Our 34th annual party conference was held in Belper, Derbyshire, on Thurs 27 Sept till Sun 30th. We didn’t know what to expect after being in Blackpool for the last 3 years, but need not have worried, the town welcomed us with open arms. I had been promoting the show, media wise, for 3 months or more. So much so, that we made front page news in the local Belper newspaper 2 weeks before we got there. So it set the scene for a fantastic long weekend of idiocracy and loonacy, much better than all the other party’s could ever hope to achieve. Although they do try and maybe, just now and again, they do out-loony us!
The ‘Sunday Politics Show East Midlands’ filmed the Conference which can be picked up on IPlayer. Their parting shot after filming was that “we are much more fun than all the other party’s put together”.
Thursday saw lots of Loonys arriving, meeting and greeting. It was great to see more people attending earlier than Friday or Saturday. Dale Rowles and myself were invited to do an interview for local radio ‘Amber Valley Sound’ in late afternoon, which helped to promote the conference.
Delegates flew in from Germany, Jersey, West Virginia, Chicago, Scotland and Wales and all points of Great Britain. After a lot of banter and policy making, (which nobody remembers doing) we prepared for the weekend of events. Friday night opened up with a great set of influential political songs from ‘The Big Fibbers’. Special guest Gareth Icke, (yes the son of David) then entertained us, he was very good, his father would have been proud of him had he have been there, he was invited. Then ‘Gripper and the Gonads’ playing their third conference for us, (you’ve got be good to play for us more than once), and once more we shall see them again, I’ve no doubt. Well done lads.
At 12 noon on Saturday we met up at our conference centre ‘The George and Dragon’ to visit local hostelries for our promotional tour of the town. Everyone greeted us with a smile. We were joined now by ‘The Black Pig Border Morris Team’ who are all party members. We danced from the ‘The Old Dukes Head’ and sang from ‘The British Legion’, into the main high street where the buses stopped to allow passengers to watch. On to ‘The Railway’, then into ‘Arkwrights’, a small micro pub. We had already visited ‘The Lion’ and ‘Pump it Up’ on our way into town, so made our way back to ‘The Rifleman’ then back to the Conference centre for our annual ‘Cabinet Reshuffle!’
The Leaders speech was next on the agenda, after delegates had stopped laughing, they all gathered in the main hall waiting for proceedings to begin.
First to speak was the Party Chairman the ‘Jersey Flyer’ who welcomed and thanked all for attending before handing over to the Party Leader Howling ‘Laud’ Hope. He gave an exciting insight as to what had happened throughout the year much to the applause and bravo’s from the intently listening audience. Thanked all who had stood in their local elections in 2018 and a special welcome to all who had travelled from overseas. On a slightly sadder note he mentioned a couple of party members who are no longer with us, Christina Laugh and a Half – and Boney Morony, they are gone but not forgotten. We had a whole minutes laugh in their memory, and paid homage with a small libation.
On to the evening, local band ‘ManPant’ started the proceedings with the landlord of the ‘George and Dragon’, Craig, as lead vocalist, which surprised us all. At this point I wish to thank Craig and his staff for their hospitality over a great weekend.
Joe Jammer from Chicago gave a rousing performance with the new Loony Party ‘Oh Oh’ song. Plus a fine set of other classic Rock’n’Roll tunes. Superbly accompanied by ‘The Loony Party Allstars’
Montague Jacques Fromage 111 from Viginia gave us an insight into the ‘Steam Punk Rap World’ while compèreing the show. Next up was Dale Rowles and his BB Blackdog Band, they are quite local, so always a crowd puller. Party Members ‘Chinners’ and ‘Tiger Jones’ couldn’t resist singing a couple of songs with the bands. All ending with the final act Mr Badaxe. He has to go on at the end for inexplicable reasons. His T-shirts don’t have tour venues on the back, but all the places he is been banned from! We just shout for more! Special thanks to Dale for all his local expertise and knowledge when arranging this wonderful fiasco of superfluous amusement.
We don’t know yet where next year’s conference is, we have options to explore. Back to Belper maybe, Hook in Hampshire, Blackpool, Manchester would be good if we can pull it off, as that’s where next year’s Tory conference will be. Hartlepool has been mentioned also Mablethorpe or Skegness Lincolnshire. All of you who have been and seen, will realise that it can’t happen without your help, so if you have any ideas let us know. A decision will be made early next year. To this end I would like to thank all who had an input into ‘The Belter in Belper’. Thankyou to all who follow us, especially our members. Even more so the local Belperians. See you all again whenever, keep an eye on – loonyparty.com- and you won’t go far wrong!
Howling ‘Laud’ Hope