The final night. There seems to be less Fringe events on tonight but I manage to find three.
Firstly I visit Progress Any Questions session. A chance to discuss future policy and direction with Ed Balls (a PPC like me!), Estelle Morris, David Aaronovitch, Jackie Ashly and Lord Falconer (again!)
A few snippets from their collective wisdom:
"Tories are always worried about their core vote, hence lurch to the right" (Estelle)
"75p increase in pensions" (Balls) TOO RIGHT. Speaking as a footsoldier who had to go out and take it in the ear from the voters. "Done alot for the poorest pensioners since" says Balls "targetting poor pensioners" is more important than the earnings link.
"Jubilee 2000 is a brilliant lobbying organisation" (Ed) and "gave good impetus to woldwide debt relief"
"Left wing parties have to make the case for change and need to be more persuasive" (Falconer)
"Left wing press is the opposition" (Aaranovitch)
And then its on to a meeting on third world population control. I am keen to seen Gareth THomas MP, a minister at Department For International Development (DFID). He gives a workmanlike speech:
* one woman dies every minute from birth/pregnancy problems in the undeveloped world (a horrifying statistic)
* Deaths are avoidable - trained midwives, emergency care & respect for women's rights [right to choose to have children] would all help
*DFID provide money for natal care - Gareth gives the example of bicycle ambulances in Nepal - more contraception and more sex education
* Women are more biologically susceptable to AIDS
And on that cheery note, I head off to the NUT reception. I have been tipped off that fish n chips are on the menu! However, as I arrive, the only two people I know at the reception are leaving - having scoffed their fish n chips of course! I have mine and then join an Eastern region group in the bar. I remain there (apart from a brief visit to the Daily Mirror disco) until after one.