Glastonbury for geeks but with worse accommodation: Welcome to Labour Party Conference

·2-min read
 (West End Final)
(West End Final)

Pick up a glass of warm white wine, take a seat in a windowless hotel meeting room and relax to the earnest tunes of a Q&A on the future of the contribution society where the question is really more of a comment. It is Labour Party Conference time.

If you’ve been before, you’ll know what to expect. If you haven’t, it’s like Glastonbury for geeks but with fewer political journalists, grimmer accommodation and more singing.

It’s also the first chance since the pandemic for MPs and party members to get together in person to continue the fight in Labour’s forever civil war, where everyone is keenly aware of their tribe and precisely where they sit on the party’s left to really quite left spectrum.

Off the top of my head, there’s Corbynistas and the Campaign Group, Blairites and the old right, the soft left, Tribune group and whatever Blue Labour is. I’m sure I’ve missed a few.

In an exclusive interview with the Standard, Starmer has declared that Labour must show the “hunger to win” the next general election. It is not something you can imagine a Conservative Party leader having to proclaim.

It reminds me of a great line from former Tory cabinet minister David Gauke on the central problem with British politics, and why we ended up with Johnson vs Corbyn in 2019: the Labour Party does not care enough about winning while the Conservative Party cares too much.

Elsewhere in the paper, there have been developments in the Sabina Nessa investigation, as police release CCTV footage of a man wanted in connection with her death. They have called for help to identify the man in the images that were released on Thursday evening, and a silver vehicle they believe he had access to.

In the comment pages, Ian Burrell argues that, far from failing, GB News has successfully shifted the dial, while Melanie McDonagh writes we’ve made Linda Evangelista feel worthless because she is no longer perfect.

Finally – and I hate to leave at this – but I feel compelled to pass on the news that monster rats are set to invade British homes via our toilets, according to a pest expert. They have apparently become “bigger and braver” post-lockdown, which is nice for them.

Have a lovely weekend.

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