I wish people would stop sending in complaints about the cost of hotels in Birmingham. I am not the English Tourist Board! But as we’re on the subject, let’s be clear — the point of having conference there is not to save money, or have fun. It’s so we can get out to parts of Britain we would not normally see. And could I just say to Mr Hargreaves from Chipping Norton: I’m not convinced by your claims that in Blackpool you could get a B&B, slap-up meal, bumper pack of rock and still have change from a £20 note. Nor do I believe that we are going to lose all the atmosphere of conference without bracing sea air and ‘the traditional conference fun’ of karaoke and cross-dressing strip shows. For one thing, Mr H, Birmingham has very good strip clubs of its own. For another, I happen to know that you sent in a complaint last year about Blackpool! I have the letter right here. We file everything in our Member Monitoring Database. You now have two black stars next to your name so if I were you I would keep a low profile, or you might find yourself on one of Mr Mitchell’s trips to Rwanda. Find yourself a cheap hotel out of the selection on his list! Right, enough said.
Memo from Jed, fresh in from California, entitled: Encouraging Debate: ‘I don’t want to hear a peep out of *&^%$$£ Cornerstone at conference! Dave wants to stage four days of Open Debate which will expose Labour for the control freaks they are. That means no interference from crazed right-wing tax-cutters. Three or four dissenters at the back of the hall, and a few carefully planted fringe nutters objecting to green taxes will be ample (see my list of approved “Rent-a-rebels”, in the pdf file marked R).’