Tony plays to a packed conference hall. It starts off with a standing ovation while a huge list of government achievements appear on screen. And I mean a huge list of achievements: minimum wage, low unemployment, stable economy, etc. Tony has a difficult speech to make and I think he gets it about right. It's good but not as inspirational as Gordon's - Tony has an eye on the TV audience.
Tony comes to the podium and is immediately heckled from behind and above me - I have a seat at the very back. "You have blood on your hands" shouts the anti-Iraq protester. Tony is calm "isn't it great we are a democracy"
Tony says he likes Charles Kennedy, bashes the Tories a bit and lists ten things a win will do for Britain's hard-working families. All good stuff. Well almost. I like the commitment to dedicated policing teams for local areas but I remain to be convinced on ID cards.
Tony is then heckled by three clean cut young things. "you don't believe in democracy" says the people who are ignoring the wishes of 76% of the British people to ban fox-hunting (MORI November 2003). They chuck some noisemakers [turn out to be rape alarms] into the hall near me. I get involved with the hunt for the last one which is stuck in the curtains at the back. It just didn't occur to me that it might be a bomb. Security takes an age to deal with the protesters.
Tony talks about Trust. He tells us of the pledges Labour made in 1997 - all delivered - and in 2001 - also all delivered and indeed exceeded. He says that is what trust is all about.
Iraq: "I can't apologise for removing Saddam" he says. He is sorry that the intelligence was wrong. Aren't we all? He goes on: "Iraq was not a safe country before March 2003", true enough. People do seem to forget that one. "we must stay the course" also true.
Tony gets two bigger than average claps in the speech. First for "we will never play politics with the issue of race" - which is really good as most people there are white. Secondly, after talking about Iraq he pictures a future with "Two states, Israel and Palestine, living side by side". He goes on to say he will be personally working on this after November [ie after the US presidential elections]. He reminds us that realistically the USA needs to be involved.
I particularily liked this line from his speech "make the NHS deliver what it was created to deliver, free, universal, decent health care for all". It is good to see this commitment from the top.
He finishes by saying a third term is worth the fight. "Now let's get out and do it"
Read the whole nine yards here.