Saturday, 28 February 2009

National Policy Forum in Bristol

Today saw me flitting between the National Policy Forum at the WISE campus in Filton, and the South West Labour Party Regional Conference, next door at Filton High School. And then I went into the office to look at all the letters I hadn't seen yesterday - signed off on one file, three inches thick, where we've finally managed to get some compensation for a constituent. We've had a bit of a run of 'successes' lately, which is always very satisfying.

Can't find Gordon's speech on the internet yet - there's a National Policy Forum speech, but it's the last one, not this one. Liked his tough words on the banks, including the commitment to take whatever legal action was possible to recover pensions from the likes of Sir Fred (although I suspect that's going to be difficult) and a recognition that we can't clean up the banking system without cleaning up the hedge funds' boltholes (Monaco, Bermuda, the Channel Islands, Switzerland, Liechenstein, etc) too - "no opt out, no waiver, no free pass for any banks in any country". He also outlined his ambitions for the part-nationalised banks, and defended the Government's intention to implement the Hooper review recommendations on the future of the Royal Mail (but more on that from me tomorrow).

The PM also said some good stuff about sustainability and building our recovery on green foundations, although those weren't his exact words. The basic thrust was that the current economic situation has forced us to take stock, and we need to ensure that the recovery is sustainable, both economically and environmentally - and that means moving away from mass consumption and a disposable, buy 'em cheap and chuck 'em away, culture. There should be a focus on investment in green technology, and developing skills and promoting innovation. No-one wants a 'race to the bottom', which is where the global economy could have been heading before the downturn. International aid becomes even more important in a downturn, to prevent the acceleration of this 'race to the bottom'. That's my interpretation anyway.

Meanwhile, there was lots of Twittering from the Labour 2.0 conference in London (try and then #labour20 if you're interested - or look at the Progress site.)


bevanite said...

great regional conference, a rally to the cause not only of Labour but the halting of the menace of the BNP... Ms Harman had some very wise words too but I think everyone should be able, once in their life, to be in the same room as John Prescott extolling the virtues of 'the facebook' - genius.
P.s. very, very jealous of the boots Kerry.

Glenn Vowles said...

'The PM also said some good stuff about sustainability and building our recovery on green foundations'

But yet again his words and his actions dont match up! According to todays Independent Britain is nearly bottom of the green investment league, with only a small proportion of the 'economic stimulus' package being 'green'.

Kerry said...

I've always wondered who reads the Independent. The Budget is on April 22nd. Let's see what that produces.

The Bristol Blogger said...

The Independent?

Anyone seen that episode of 'The Thick of it' when the editor of the Daily Mail has to change the front page every hour when the PM resigns?

"Just tell me what the f-ing news is and I'll put it on the front page. It's not like we're the Independent.

"We can't just put up a headline saying CRUELTY then stick a picture of a f-ing dolphin or a whale underneath it."

That about sums it up.

Glenn Vowles said...

Kerry, Labour have had power for over a decade!! Why haven't you been building a green economy during this time?? All we've had is warm words, no action.

Kerry said...

Glenn, we;ve had this conversation on here many times before. I tell you what we've done. You reply in the negative. And even when you acknowledge some good things you then argue that they're more than offset by other decisions. So what's the point me wasting my valuable time going through all that again, when people can look through the archive on here if they're really interested? You obviously want to use my site for a bit of political grandstanding and I've told you before - use your own site for that.