Peter Kellner, Observer columnist and new recruit to start-up public
affairs consultancy Political Contact, is having problems working up
enthusiasm for his 50th birthday.
He’s not worried about getting old, it’s just that, yet again, he’s
spending it in Blackpool. For Peter’s birthday falls during the Labour
Party conference - which he is covering for Newsnight and the Observer.
‘Having failed in my campaign to get the Labour Party to change the date
of its conference, I’m going to have to change the date of my birthday,’
Kellner tells me.
It is something he has had to get used to. This is his twentieth Labour
conference. He recalls how, at his first conference, then-shadow
chancellor Denis Healey was about to fly out from Heathrow when
sterling crashed. Healey turned back and made his way to the conference
where he made a speech from the floor.
Little chance of a repeat performance from Gordon Brown, I daresay. But
then, that’s socialism for you.