Sunday, September 10, 2006

Progress Conference

Yesterday I attended the Progress Conference in London addressed by the Prime Minister Tony Blair. After the week he has had from various part of the Labour Party, he received a rapturous reception at the Conference and it was clear that this was genuine heartfelt thanks to him and for his achievements as party leader.

His speech set out challenges we faced as a party and how priorities had changed in the last ten years. In his speech, he raised issues like security, pensions, energy policy, anti-social behaviour and our need to tackle them and come up with solutions. It was a bold speech and it showed that we had not run out of ideas and is prepared to face the policy challenges that lye ahead.

Also at the Conference was Michael Portillo who gave an interesting insight into how David Cameron has changed the political landscape and the threat he is too Labour. While Portillo believes, it is unlikely that the Tories will win the next election he believes that Cameron will do enough to stay on as Tory leader. The speech he gave was stimulating and did provoke debate, while I do not agree with all of its contents, it was interesting to note that Portillo believe that the public are cynics about all new policy announcements and that Cameron has adopted the right approach. In terms of the Conservatives, Portillo believed that he was right to take on the right of his party and that no votes will be lost as a result.

I have to say it is amazing how Michael Portillo has shifted as a politician from being very right wing ten years ago to a politician that has completely changed his views. He clearly recognises that the Conservatives have to change, while with Cameron it is all a bit bogus(though good pr) Portillo does genuinely recognise that change is the only path they can adopt if they are get back in power again.

Overall, the whole event was stimulating and that the Labour party as a whole is not dead in the water contrary to the views of some in the media.


Anonymous A soft socialist said...

The problem is that Tony was talking to his progress clique. The real test will come at conference where all wings of the party will be represented.

6:58 pm  

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