Monday, 10 October 2011

Normal Programming Has Resumed

I don't know about everyone else but I do wonder why I spent several days in Manchester. It was lovely to see so many people and catch up but I didn't actually do anything other than drink, bitch, gossip and occasionally getting lost. One doesn't have to go to happy, cheerful Manchester for that.

The journey there was very much like travelling with the ferryman to the other side: a long, fearful journey filled with the ramblings of an old bastard, to a destination which may very well be hell. Thankfully, after a while my boss had fallen asleep. I say thankfully - this did mean I had to repeatedly apologise to other passengers for his snoring and occasionally mutterings of "You bloody dwarf, that's a cape!" I considered using half of my chicken caesar wrap to muffle the sounds but this plan had a high chance of failure, as well as death.

Apart from the chicken wrap, the only other real food I ate in Manchester was at the Love Luton reception. Real food, drink and music! I felt very spoilt. Everything is hazy after that but I do know that I had an argument with a teenage nerd, in the main lounge area in the Midland, about who would win in a knife fight - Jeff Randall or Adam Boulton.

A few obvious rules to surviving a party conference:
  1. Pack lightly. Men can get away with taking only one suit, four shirts and three ties to conference. Women bring their entire wardrobe and then complain that they can't drag their suitcases to and from the hotel
  2. If an event or reception has the words 'Future' or 'Regional' in it's title then be prepared to walk in, slam two glass of free wine and walk straight back out again. Don't feel bad for the old 'Drink and Run' routine, you're saving yourself from an excruciating hour of dull, patronising chat. Focus on the wine and then move on
  3. Food must be considered. Don't rely on crap canap├ęs - mini pizzas or meat on a stick is the way to go, not sushi or carrot sticks. Unless you're a whinging vegetarian or a mad as f**k health enthusiast, there's no reason for you not to fill your gills with fatty, stodgy food if it crosses your path
  4. Don't bother with the leader's speech. Only pole climbers, stalkers and pensioners queue up for hours to see a leader's speech. It will be all over the media after and you can still get a sense of cringing embarrassment via the TV
  5. Even if you're not a smoker, always check out the smoking area of a hotel in the early hours of the morning if you're passing by. You're almost always guaranteed to spot at least one MP doing something they shouldn't be doing with someone one half their age
  6. When merely hanging out with friends and associates, try not to name drop or brag about your conference encounters too often. Those around you will be rolling their eyes as soon as you look away. Yes, yes you've shaken William Hague's hand, congrats!
  7. Always give yourself fifteen hours after leaving the conference before heading back to work. Passing out for three or four nights in a row does not count as sleep. If you get back to your desk too soon, you may as well throw you computer out of the window for all the work you'll get done
The recess and conference season is over, bring out your dead! The toil and strife of everyday life in Westminster will continue and normal progamming has resumed.

Will Ken Clarke continue his battle with everyone else in the Cabinet? Will Chris Huhne give up all pretense and start communicating with just "vroom vrooms"? And will Dr Fox begin his statement with "Now everyone has a friend who takes the piss and hangs on your coattails..."

It's good to be back.

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