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The way we were: Life of the party

Extracts from articles and diaries on party conferences, chosen by Ian Irvine

By Ian Irvine   October 2011

Denis Healey after speaking at the Labour party conference in Blackpool, October 1976

Labour MP Tom Driberg’s diary entry on the party conference, 3rd October 1952

Just home from the annual Labour party conference—this year at Morecambe, a resort whose hideousness is redeemed only by the excellence of the potted shrimps and by the architecture of the Midland Hotel… it was an unexpected refreshment to find, in the lounge of a middle-class English hotel, a large mural by Eric Gill.

This was the occasion on which it had been expected that the differences within the Labour party would “come out…

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