views on the other side of the fence in Israel, the Jewish people having been the objects of history for thousands of years until they got their own state as well. But it was a glimpse inside the world as seen through the eyes of Palestinians and made you realise that actually, politics does matter sometimes.

Here's Andy Slaughter talking about the issue during the last General Election which I filmed as part of my coverage of the campaign:

Back in the Bush tomorrow when the blogging rate will pick up again!


  1. Andy does seem to ramble on too much instead of getting to point!

  2. That's because he's a pompous old windbag.

  3. I wish he was this passionate about Shepherd's Bush but he seems to be more interested in other countries.