Labour Regional Conference: Showing How This Party is Thriving While The Tories Are Crumbling By Helen Hill

By Helen Hill.

This weekend saw the return of the annual Labour Party North West Regional Conference to Blackpool and it pulled in the biggest attendance in it’s history, so much so that it completely sold out for the first time ever.

The conference was held at the Hilton Hotel, situated on Blackpool seafront and saw many regional MP’s and MEP’s joined by shadow cabinet members such as Angela Rayner, John McDonnell, Diane Abbott, Emily Thornberry and the man himself – Mr Corbyn – take the the stage to make speeches. 


As a regular attendee of regional conference and someone elected to the North West CAC it was amazing to see so many of our front benchers wanting to come and address the North West delegation and talk about regional issues that affect us, but what was even more wonderful was the incredible atmosphere! 

There was a real sense of unity amongst the delegates, union officials, affiliate members and visitors. 

There was passion, positivity, satisfaction and excitement but upon reflection it is unsurprising.

The North West had incredible results during the General Election this year, where not only did we hold every single Labour seat and increased our majorities within them but we also won four strongly contested marginal seats and reduced the Tory majority by up to 70% in the few seats they hold in our region. 

To say the region cleaned up at the election would be an understatement and as Jeremy Corbyn pointed out in his wonderful speech, the North West has the highest portion of the Labour vote in the entire country! 

The mood of conference was simply a reflection of our success and for the first time in a number of years, the unsettled atmosphere of a party struggling with infighting and uncertainty was replaced with stability and confidence.

I was nominated for election at conference and although this is now the third consecutive year for me, it never gets any less scary. I have held a seat on the North West CAC for the last two years and was nominated to stand again to retain it. I was really honoured to be put on the Momentum slate as a candidate that they were backing and was inundated with support from Labour members, local CLP’s, Unite and Momentum members, so despite being nervous and having the usual self doubt, I felt supported and honoured that so many people had faith in me and thankfully I was re-elected for a third term! 


It turned out that I was uncontested so I did not need to go to ballot like I have in previous years and it meant that I could relax and enjoy the conference instead of biting my nails and waiting for a result. 
The Momentum backed candidates literally cleaned up in terms of the elections, with the Regional Board and the CAC both seeing a shift in terms far more of their elected representatives being from the Momentum slate, which is good news for Jeremy Corbyn who really needs the backing of internal panels such as these. 


What I always enjoy about regional conference is the opportunity it gives me to meet so many like minded people and to catch up with others from across the region who I have met and maybe worked alongside before but live miles away from and rarely see. 

It also gives you the opportunity to meet the MP’s and have a good chat with them. I would say that regional conference is a must for anyone who wants to network and progress within the party and it is surprising over the past few years how many people I have got to know, from every level of the party. 


This year I even ran into some Facebook friends from left wing forums who I have become acquainted with over the years but until then had never met in person and it was so nice to chat in real life!

The speeches were varied and very relevant, focusing on everything from Brexit and how it will affect the region, to the economy education and the terrorist threat and what Labour can do to counter it. I thought that this was a really important issue to address after the horrendous Manchester Arena bombing because terrorism is an issue that is coming to the fore as a concern here in our region, some people view Labour as a soft touch on issues such as immigration and homeland security. 

Diane Abbott addressed these misconceptions and gave the reassurance that many in the region were looking for, pointing out that actually the Tory austerity policies and police cuts are what have left the UK struggling to handle the terrorist threat and that Labour would not only ensure that there were 10,000 more police officers on the streets to keep us safe but also 5,000 additional boarder officers who would be able to have a much better grip on immigration. 

She quite rightly explained that despite the Tories attempts, it had been proven that Britain cannot be kept safe on the cheap and that actually, it is the Tories that are a threat to our national security thanks to their under funding and cuts!

I also attended a Momentum fringe event which focused on young voters and the importance of the role they played in our election success this year, the issue of votes at 16 again coming to the fore with young Labour members on the panel quite rightly stating the fact that the 1.5 million 16 and 17 year olds who were so rudely shunned in Parliament just this week will not forget it in a hurry who screwed them over and that these are future voters that we need to engage now and continue to lobby for – because they also will not forget who stood with them and will vote accordingly when the time comes.

Jeremy Corbyn gave a really strong speech and talked about the success in the General Election and how we must continue to build upon it because we simply do not know when the next election will be.

He addressed the current disparity between investment in the North and South of the country and how he will ensure equality across all regions, the sexual harrassment scandal that has emerged in Westminster and what Labour will be doing to tackle that both in Parliament and the wider party and also how successful we have been in turning the Tories around and forcing them to scrap their entire manifesto. 


I left conference with many new ideas, hopes and goals and that is the best thing about attending conferences, you come away feeling enthused and ready to fight on, more motivated than ever.


Watch out Tories, Labour in the North West is united, strong and dare I say it…. stable.

UK Politics Has Changed Forever By Lisa Mulholland 

By Lisa Mulholland 

As I stood in the crowd waiting for Jeremy Corbyn to adddress us at the ‘Eve of Conference rally’ I felt like I was at a festival.

I had just finished listening to some inspiring talks at The World Transformed event about Childcare, Housing and Feminism. 

The atmosphere was a mix of excitement and anticipation, happiness and unity.
You could almost forget that it was September . You could almost forget that you were waiting for a politician to speak. 

You could almost forget the 7 years of drudgery that the tories have caused us with the mainstream media spinning their cycle of misery and lies.

It reminded me of my younger days, waiting for a gig to start. When you look next to the stranger standing next to you and you smile. You feel at home because you know the person standing next to you gets it.

But this time it wasn’t music taste. This time it was something much much more important. They have the same values as you at a time when values don’t actually have much ‘value’.

When Jeremy Corbyn and the other speakers came to the stage, people were cheering and clapping and singing “Ohhhh Jeremy Corbyn ” and everyone was smiling and dancing; it felt surreal 

This was not a concert and there was no band.

It seemed so far removed from the politics I used to know. The politics I studied in the dusty University library. Watching men and women arguing  and jeering at each other in a stuffy old room. Talking in jargon that no one wanted to listen to. Boring.

But this. This was something else. 
The atmosphere was electric. Everyone was cheering and clapping when Jeremy and the other speakers mentioned words like ‘equality’ , human rights’ and ‘peace’

The perfect antidote to the news displaying Donald Trump and Kim Jong Uns’ pissing contest. Or Theresa May’s pathetic speeches. Or the right wing media blaming immigrants for global warming or something just as ridiculous.

I looked around me . There were teenagers, young adults, elderly, middle aged . All races.

This is not a young people’s populist leader, Jeremy Corbyn is more than that. This is a man that’s words resonate with all of us. Here in the flesh. without the mainstream media spin. I was listening to the full story in real time . One that hadn’t been edited or cut here and there by the media desperate to keep this man from power.


We all enjoyed every minute. And we all could envisage a future beyond neoliberal capitalist greed that thrives on inequality.

Those old enough to remember the times before Thatcher when her ideology was not the only way. They got it.

For my generation who was born under a Thatcher government who have only ever known this way in politics. We got it.

And for the younger generation born in the digital age, young adults, teenagers and young children. They got it too.

He speaks for all of us because now is a time for change and I came away inspired, believing that any of us can achieve if we believe in ourselves and here is a potential government that will create the social conditions for us to do so.

More importantly I saw that it doesn’t really matter when he gets into power because this man is igniting a fire within us all:

The little boy on his dad’s shoulders will remember this day. 

The teenager next to me. She will see a new future with hope and a different vision and maybe true equality.

The old couple dancing to the music, hugging each other, perhaps they are reminded of a golden age that they can see re emerging.

We were all there because we believe In change, and in a fair and just society.

Whatever happens, whenever it happens Jeremy Corbyns legacy has already been set in motion for generations to come. And he hasn’t even reached Number 10…yet.

For the first time in a very very long time I have hope for the world that my children will grow up in.


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