Friday, October 04, 2013

Conference Diary - Conservative Conference Day 2 #cpc13

Beth and Kali get made up ready for a day lobbying 

Did I mention the tired? Goodness the tired! After a late night and serious lack of sleep we plastered on the slap ready to face the fray.

Arrived at conference and went through security. Lovely G4S security guard approached looking a tad nervous and said "Would you like to tell us why you've got a pair of pliers in your bag?" Apparently "because they're pink of course" is not an acceptable answer. I'd also advise not pointing out that due to epic crip issues you're unlikely to even be able to use said pliers but could do an awful lot of damage with the scooter. It makes even the friendliest of security guards a tad twitchy. Fortunately had the sense not to laugh and say "but you didn't find them yesterday, did you, eh, eh". Got through security still in possession of pliers offering biscuits as bribes.

Usual conference type chaos. Make a plan. Throw away plan when other things happen instead. Was supposed to debate workfare proposals with Christian Guy from Centre for Social Justice live on Sky News. Got briefed by lovely JRF people. Debate got cancelled. Cross journalist arranged a quick soundbitey thing. Apologies to anyone who saw it - I'd already had morphine!

Met a lovely delegate @meliden - we realised 5 minutes into the conversation that we'd been twitter pals for ages. Had some really good chats about disabled people, fluctuating conditions and employment.

Went to Eurocopter stall and had our photos taken on their funky green screen. May have been so overexcited about the green screen and green cape that I scooted off clutching said photo with no idea you were supposed to pay for photos. Oops. Fortunately nice Eurocopter lobbyist told me they'd never seen anyone so excited over a green cape and were glad to give me the photo for free. Phew.

Found Conservative Disability Group stand. Went back and back to CDG stand. No-one there except the 'make disability bearable' bears. In the spirit of 'free our people' we freed the bear and brought him home.

'Make disability bearable' bear working hard on his new life as an oramorph addicted scrounger
 Talked to lots of backbench Conservative MP's about disability, welfare and employment. Met lovely young chap from Conservative Future who wanted to support what we were saying on disability. Really supportive conversations with Eleanor Laing MP, Charlotte Leslie MP and Richard Graham MP and lots of delegates.

Discovered the 'wheelchair evacuator' guys. Incredible invention to be able to quickly attach the handles to any manual wheelchair and safely evacuate in an emergency. Especially clever as it keeps the attendant's back straight and is very affordable (£300-400) It is a wee bit bumpy, especially when the triathlete pushing you decides to run full pelt down the steps but it was good to know it doubles as an accessible roller coaster! Given the choice between bumping and burning I'm all about the bumping!



Nearly got thrown out by security guard when Wheelchair evacuator man ran full pelt through the main conference hall lobby and several Tories had to jump out of the way. Beautiful moment

Managed to leave conference with enough spoons intact not to vomit but not enough to make it to dinner. Fortunately the amazing @fibro_girl and her lovely PA Trish were there and could bring some food back to the room. We spoonies got our jammies on and laughed/bemoaned our inability to attend the really posh party we'd been invited to on the grounds that 9pm was way too far past bedtime. 







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