Top ten ways to chillax at conference

Written by Justin Cash on 18 September 2013 in Culture
Conference season can be a stressful time for any politico. Here’s a cross-party look at how our MPs wind down when it all gets too much

This article is from the October 2013 issue of Total Politics

Just because you’re suited and booted doesn’t mean you can’t have a good old boogie at your conference. Better still, take to the decks yourself like Alan Johnson here. DJ Shadow (Home Secretary) perhaps?

Tap the grass roots
You’ll probably need some fresh air after being shuttered away for a few days. Nick Clegg shows the way by partaking in a spot of gardening at the Liberal Democrats’ 2009 conference in Bournemouth.

Get down with the kids
If there’s no fun to be had in the mature corridors of conference power, one could always find some more willing chillaxers. David Cameron certainly looks to be enjoying himself on this visit to a Manchester youth club before the Conservatives’ 2009 conference got into full swing.

Once more unto the beach
If you’re lucky enough to be hosted near the sea, why not escape to the sand for some respite from the conference? We like Clegg’s impromptu Bournemouth cricket game in particular, so roll your sleeves up and get stuck in.

Have a ‘virtual pint’
Okay, so maybe having one drink too many isn’t such a good idea. Take a lesson from William Hague then, by just having a quiet tour of the trade stands. It would certainly save sitting in on a particularly tortuous speech.

Flop out
So chilled out we had to feature him twice, the PM kicks back on his sofa to work on his conference speech. The arch-chillaxer certainly takes the gold in this Top 10. Just try not to nod off if you attempt this one…

On the ’Ed
The annual Labour Party v Press Lobby football game is always a good way to let off steam as the conference kicks off. Here Ed Balls shows off his, ahem, grace and elegance on the field. New Balls please!

Grab some Dutch courage 
If you need something to settle the nerves before that big speech, how about a shot of Dutch courage? At a farmers market in Blackpool, Iain Duncan Smith and wife Betsy have a sip of gin before returning to nearby conference HQ.

Open something
Because you never can cut enough red ribbons, take some time away from conference to unveil something in the surrounding town. Exhibit A: Tony Blair showing off his skills after opening a sports centre in Manchester when the Labour Party Conference was held there in 2006.

Tags: Issue 62, Top Ten

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