Sunday, September 11, 2011

Labour North West Fundraising Dinner in Crewe with Alastair Campbell

I was delighted to host the Labour NW dinner on Friday night with Alastair Campbell as our after-dinner speaker. We had a great night, raised loads of money for the party and thoroughly enjoyed ourselves.

I wont say too much about it, as it is getting late and I have to be up early in the morning, but there are a few items worthy of mention. First of all I would say that Alastair is great value as an after dinner speaker and if you can book him, I can heartily recommend him. I have been to several dinners over the years where he has spoken, in Liverpool, Southport and Manchester for instance. But in Crewe he really surpassed himself.

I was delighted to introduce him as I have always been a big fan. He spoke well and was very engaging and then took questions from the floor on a variety of political and personal topics. I then persuaded him to play the bagpipes for us - I bet we are the first LP ever to have seen this! We bought some of his books from the wholesalers which he signed for anyone who wanted to buy one, which was a great fundraiser and one member, who is a professional photographer, took photos of him with guests which were then printed out and framed, and Al signed them, all to the benefit of party funds. It is hard to think how he could have done more to make the evening special for everyone whilst helping to grow our coffers.

Alison McGovern and Ivan Lewis both sat on our table, along with Steve Carter, one of our Euro candidates in the last election, some Burnley FC supporters and a young man from Rochdale who had come on his own and was thrilled to be sitting across from Alastair and being able to chat about what had drawn him to politics.

I managed to avoid mention of the Burnley v Boro match the following day, just as well really as we beat them 2-0 away from home, so hopefully he will still be talking to me today.

You can follow Al on twitter on @campbellclaret

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