Part Two: The Labour Party Conference
Party conference season is in full swing - the Lib Dems conference in Bournemouth finished a week ago and Labour have just held theirs.
For the last few days, members of the Labour party have descended on Brighton, followed closely by the media, lobbyists, and anyone else with an interest in the party and its plans for the future.
Are conferences all about the speeches on television?
Alongside the high-profile speeches in large auditoriums (usually the only bit of party conferences that makes it onto the TV), party conferences also provide the occasion for a host of smaller events on a wide range of topics.
These so-called ‘fringe’ events provide an opportunity for organisations (both within and outside of the parties) to host discussions among party members and other interested parties on every political topic imaginable.
These events are often hosted at a range of venues (large and small) scattered across the city hosting the conference. This means lots of checking and double-checking timetables, lots of rushing across town to get to the events, and lots of tricky choices between clashing events.
As well as all this activity, conferences are a time that people meet to catch up with contacts, friends and colleagues, and for people to network and share gossip.
What health policy has come up at the Labour Conference?
When it comes to health policy, the conference saw Labour reiterate its desire to provide the NHS and social care system with additional funding, and also emphasising the importance of carers and the need to achieve parity of esteem for mental health.
The party also revisited a commitment from its manifesto to ensure that people would have access to free end of life care.
It is interesting to see some of the same areas cropping up in the different party conferences - even if the concrete proposals differ in the details. Next stop: Manchester...
To read more about our work at the Party Conferences...
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