I was at the
London Labour Party‘s fundraising dinner in Canary Wharf last night.

I was fully
intending to blog last night after getting back. But I got home just before midnight to find
my mouse had died. You can have all the online malarkey you want, but if your
mouse won’t go, and you don’t know where the batteries are

Batteries duly found this morning I then discovered it was the whole damned
computer that seemed to be having a bad day. Computer rage set in, but it did no

So this comes via a BlackBerry via a friend (I have not yet
learned how to do the blog from the BlackBerry). 

Anyway, the dinner. GB was the main
speaker and on good form as he set out some of his hopes for the flurry of
international dialogue, and in particular the G20 in early April, to frame a
new global response to the recent economic upheaval.

JP was perhaps
less diplomatic with his analysis, making some pretty robust comments on Fred the
and RBS Ambassador Jackie Stewart.

And I was the
warm up man for GB and JP, so just reminded people of the time JP decided the
best way to connect with the electorate was to thump them, and pointed out we
went on to win despite the most disaster prone election launch in history.
(Sharron Storer haranguing TB outside a hospital, Jack Straw slow-handclapped by
the cops
, then the JP punch).

So there’s
always hope!

JP and I are both new converts to online activity and he was flashing his new
toys for all to see. He said when he sought advice on what laptop to get, he
was told just to sit next to a civil servant or a spy on the train, and they’d
leave it for him.

He continued to
have trouble with his words from time to time. At one point he announced that
he had just been on the Jeremy Kyle show and I thought no, please, don’t tell
me his publisher got him onto that to promote his book.

But when I asked
him about it on the tube home, it turned out he meant Jeremy Vine. Phew. 

But as ever with John, there was a serious message to his speech,
which boiled down was that the next election is going to be a tough fight and
the organisation on the ground is going to be as important as ever. But so is
the campaign online and we need to be engaging better than ever.

Stephen Pound did the auction, with the most money given for a signed copy of Barack Obama’s
book, and the least for one of mine! Mind you, we made up for it with a book

signing at the end with the party organisers charging way over the odds for my novel
and my diaries
, and I was dead chuffed that the novel sold out first.

As JP and I
walked towards the underground station at the end, he couldn’t resist pointing
out all the banks. ‘To think, we always dreamed that one day this would be

Even if not in these circumstances.

I’ll tell you
what though … He is still one hell of a campaigner.