I’m writing this on the train, heading back home from Conference; and I’m trying to put into words everything that has gone on over the last four days. It’s been quite an experience, as Conference always is.
I’ve said it before and I’ll no doubt say it again in the future: for me, the speeches in the main hall aren’t what Conference is really about – everything that’s said in there will be dissected by the media over the next few weeks, as it should be, but if that’s all Conference was for, it could be replaced by a webcast and we could all “attend” from home via our computers. I’d be fine with that, by the way. It way well end up being the future of Conferences (although it would be odd to think that so many people you were “attending” with would be doing so in their pyjamas).
For me, Conference is about the Fringe – meetings with like-minded people where topics we are all interested in are discussed, dissected and (in one way or another) a conclusion is reached on how to deal with whatever problems there are at the moment. It’s meeting old friends and catching up; as well as making new ones. It’s chatting with people who may agree with your views or may not, but coming away from the meeting with a new way of looking at things regardless.
I’m looking forward to getting back to work now it’s all over, however. It’s great to get away and spend a lot of time amongst fellow Conservatives but in the end, the job is about working in our communities – in my case, Westhoughton and Chew Moor. I’m looking forward to getting back out to pound the pavements and get back to solving local problems. A few days away makes you really appreciate what you have; and clears the head a little so you can take on local issues in a new light.
So tomorrow I’ll be back at work, in our great community, solving the local issues. I can’t wait!