labour party conference 2013

Normal service has resumed. Parliament is back; for all bar a small, obsessive minority, memories of the party conferences have faded. As usual, they provided polling as well as political dramas...
Whether talking about HS2, the bedroom tax or the size of the Prime Minister's towel party conferences are a chance to discuss some of the most high profile issues on the political agenda...
For 150 years the co-operative movement has been on the side of ordinary people. Today, the co-operative sector is thriving, growing more than 20% since the recession started in 2008. Co-operative businesses in the UK together turnover more than £37bn a year, a £9bn increase since 2008.
For the vast majority who don't go to party conference and who pay them next to no attention, then, they may as well not take place. But for those who attend, they fulfil a whole bunch of functions...
Britain has always been a nation of fairness... We will clamp down on exploitation in the workplace and support local workers by enforcing the national minimum wage properly and making overcrowding in housing illegal. We will also ensure that companies have to invest in training local people...
Ed Miliband's pledge to freeze energy bill tariffs could undermine billions of pounds worth of investment and jobs, Scottish
Ed Miliband wants to talk about the cost of living. Good. Hardworking people would be worse off under Labour. It is one of those eternal truths in politics: Labour would spend and borrow more of your money. All the glittering giveaways, the puffed pledges, the demands of union bosses - there is only one person who ends up paying for it all. You.
Last week Ed Miliband pledged to bin the Government's Bedroom Tax if Labour win in 2015. This policy came into force in April, and since then working-age tenants who rent from a council or housing association and have a spare bedroom have had their weekly Housing Benefit cut by an average of £14.
Many in the party might think that there's no need for their leader to emphasise international development, as it's already an inherent part of what the party do. But if the issue is consistently ignored by Miliband and others who present the party to the British public, there's a danger that it starts to seem like an add-on, rather than a crucial part of Labour's offering as a campaigning party and potential future government.
This week's blog comes direct from my parents' kitchen table, where I'm holed up away from the real world, catching up on sleep, home-cooked food and fresh countryside air. When we first moved to this house, some twenty years ago, my constant companion was a Friends of the Earth book, which if I remember rightly was entitled How to Save the World... This week, 'green' is back on the menu. That much was clear from my taxi ride back to the train station after a day at the Labour party conference in Brighton (yes, I should have walked, I'm feeling guilty just typing it).