I have been bowled over by the buzz, atmosphere and camaraderie around Brighton.
Everyone is united behind Jeremy Corbyn in the goal of winning the next election.
And the weather’s been brilliant too.
After two superb days I wondered if things could get even better - I needn’t have worried. They did.
The day started with International Affairs, and Brexit as the opening theme.
Shadow foreign Secretary Emily Thornberry opened with the following battle cry:
"..if we stand united as a party, and if we stand on a radical manifesto, there is absolutely no seat we can't win.......".
She said there were there priorities since the Brexit referendum, Jobs, Jobs and Jobs.
Emily went on to speak passionately about the tragic conflicts and human rights issues around the world, from Venezuela to Syria.
She told delegates in a packed hall:
“ In these dangerous times, our leaders need to stand up for human rights and international treaties and work with the UN for peace. Michael Fallon (Defence Secretary) has signed a deal to increase our co- operation with the military in Saudi Arabia, whose actions in the Yemen have caused utter misery and loss of life. A Labour government will reform the way decisions are made on the export of arms, with clear rules and tests based on independent advice.”
“.. too weak and divided to negotiate. While they argue amongst themselves, our jobs, mortgages and futures are at stake.
David Cameron gambled the future of our country to try to unite his party, Boris (Johnson) then went on to stand in front of a bus with the biggest lie plastered across it (£350m for the NHS). Theresa May is now more interested in saving her own skin, than the interests of this country.
Labour respects the result of the referendum but we are also an internationalist party which values co-operation and solidarity. We want to protect human and worker rights, the environment and social justice.
Labour put forward the idea of a transition period during which we would remain in the Customs Union and Single Market. An idea which Theresa May then put forward as her own.
She has no further answers as to how we should now proceed. The Labour approach is a flexible one. We need to consider whether we negotiate a new trade deal or remain in a type of single market.
Ultimately, a Labour government will act in the interests of the country.”
The inimitable veteran MP Dennis Skinner was up next
reminding us that there are many Tory big names with a majority of under 3k, including Justine Greening (Education Secretary), Iain Duncan Smith, Amber Rudd (Home Secretary), Remainer Anna Soubrey and Zak Goldsmith.
To huge applause he insisted:
“We need fairer distribution of rail investment. For every £10-£20 invested in the south east, pennies are spent elsewhere."
Dennis recalled the Nye Bevan government which was elected in post war days when our country was on its knees.
But Dennis recalled:
“We still found the money to launch a programme of council house building and, of course, the NHS.
How did they do this? The same way in which every business wishing to expand does - by borrowing the money! That is what the private sector does and this is what we need to do to improve our infrastructure and services.
When Tesco wishes to expand it doesn’t go to the Tesco safe - it borrows the money from someone else’s safe. It borrows ... and that is what we have to do. And every day when those people poke cameras into our faces and ask ‘Where’s the money coming from‘? We should tell them, ‘We’re going to borrow it’ ”.
His first observation was that 12 months ago, Labour was 24 points behind in the polls.
“We are now entering a new era, a fourth industrial revolution. The jobs that remain could be exploitative, dangerous and degrading, or they could be secure, fulfilling and meaningful.
We can remain a low wage, zero hour contracts economy or we can help to shape a different world.
Labour will establish a Strategic Investment Board to co-ordinate the promotion of investment, employment and wages. We will no longer have disparity between London and the rest of the country.
Decision making will be devolved to regional development banks and the metro mayors.”
He revealed how a Labour government will:
Build Crossroad for the North.
Extend HS2 to Scotland.
Deliver funding for Midlands Connect.
Electrify rail lines from Cornwall to London.
Decarbonise our economy with a publicly owned energy supply based on alternative energy sources.
Commit to building projects such as the Swansea Tidal Lagoon.
Support local entrepreneurs, co-operatives and small businesses.
Bring back ownership and control of utilities and key services, including rail, energy and Royal Mail.
Demand that the rights of EU citizens living in the UK are fully protected.
Commission a review of the scale, causes and responses to the debt left by the Tory govt.
Scrap the public sector pay cap.
Introduce the £10 living wage.
Restore basic employment.
“ This Tory government has borrowed more than any Labour government ever has and yet FTSE 100 Chief executive's are paid 160 times more than the average worker.
Labour will not sign any more PFI schemes, which have seen profits going to companies in tax havens.”
John McDonnell concluded his speech with the following quote from Bobby Kennedy:
“The gross national product does not allow for the health of our children, the quality of their education or the joy of their play. It does not include the beauty of our poetry.”