Free at last
A historic week for me as a recovering former student politician.
It's NUS Conference in Blackpool and for the first time in my adult life I don't know or care who has been elected as President.
I spent a total of nearly 2 months of my life (spread over 6 years) shut in the Blackpool Winter Gardens with 1,000+ other badge-wearing activists (and at Special Conferences in Wolverhampton Town Hall and somewhere else I can't even remember) thinking about such momentous issues as 11th preference transfers for the bock-of-12; whether Left Unity or SWSS got the 2nd anti-platform speech in the funding debate; and who had the best strategy for Futher Education Union Development.
Until recently I had box files full of every leaflet handed out by every faction in the leaflet tunnel from 1990-1996, each box with a photocopied "Trotskyists not welcome here" logo taped on the outside. All thrown out when I moved house in November.
Bizarrely I was never allowed to speak from the platform by my faction - as I was judged incapable of sounding leftwing enough to swing any votes - actually maybe not so bizarrely - but did get named in speeches by other factions - most memorably the AWL's Richie Carrothers used his hustings speech for the NEC to plead with delegates "don't take your line from Luke the Nuke Akehurst and the puppet masters in the NOLS balcony".