Sandra Macdonald 6th April 2014 Blog the Scottish Co-operative Party Share Tweet The first Labour Party conference I ever attended was in Perth – a women’s conference, held in the Salutation Hotel in 1995, and to see the women who led that conference now leading the party in Perth twenty years later was truly wonderful. I have since been to a Scottish Labour conference in the Dewar’s Rink but this was the first time I had been to the Perth Concert Hall. I thought it worked well – compact but not too bijou. The main focus was of course the Referendum with a subtext of campaigning hard to deliver three Labour MEPs at the Euro Elections on 22nd May. Thursday evening began with a fringe event which is unusual for conference but that worked too – the star of the show was Gordon Brown who delivered a cracking speech to a packed hall. I also enjoyed the contributions from Labour colleagues from Wales and North East England. Friday began with the launch of the Devolution Commission paper. If you don’t read it all, I recommend you read pages 12 to 16 of “Powers for a purpose – strengthening Accountability and Empowering People”. The big hitter of the day was Ed Milliband who pitched his approach just right to support our Scottish leaders delivering strong messages about Scottish Labour’s vision going forward. Johann Lamont’s keynote speech on Saturday afternoon laid out what she believed lay behind “powers for a purpose”. There were of course the usual diverse and eclectic mix of fringe events to choose from. I found Unite the Union’s Back Home Safe event, highlighting the concerns of offshore workers in getting to work in choppers, particularly useful as I work in a busy production delivery department in the oil and gas industry. If I had to hand a prize to anyone at conference it would have been to our very own Cathy Peattie who seamlessly chaired the Co-op fringe events, addressed conference as Party Treasurer and as Chair of the Scottish Co-operative Party and who led the Red Flag refrain to wrap up the 2014 Scottish Labour Party conference. Well done that woman!