It's Political Conference time in the UK when those who would be our political 'masters' preach to the converted (their party faithful) and try to convince the rest of us that their promises and pledges are more plausible than those made by the other party leaders.
I have to admit that when I attended my first party conference a long way back (too far to comfortably think about), I was expecting several hours of listening to dry as dust speeches from rather grey personalities. In fact, for the most part, they are really quite exciting events with so much going on and the politicians themselves seem to be much
more interesting than they would appear from the snippets we generally see on TV. As a general rule, they are extremely approachable as you are finding them in a non-hostile environment surrounded by the party faithful.
This year I'm covering a couple of days of the Conservative Party conference in Manchester. It's quite an interesting process obtaining accreditation. I have a full UK Press Card which is issued to the
holder by the NUJ in conjunction with the police
however to attend the party conference you need positive vetting too.
I've had a visit from the local police to double check my details and then you get the visit from 'the man in the grey suit' as I like to call him. MI5 or 6 - I know not which, but he's there to make sure you are not a threat to national security I guess. Anyway, that's me all set for October.
This conference should prove to be an exciting event as the Conservatives are the incumbent Government at a time when huge issues are facing the country. I have a feeling our Prime Minister may be in for a rockier ride than she might hope. Time will tell as always. For now, here are a few photographs from previous events.