Update at 1 pm - as expected, protesters against the public spending 'cuts' (which are nothing of the kind anyway) have turned up, mostly with Trade Union banners from around Britain, but at around 5,000 only half the anticipated number.
Update at 4.30 pm - Very good event indeed, especially the contribution from the all too often underestimated Baroness Sayeeda Warsi. I shall post a video of that if and when it appears online. In the meantime, here's a quoted section, which I have copied from Conservative Home:
"In the mills, my Dad was told that Labour was the party for him. They said that Labour looked after the poorest. That it looked after the vulnerable and minorities. But Conference, today, my dad and millions of decent, hard-working, fair-minded people like him, are appalled at the state Labour have left this country in. Appalled that Labour abandoned the very people they promised to protect.
With the poorest getting poorer. The gap between the rich and poor getting wider. Youth unemployment hitting new heights. One in five pensioners living in poverty. One in six children growing up in households where no one works. Terrible rates of drink and drug abuse.
Appalling levels of teenage pregnancy. One of the worst rates of family breakdown in Europe. And UNICEF saying that Britain was the worst place in the developed world to be a child. The longest recession. The deepest recession. The doubling of the debt. And spending more on debt interest than on the education of our children.
Conference, this is Labour’s legacy to Britain. This is their gift to the poor. And that’s why, Conference... they should never ever be allowed to do it again."The full transcript is here.
There is also some humour (no surprise there!) along with the serious stuff in Eric Pickles' speech today, where he went in search of John Prescott's legacy in his new office of State.