My Saturday morning took me to the Friends' Meeting House in Euston Road for the London Region Political Conference of Amicus, consisting of all the union's delegates to London CLPs.
I was re-elected to the Regional Political Committee - the "forces of light" took all 20 places on the committee and curiously the Hard Left was a lot less well represented than a year ago, when they ran us quite close.
The delegates included on our side included John Spellar and on the defeated side former Cabinet Minister Albert Booth, Jim Mortimer (the Labour Party General Secretary who ran the 1983 General Election Campaign) and "Red" Ted Knight. Comrades Mortimer and Knight treated us to "questions" to Deputy General Secretary Graham Goddard which attacked him and Derek Simpson from the left and lasted the best part of ten minutes each (during which the chair told off Spellar & me for heckling, though she did say what we had shouted was "funny").
Booth, Mortimer and Knight also had a go at guest speaker Jon Cruddas. I thought Jon was personable, human, intelligent and had a good organisational analysis about re-building the party. He also won brownie points for praising Tony Blair and quoting Paul Keating. On the minus side it was all a bit anecdotal - based on what people have said to him at surgeries in Dagenham - and the political conclusions were vague and muddled - all about keeping the coalition of swing voters and core voters together ( a - does anyone think we shouldn't? and b - he seemed to have strong views on appealing to the latter but not the former). The big theme seemed to be that we have ignored our core working class vote. But this doesn't stack up. The votes Labour lost in 2005 to the Lib Dems were disproportionately the liberal anti-war middle classes, not the core vote (hence seats lost were places like Cambridge, Hornsey & Wood Green and Bristol West). And I represent a council ward that is a lot more working class and deprived than Dagenham but remains enthusiastic about voting Labour - when I look around it, it needs loads more done but it certainly hasn't been ignored in the last ten years: all the estates are getting revamped with huge investment under Decent Homes, there's a 3* hospital in the ward, a new city academy in the pipeline, more frequent buses, crime is down since we got a 6-strong ward policing team, and more people have jobs - and those that do get the minimum wage and WFTC. Saying Labour hasn't delivered for its core voters just isn't true.
Anyway, I doubt, knowing the politics of most of the people in the room, that Cruddas came away having converted anyone, and like most of the other Amicus Regional Political Conferences our one was again a bastion of sensible politics.