Thursday, December 14, 2006

War rooms, babies and the Cowley St xmas party

I wrote the following blog entry on the train from London to Newcastle last night. When I got to my house at 1am this morning my blackberry buzzed to tell me I had a message. It turned out for some reason the post to the blog had bounced back. So here it is again. Pretend it's yesterday when you read it!

In the office in which I work in Cowley Street, my end is occupied by the Political Communications Unit and the other end by the Policy Unit. They are due to be moved out to a new office in Abbey Gardens, a stone's throw from Cowley Street. The Political Communications Unit proper will move in soon once we have evicted the Policy Unit.

This arrangement doesn't stop us joining in with Policy Unit events. One of these was today - the official thank you to Sarah the intern who is heading back to the USA shortly. The thank you party took the form of a tour of the Cabinet War Rooms which I attended as well, though I left early as, with the announcement of yet more Post Office closures due tomorrow, I needed to produce some political warfare material for use by our troops on the ground.

Producing this all had to be crammed in to one afternoon as at 5.30pm I headed down to the press office for a short thank you party for Fred Carver who produces 'Red Eye, the overnight media briefing (on which I base some of the Issues of the Month briefing which goes out at the end of each month.) Fred is leaving soon so this was his thank you party.. Fred is a councillor in Camden so he is smiling at the moment - Labour just got screwed there last week after losing a byelection to the Lib Dems.

I had fifteen minutes between leaving Fred's do and going to the Cowley St xmas party in the Lords to try to finish the Post Office warfare paper. I didn't quite complete it. So tomorow morning, I will do the final changes to the document in Gateshead before emailing it back to London.

The reason I didn't finish it was because Helen Banks, former senior researcher int eh policy Unit turned up to show off her new baby, 2 month old Rosie. I'll put the photos on the blog soon.
I didn't realise we had so many people working either for the party in Parliament or for Cowley Street. They all seemed to be there when I turned up for the staff do. Wall to wall people. Think back a decade and you can see how the party has moved on in terms of its professional organisation.

Alas I couldn't stay too long. I had a train to catch to Newcastle at 9pm. I'm on it now. Tomorrow I have a council meeting in Gateshead, hence the early return.. My group have put me down to second a motion on high speed rail. I can't complain! I was one of the members who said a motion on this was a good idea!

By the way, just to follow up my blog posting about YouTube and ITV from last week, Endemol, the company that is making the programme for broadcast on NY eve that asked for one of my videos, has got back in touch and asked for another six videos from my YouTube channel! I love YouTube, the best invention since the wheel!

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