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Front Page | In-depth | UK Politics | Conference 2001


A postcard from Brighton
Mark Seddon is a member of Labour's national executive committee and editor of Tribune


Wednesday 3rd October

This has been the conference that never was - a surreal week of overcrowded bars, overheated hotel lobbies and flat speeches. More storms out at sea than in the conference hall, which is not how it should be. But party members and the trade unions effectively lay doggo so as not to rock the boat.

Most people think Tony Blair gave the best conference speech he's ever delivered, on the new moral international order. But I thought it was underscored by a kind of gunboat diplomacy - a new world order predicated on Pax Americana and Pax Britannica. It was refreshing to hear Mr Blair talk about poverty and so forth. But he appears to be enfolding the globe with a tunic of imperial purple.

Tuesday evening's Tribune rally was a success - and contrary to some hilarious reports, did not act as a fan club for Mr Blair but actually posed some very hard questions and criticisms of the prime minister and of George Bush.

Back to London today, and now that I've this week formally taken up my seat on the party's national executive committee, I look forward to NEC members putting those questions to the party leadership again.

Til next year!

Mark Seddon
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