2019 Labour Conference Report
These are my short reflections on attending my first Labour Party Conference as a CLP delegate. It is a great political spectacle where you see and hear from a host of passionate people from all over the UK. I found it a positive and energising experience and would recommend it to others, as it makes you realise what a great political movement we are. It was invaluable to have the rich experience of Claire Wadey, who was able to help us through the complex rules and regulations that govern Conference, I think every delegate group should have at least one experienced member who can guide newbies, so that they can fully contribute. The Brighton Pavilion delegates worked as a cohesive group and I think we accurately reflected the perspectives of our CLP. When votes took place, we considered and were guided by the decisions that had been made at the General Meetings in the previous year.
I was pleasantly surprised to see that there were plenty of opportunities provided for delegates who wished to speak and most of us made at least one intervention at Conference. Although I recognise that there are a number of improvements that can be made, for such a large gathering that aims to do a lot, I found that it was well organised. However, the role of the unions at Conference could be made more transparent as their opaque decision-making process is difficult to understand and could lead to distrust of what I consider to be the primary Labour Party constituency. I would also recommend that delegates, when possible, try to take advantage of the various other events that occur outside the main Conference, although I would stress that these opportunities are few due to the amount of business that is done on the conference floor. Overall, I think we can be proud of our conference, which is a democratic, friendly and open forum for intelligent political debate and decision-making.