Phew, the party conference season is finally finished. So let’s look back at the highs and lows for the top two parties.
There were inspiring speeches and total speech failures; open bitchiness from one party to another, and each copying the other’s policies. But there’s no doubt which party leader came out on top – unless you think the prime minister will have cornered a massive sympathy vote.
Labour set up camp in Brighton – not without controversy as people took to Twitter to vent about the use of a ‘mosque’ in the logo. But said mosque was really Brighton’s Royal Pavilion.
My personal favourite was Emily Thornberry blasting Boris Johnson by comparing him to a Dad undergoing a paternity test on the Jeremy Kyle Show. The powerful speech given by GCSE student Lauren Stocks, aged 16, was another highlight of the conference; it has since been circulated far and wide through social media. Lauren’s priority was the mental health of students sitting exams, and how the system has tragically let them down.
Closing the conference, Jeremy Corbyn seemed more relaxed, perhaps because he secured his leadership in May when Labour lost the general election but won back much of the ground which Corbyn’s detractors had said he could never reach.
‘We meet here this week as a united party, advancing in every part of Britain, winning the confidence of millions of our fellow citizens,’ Corbyn began. And the rest of his speech flew high without a hitch, touching on inequality, rebuilding the NHS, and reconstructing relations with Europe to enhance opportunities for young people.
We were brought down to earth by the Conservative Party Conference in Manchester. The governing party was besieged by protesters from all over the country. Inside the hall, conference proceedings were beset by infighting and finally, disaster.
It was meant to be the assertion of her authority. But thanks to a sore throat, Theresa May’s closing speech got off to a shaky start; and from then on, it only got worse. Claiming that foreign secretary Boris Johnson had asked him to do it, prankster Lee Nelson handed her a P45 (the form you receive when you’re out of a job), the prime minister of Great Britain seemingly had no security to protect her from such interruptions, and all the entire cabinet could do was hand her a cough sweet.
Mrs May drew further criticism for her choice of wrist accessory – a bracelet modelled on the work of Mexican communist painter Frida Kahlo, sometime lover of Leon Trotsky. Certainly a strange bedfellow for the Tory leader.
To top things off for Theresa, towards the end of her speech some of the letters on the sign behind her, decided to give up the ghost and drop off. Judging by her performance, it seemed like the Conservatives might be going into free fall.
But at least she turned up – unlike the televised leader debates in the run up to the 2017 election.