Conference diary

Click to follow
Indy Politics

Another day, another high-profile tour of the conference stalls for Cherie Blair, below. The PM's wife was confronted by a video game in which she had to identify bridges and match them with various forms of transport. A disaster. Cartoon trains plunged into the sea and boats and barges sunk as Cherie chose the wrong bridge for the wrong means of transport. The folk from Skills for Business, running the stall, managed to restrain their laughter (just) but Downing Street aides and security men could not. One declared: "She clearly did not have a misspent youth."

Party animals of the week

Prize for sociability - and sheer endurance - goes to the MPs Tony McNulty, Kevin Barron, Mike Gapes and Ed Miliband, who were spotted partying almost until dawn in the bar of the Grand Hotel. Spectators were impressed by their "encyclopaedic knowledge" of the lyrics of Beatles songs, but it wasn't pretty to listen to.

Minister for youth

Down the sea front at the KooKlub, young Labour members of staff, deprived of the annual Mirror party, organised their own end-of-conference bash. They were treated to ear-splitting techno music. Pat McFadden, the Blair aide turned MP, retreated to a distant corner of the bar in horror, but the resolutely youthful minister Ben Bradshaw had no such qualms, heading straight to the dance floor.

Bizarre metaphor of the week

Tony Blair's description of a "strip of granite running through my being".

Embarrassing moment of the week

The Labour leadership's humiliating defeat by delegates over its flagship health policy. Grassroots activists, backed by the trades unions, flexed their atrophied muscles and voted down the expansion of the private sector's role in the NHS.

Party of the week

Er, The Independent's party - the only bash where champagne flowed from beginning to end and where ministers lingered until long after midnight.

New word of the week

Change-maker (courtesy of Tony Blair).

Hero of the week

Stephen Smerdon. The world clamours for lurid revelations on that 1960s kiss. Stephen's "just glad that Cherie remembered me". Ah, sweet.

Badger profits

From cash cows to cash badgers: the League Against Cruel Sports is delighted to have covered its entire conference expenses by selling hundreds of Badger glove puppets. The charity made more than £1,500 as delegates rushed to snap up the cuddly toys at £5 each. They far outsold fox puppets which, now that the hunting ban is in force, are less sought after.

Fourth time lucky

Delegates leaving the conference were piped out to the strains of Daft Punk. Labour stalwarts wondered if their song "One More Time (We're gonna celebrate)" was an optimistic reference to a fourth Labour term.