Wednesday, September 10, 2008
Kevin and I share lunch with the PM (and others)
When my mate Kevin and I agreed to lunch last Thursday, little did we realise that our get-together was going to be gatecrashed by 70 LP members and the PM!
Of course we changed our plans when we heard that the Leader was coming to Liverpool and would be speaking to and talking with LP members as part of his visit.
We all met in a place that in my eyes is the centre of the known-world, Kensington and Fairfield.
GB came in, shook hands with everyone, not just a few, and then made a short speech before going round every table and talking properly to everyone. I was rather impressed by that if I might say so, I have been at perhaps three or four dozen such events over the last 16 years, and I doubt if I have ever seen any politician, leader or otherwise, take quite as much time as that to be with every attendee.
He had also taken the time to learn and remember people's names so that he could welcome the local government Labour Leaders present (not just Liverpool) and to indicate to them during his speech, also the Euro candidate, the MPs present, the Parliamentary candidates etc. And he smiled a lot and kept a lot of eye contact while he spoke.
Why can't he be that good on the TV? He was most engaging.
The content was pretty good too, I wont bore you with it, but he talked about the hard times we are in and the measures he wants to undertake to sort them out and how the Tories would put all this at risk. All as you would expect.
I picked up on a pledge he made that Labour would have as a manifesto commitment that we would restore the link between pensions and earnings in the next Parliament. I got very excited about this and asked him more about this when he came over to talk to us (pictured)
Although subsequently research has shown that this is already public knowledge, I confess I had missed it altogether, so it was news to me, but what GREAT news!
I also asked him about the 08 badge he was wearing. He said Phil Redmond had given it to him (well done Phil) and we teased him about whether he would be wearing it when he reached Glasgow later that afternoon.
Anyway, it was a very productive event and he got away before the truly horrendous downpour that kept the rest of us penned into reception waiting for it to subside a bit.
Welcome to Liverpool Gordon.