Sunday, September 24, 2006

You can see the transcript of Hazel Blears' speech here, but you can probably imagine what it was about - yes she mentioned the Tories, yes she congratulated Tony Blair, but the underlying theme was the holy grail of party politics, regenerating the party from within Government.

In her speech, which was preceded by an awards ceremony for outstanding Party members and a video of her working in Tescos (see? Fact-finding missions aren't always in Mauritius!), covered the regeneration of Manchester since the IRA bomb in 1996, the development of Labour politics since the 19th Century "Peterloo" - where many where massacred on a demonstration for workers rights on the site of the GMEX centre - and, of course, the complete absence of Tories from the Manchester City Council chamber. Her efforts were designed for one reason, to make us feel good about ourselves, and for the majority, it worked. Mind you, it's hard to keep your enthusiasm going when such speeches are surrounded by announcements from compositing and procedures committees.

Elsewhere today, I attended an excellent fringe organised by the European Parliamentary Labour Party (EPLP). Martin Schulz (Leader of the Party of European Socialists group in the European Parliament) and Margaret Beckett spoke frankly and openly about euroscepticism, the future of European Politics and the importance of it. Click here to see 100 Labour Achievements in Europe (.pdf)

I asked Ms Beckett: "Should European policy be Foreign Policy, or domestic policy?", which leads to the question of a possible Government department for European Affairs, something which the EPLP want. Perhaps unsurprisingly, she managed to avoid giving a real answer.

5 Comments:

At 8:16 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Could you please tell me if spectators are allowed in the Conference? I like to visit on Tuesday.

 
At 8:49 PM, Blogger Jonathan Roberts said...

Hi, I'm afraid not, security is very tight for obvious reasons. If you have access to BBC Parliament, either on TV or through the internet, you'll be able to see live debate from the conference floor.

 
At 1:33 PM, Blogger David Poyser said...

Hi, agree completely.
Let's contrast the welcome given to Martin Schulz MEP, by us at the Labour Party, to his opposite number in the European Parliament, Hans-Gert Poettering, at the Tory Conference this week. Cameron has already reneged on his promise to take UK Tory MEPs out of the mainstream EPP-ED Group - though the proposed move proved really popular with grass-roots Tories. In contrast, Martin Schulz can face down the anti-EU carping and give talks, full of that inspiration and enthusiasm for progressive change that sometimes gets lost in the technicalities of government. On technnicalities, he's not leader of the Party of European Socialists (the grouping which for example includes non-EU countries like Norway), he's Leader of the Socialist Group of MEPs in the European Parliament - we have our own web-site www.socialistgroup.org - and because Socialists can work together, we are far the best organised group in the European Parliament.

 
At 1:34 PM, Blogger David Poyser said...

Hi, agree completely.
Let's contrast the welcome given to Martin Schulz MEP, by us at the Labour Party, to his opposite number in the European Parliament, Hans-Gert Poettering, at the Tory Conference this week. Cameron has already reneged on his promise to take UK Tory MEPs out of the mainstream EPP-ED Group - though the proposed move proved really popular with grass-roots Tories. In contrast, Martin Schulz can face down the anti-EU carping and give talks, full of that inspiration and enthusiasm for progressive change that sometimes gets lost in the technicalities of government. On technnicalities, he's not leader of the Party of European Socialists (the grouping which for example includes non-EU countries like Norway), he's Leader of the Socialist Group of MEPs in the European Parliament - we have our own web-site www.socialistgroup.org - and because Socialists can work together, we are far the best organised group in the European Parliament.

 
At 11:33 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I am a european investor in the UK. Over the last 20 years my family's companies have invested £75 million. We provide employment with decent (european style) conditions to our 328 employees. In recent years (particularly when the UK didn't set a course to join the euro) we stopped our investment as we now perceive the UK economy as a lopsided bet on a japan-circa-early-90es-style property bubble.

Accordingly we have divested any real estate in the UK which we feel is "irrationally exuberant" and is very likely to crash. We feel that this is true even with the stimulus of running a very aggressively competitive tax and worker rights regime within the single market in effect taking investment which would otherwise be in other european countries to the UK.

Given this fact we are alarmed by the hysterical quality in British euroscepticism. We feel there is a public hysteria whipped up by the Murdoch press which may sell newspapers but its not in the interests of this country. The influence R Murdoch has over Britain via the Times the Sun and Sky over Britain is of Berlusconian proportions.

We have already drawn plans to reduce our exposure to the UK for purely economic reasons, we may well relocate entirely in Bratislava, Slovakia if the same nationalistic rhetoric persists in making us feel that there is a risk of withdrawal. So far we have found that new europe has much better educated and productive people and policies that are in line with reality.

The UK is becoming bureaucratic not due to Brussels, its the unresponsive overpriced and low quality services and property but also there is widespread dishonesty in Banking and insurance and business services, it is generally bad value for money. Banks in particular are a law on to themselves. The personal loan bubble is likely to burst along with the housing one.

The fact that UK employees have much less security and rights than the rest of the EU has made up for the currency risk so far, but if this overpriced and overconfident country continues its direction in pulling out of the EU project this will give us reasons to think pull out our investments from the UK altogether.

 

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