Monday, October 20, 2008

Back From Conference

That's me back from SNP Conference, with several more visits to our Glenrothes campaign rooms under my belt. It was a thoroughly enjoyable conference and great to catch up with old friends whom due to my sojourn in London, I haven't seen too much of over the past year or so.

If last year was a case of pinching yourself that May's election of an SNP government had actually happened, this year was more of a 'down to business' conference. The feelgood factor still abounds, and none moreso than for those delegates who took in the speeches of the ministerial team.

Of course, the dark clouds of the financial crisis loomed overhead. If some commentators and politicians of other persuasions seemed almost gleeful in their recent dismissals of independence, they were swatted aside by Alex Salmond's Sunday afternoon demolition of Gordon Brown's partisanship and the toxic economic legacy he will leave.

My duties this year were light, except to chair what was possibly the busiest fringe event of the conference - a London Branch organised debate on the economics of independence, with John Swinney and Stewart Hosie as the speakers. Almost 300 delegates, and not a few journalists too, packed in to hear then put questions to the two speakers. The claustrophobic conditions and rising room temperatures proved too much for one delegate, who temporarily passed out. Luckily, he made a swift recovery, and was able to get to his feet soon after.

I can't complain too much about the resulting press coverage either. If the worst you have to deal with is Magnus Linklater being his habitual sniffy and disdainful self about the SNP, then it's usually a sign of our vitality and health - a bit like a cold wet nose on a labrador.

Anyway, next year is the Year of Homecoming and to help mark it, singer Sandi Thom will be recording a version of Dougie MacLean's 'Caledonia'. Here's a sneak preview which I took on my phone.

And no, it wasn't shot during an earthquake - I just had to use the zoom to get up close.

1 comment:

stuart w said...

I see your colleague 'Holyrood Patter' has given Sandi Thom'Learn Your Lines' award re her rendition of Caledonia!

I wonder if Amy MacDonald was proffered the opportunity to do the recording, since after all she did have an abridged version of the song on her debut album.