First Time in the Big Hall

First time in the big hall.

Logan Machell, 28 - Young Scottish Fabian from Aberdeen Donside - reflects on his first Conference experience.

Going to the Labour Party conference for the first time, I did not know what to expect.

As a non-delegate, I was free to attend many fringe events covering a broad range of topics that impact so many lives today. One of the themes that consistently came up was the cost-of-living and how we can solve this crisis. Whilst listening to the many voices that raised their concerns on the numerous panels and in the audience, I saw the level of damage the Conservative government has forced on the country after twelve years of governance.

As a Scottish person, I went to fringe events about Scotland that produced one consistent theme of defeating the dominant Scottish Nationalist Party in the next election. Lots of fringe events highlighted the obvious failings of the SNP government in Holyrood; the failure to lower poverty, improve education and improve healthcare. Some agreed that this is a difficult journey ahead for Scottish Labour, however there is still hope that we can win in the end.

The numerous speeches from the shadow cabinet and Sir Keir Starmer was a highlight of my experience at the conference. I had the opportunity to attend most of these speeches in the main conference hall apart from the leader's speech. The atmosphere in the main conference hall was full of optimism and hope for the future. Throughout my time at the conference, there were numerous polls released that helped fuel my optimism and possibly many others at the conference. The promise of improving the country by nationalising the railway, building up British energy, and improving the NHS - also helped fuel the enthusiastic atmosphere after the twelve years of Tory austerity. You could feel the excitement in the main conference hall and the shadow cabinet was able to witness a standing ovation after every speech. During the leader's speech, even in the secondary auditorium, you could feel the energy from the main conference hall ending in every standing ovation.

The main conference hall was privileged to have two speakers who spoke about the devastating war in Ukraine. The two speakers were Lesia Vasylenko - a leading Ukrainian Parliamentarian - and Sviatlana Tsikhanouskaya - the leader of free Belarus. These speeches highlighted how important it is to support Ukraine and the fight against authoritarianism in the region. The Labour party has shown its unwavering support for the people in both countries.



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All rights reserved, Logan Machell - edited by YSF-Chair.

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