Here are just a few things I’ll be doing at Labour conference.
I’ll be speaking at/ attending quite a few foreign affairs events, which all seem to be invite only – e.g. we have a lunch with sister parties, and I’m speaking at a private dinner organised by a think tank – and meeting international visitors, but that’s probably not of much interest to you. Here are some things which might be.
On the Saturday night I’ve helped organise a PUSSY RIOT event, at Teacup, Thomas Street, in the Northern Quarter. It’s an Un-Conventional Women event, run by www.unconventionhub.org, of which I’m a board member. They’re running three more events in Manchester in November by the way – UnConvention Football, UnConvention Punk and Politics (where I’m on a panel) and UnConvention Curry Mile. Check out their website for details.
There will be DJ-ing at the Pussy Riot event, some live performances, plus a panel/ audience debate on issues arising from the Pussy Riot trial e.g. music as political protest, feminism, human rights in Russia, freedom of speech. The panel includes the feminist writer Joan Smith, Tom Watson MP, Chris Bryant MP (who chairs the All-Party Russia Group), Emmy the Great and some of the female musicians who will be performing on the night. Free entry but donations to the Pussy Riot defence fund (and to pay for the PA!) are welcome. Bring your balaclava!
It’s from 7pm till late, and there will be a bar and food, and tea and cakes. None of which are free.
Also on the Saturday there’s a POP-UP FOOD BANK in Manchester’s Piccadilly Gardens, by Queen Victoria’s statue, from 1pm-6pm, collecting for Salford foodbank. There’s a list of preferred items (e.g. soup, cereals, rice, pasta, pasta sauces, tea bags, coffee, sugar, biscuits) so you can just pop into one of the nearby stores and come armed with a donation. It’s organised by the Christian Socialist Movement and the Trussell Trust/ Foodbank Network.
I’m also putting together a Sunday lunch with special guests at Manchester Foodcycle and then on Sunday afternoon I’ll be taking part in a Fabians roundtable on food waste. Both are invites only I’m afraid.
Sunday also includes the Labour South West reception, where I’ll be catching up with fellow activists from the region, Labour Friends of India (at which I’ll be briefly speaking), and I’m hoping to get to my friend Lucy Powell’s “Manc Night” at Sam’s Chophouse to support her campaign to become the next MP for Manchester Central.
On Monday night the Christian Socialist Movement has a FOOD POVERTY RALLY at the Friends Meeting House, 7.45pm – outside the zone so all are welcome. I’ve got to be in five different places at once, but hoping to be there.
Also on the Monday I’ll be speaking at the LAWS (Labour Animal Welfare Society) event, from 6.30pm at Bar 38. I think there’ll be having their usual LAWS karaoke night afterwards but I’ll be off to see the (aspiring) professionals perform at UK Music’s Battle of the Bands night, to celebrate the Live Music Bill.
Monday is also one of the days when I’ll be in the Conference Hall a lot. We have the foreign affairs debate in the morning, with Douglas Alexander speaking around 11-ish, and then it’s the Economy debate, with a speech from Ed Balls. In the afternoon there’s a ‘breadline Britain’ session, where, inter alia, Mary Creagh will be talking about food poverty. I have had to record some video footage for the foreign affairs slot, which will no doubt be cringeworthy to watch.
And on Wednesday night I’ll be at the LABOUR TWEET-UP, which is hosted by Political Scrapbook. See below for more info.