The Ironing Lady goes missing from conference
Barrage goes under
It was Labour in government that revived plans for a Severn barrage, a huge array of underwater turbines to generate power from the massive tides in the Bristol Channel. Promising 5% of the UK's electricity needs and potentially providing thousands of jobs in the South West, the proposal was ditched by the coalition who deemed it too expensive. But Labour's position now seems against a barrage – first proposed a hundred years ago. Barry Gardiner, Shadow Minister for the Natural Environment and Fisheries, said at Labour conference last week: "All of us as environmentalists desperately want to see the resource that is the Severn estuary used in some way. If we could do this in a way that was going to bring 5% of the UK's energy supply into play from renewables – what a prize that would be. But we can't do it if we are going to sacrifice all the other public goods that flow from that estuary. Not just in terms of fisheries, in terms of mudflats, in terms of the environment, in terms of all environmental life."
Who are you?
Also at the Labour conference, Ed Balls recalled how he was unfortunately likened to someone else. Speaking at a reception for delegates in the East of England, he recounted attending the Chief Rabbi's 20th anniversary dinner and was sat next to the Chief Rabbi's table and Prince Charles with his wife Yvette Cooper, Labour's Home Affairs spokesman. "I said to her afterwards 'who was that guy you were sitting next to?' Actually, she said it was Prince Charles' bodyguard. Why do they choose the Shadow Cabinet table for the bodyguard, I don't know? They had a long discussion about security issues and policing and after about half an hour he turned to Yvette and said: 'This is a really interesting conversation, but who are you?' Yvette said 'I'm actually the Shadow Secretary – that is why I know all these things, Theresa May, I deal with her a lot, your ultimate boss'. So he said: 'Is this a table of politicians?' and Yvette said 'yes'. And he looked over at me and he said 'I thought I recognised Nick Griffin'."
It was dubbed "Thatcher Day" at Conservative Party conference. The annual conference was opened by a video tribute to Baroness Thatcher, who died in April, and stalls are selling a wide range of memorabilia, from T-shirts and key-rings to mugs and even bibs bearing the slogan "Iron Baby". But one item from the stall mysteriously appeared to have disappeared. The price list refers to a Mrs T iron-board cover. But when asked for said item, a journalist was told it had been withdrawn. Perhaps not surprisingly.
Tweet of the week
Dr Sarah Wollaston, Conservative MP for Totnes, condemns the supermarket giant for stocking a "psycho ward" Halloween outfit. It was later withdrawn.