Scottish Liberal Democrats announce EU Parliament candidates

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The Scottish Liberal Democrats have announced their list of MEP candidates for the forthcoming European Parliament election.

  1. Sheila Ritchie - A solicitor and former leader of Gordon District Council and Convener of the Scottish Liberal Democrats tops the list. A life long supporter of the European Union, Sheila spent two decades supporting small businesses in the Aberdeen area through her work with the Elevator scheme, Enterprise Trust and Business Gateway.

  2. Fred Mackintosh - Edinburgh based human rights lawyer and advocate and a former councillor at Edinburgh City Council is also standing.

  3. Catriona Bhatia - Former Deputy Leader of Scottish Borders Council and daughter of Liberal Democrat peer, Lord Steel, Catriona Bhatia will be standing as a candidate in the forthcoming election.

  4. Vita Zaporocenzko - Case worker for Alex Cole Hamilton

  5. John Edward - Director of Scottish Council of Independent Schools and previously the head of office for the EU Parliament in Edinburgh and chief campaign spokesperson for Scotland Stronger in Europe.

  6. Clive Sneddon - Former Leader of North East Fife District Council and local government representative in Europe, Clive previously stood as a Lib Dem candidate in 2017 for the Westminster constituency of Angus.

Scottish Conservative Party announce MEP candidates

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The Scottish Conservative and Unionist Party has announced its list of EU candidates who will take part in the forthcoming EU parliament election:

  1. Nosheena Mobarik – the current incumbent, she is also a life peer and former Whip in the House of Lords.

  2. Iain McGill – a businessman contesting his 13th election, McGill was on the Scottish Euro list in 2014. He has told the Edinburgh Evening News that he hopes that the MEP role will be abolished by the UK leaving the EU “very swiftly”.

  3. Cllr Shona Haslam – a former charity manager, Cllr Haslam took on the role of leader of Scottish Borders Council as soon as she was elected for the first time in 2017

  4. Cllr Iain Whyte – the leader of the Conservative group on Edinburgh City Council, Cllr Whyte also sits on the board of Police Scotland

  5. Andrea Gee – a former staffer to Nosheena Mobarik, Gee now works for Paul Masterton, Conservative MP for East Renfrewshire.

  6. Michael Kusznir – a solicitor in Aberdeen, Kusznir has also researched and campaigned against human trafficking in the city.

Scottish Labour announce EU election candidates

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The Scottish Labour Party has announced its list of candidates who will take part in the forthcoming EU Parliament election.

Top of the list is David Martin who has been an MEP since 1984 followed by Jayne Baxter who was a member of the Scottish Parliament from 2012 to 2016 representing the Mid Scotland and Fife region and Craig Miller who currently works for Richard Leonard, Leader of the Scottish Labour Party and was number five on the Mid Scotland and Fife regional list during the 2016 Scottish Parliament election.

The other three candidates are : Amy Lee Fraioli, Calum O’ Dwyer and Angela Bretherton.

Theresa May: Stuck between a rock and a hard place

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In what promises to be another rollercoaster and unpredictable week for politics, one thing remains certain is that Theresa May’s time in office is diminishing by the second and the Labour Party has emerged as the facilitators of Brexit.

In these unprecedented, never seen before times, were government ministers argue for one thing and vote for another or were the leader of the opposition wilfully ignores a policy decided by Labour Party members, its not just the constitutional question that has parliament in deadlock, but the responses from the two main parties.

This week will see Theresa May attempt to muster support from Conservative Party colleagues to back her deal, which also entails the possibility of more money going to the Democratic Unionist Party (DUP) to secure their support, but as the Beatles once said “ money can’t buy you love” and if there is one thing the DUP loves more than money is Northern Ireland’s close affinity to the UK.

This is likely to be a tough week for Theresa May as she attempts to secure enough buy in to get her Brexit deal passed by parliament this time, but at what cost.  There is mounting speculation that in return for her Brexit plan receiving support she would have to agree to step down as Prime Minister and make way for someone else to take over but is this one of the many rumours floating around the Westminster bubble or is there something in it.

Theresa May is stuck between a rock and a hard place and it could be that she will succumb to pressure from the Brexiteers in her party in order to get her Brexit deal through parliament which would see a new leader elected by the summer.

This would result in a push from opposition parties to hold a General Election, whatever way you look at it, the likelihood of a General Election seems more credible as parliament remains in deadlock over Brexit or if May steps down.

The Independent Group: What does it mean for UK politics ?

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After weeks and months of speculation, Chuka Umunna, Chris Leslie, Luciana Berger, Mike Gapes, Angela Smith, Ann Coffey, Gavin Shuker, Joan Ryan and Ian Austen all resigned from the Labour Party citing a culture of bullying, intimidation and a lack lustre effort over the party’s stance on Brexit.

Similarly, pro-European Union Conservatives, Heidi Allen, Anna Soubry and Sarah Wollaston, resigned the whip from the Conservative Party with Anna Soubry stating that the “hard right, anti-EU awkward squad that have destroyed every Conservative leader for the last forty years are now running the Conservative Party from top to toe, with too many former colleagues fearing their local Conservative Association more than the electorate- the people they’ve been voted to represent.”

In an upbeat tone, Heidi Allen said “I feel excited, so excited in a way that I haven’t since I was first elected and a sense of liberation. I believe the United Kingdom deserves better, we might fail, but isn’t the prize worth fighting for and I sense the country wants us to fight for it too, and I for one are prepared to give it everything.”

Last week’s split has resulted in many political pundits and commentators making comparisons between the current split and the split that resulted in the formation of the Social Democrat Party in 1981.

So, what does this mean for UK politics? Although they say a week is a long time in politics, it’s too early to predict what is likely to happen, but the main difference between last week’s split and the split in 1981 is that it affects both the Conservative and Labour Party.

Like the SDP, The Independent Group has spoken about politics being broken and the dominance of the two main party structures coming to an end and politics as we know it no longer fit for purpose. Critics of the Independent Group have said like UKIP the new group is a one-party issue, and once that issue is resolved, the independent Group will be irrelevant.  

However, that may not be the case and both Chuka Umunna and Heidi Allen have spoken about the bigger picture and the need to offer the electorate something more and better. Arguably, this is in line with the mood of the country and the electorate, who for some time have felt politically homeless and disillusioned with UK politics.

There is no denying that the political narrative in the UK has been overshadowed by Brexit and the ongoing constitutional crisis the country finds its self in, with important domestic issues being cast aside, but if the Independent Group is to have any longevity it will need to adopt policies that not only resonate with the British public, but also offer hope and incentivise people to vote for a new party and split with traditional ties.

Diversity in the construction sector

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Diversity in the construction sector; It’s been a steady discussion that has spanned the last ten years. We’ve heard of incremental movements happening worldwide to create gender equality and break barriers, but how far has the progression benefitted women in the workplace?

The UK still maintains the lowest percentage of female engineers in Europe, with just 11% of the engineering workforce being women. Studies suggests that women fear a lack of career progression by entering the trade, which may be a result of the industry’s leading authoritative figures being men. This may explain why less women apply to the industry or companies struggle to maintain female employees’ long term. This is reportedly a big problem for companies who are trying to resolve the issue. 

The introduction of gender pay-gap reports has created a pressure for companies to address equality within their organisations. This has helped fuel the discussion of women in the workplace and places a spotlight on male-dominated industries such as the construction sector.

Balfour Beatty has taken a leadership approach to the issue in the aim to inspire and recruit like-minded behaviour by others in the industry. In a recent statement, the company exclaimed “the (gender equality) issues also go far wider than the industry itself. Tackling them will require a joined-up approach from the industry, Government and commissioning authorities, beginning with children at primary school and continuing throughout education and training and in the workplace”. The company continued to put their thoughts into action by creating several initiatives to tackle the issue, such as unconscious bias training, encouraging women to sign up to the Young Women’s trust to gain access to construction apprenticeships, and also created an industry campaign to improve women’s retention and progression.

Other improvements across the industry are coming to light. In 2015, the construction industry witnessed a 20 year high of females being employed, since then its being growing 6.6% each year. The benefits of equality in the workforce are being seen across the construction industry. The 2015 Mckinsey report showed that companies with gender-diversity were performing 14% better than non-diverse companies. Furthermore, it was proven that with a more diverse workforce this resulted in a larger pool of talent with different employee’s bringing different qualities, mindsets and skills. It unlocked an abundance of potential for innovation as embracing diversity and working in unison with different mindsets accumulates a powerful tool that companies should embrace.

The recent pay gap report issued by Cala Homes shows a remarkable effort from the housing industry to address and resolve the issues. Last year, 84.6% of female employees received a bonus, whilst 70.6% of male employees received one. Not only does this show Cala’s dedication to recognising and appraising the success of women in the workforce, but also takes steps to tackle the previously mentioned issue of retainment through fears of lack of career progression. With figures such as these, the construction industry is a much more desirable option for females to enter.

Construction giant Mclaughlin and Harvey stated that women are under-represented in the industry is due to the lack of interest in STEM fields (science, technology, engineering and mathematics). In their 2017 corporate annual report, the firm stated “We actively work with secondary schools before the students choose their subjects, making them aware of the exciting opportunities and wide variety of job roles within the construction industry… Our focus is on encouraging more females into careers in STEM disciplines through our educational partnerships using females already employed in the business as STEM Ambassadors in our local schools.” This is a pivotal step in the reconfiguration of mindset in the industry.  To conclude their efforts, they rounded the discussion with a commitment to building a more diverse workforce and develop new initiatives to improve how they attract, engage and develop women, and other under-represented groups.

By combining Mclaughlin and Harvey’s approach to encouraging STEM subjects to equal genders, and Cala’s approach to employee retention, the future of females in the construction industry looks bright.

Looking ahead to the future, the main factor that requires attention from the construction sector and public alike, is the mindset and attitude towards women in the workplace. There needs to be a shift in discussion where women can play the same roles as men, and the noun of certain roles (engineer, mechanic, builder) is not associated with one gender or another. World globalisation has increased competition and pressure for companies to innovate rapidly. Gender equality produces a wider talent pool and provokes a different thought process when making decisions, ultimately shaping companies to perform better when it comes to the future of their business.

 

 

The changing narrative of the Labour Party

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Constitutional matters have always been an issue for the Labour Party. During the Scottish independence referendum in 2014, the Scottish Labour Party’s self-endorsed tagline of “we are neither unionist nor nationalist” summed up the dilemma the party was facing.

Move forward four years to 2018 and the UK Labour Party find’s its self in the same position. At this year’s Labour Party conference in Liverpool, delegates submitted a motion to debate the party’s position on Brexit, which resulted in delegates overwhelmingly voting to keep the option of a peoples vote on the table should there not be a general election.  

The prospect of a general election taking place in 2019 seems unlikely with most Conservative MP’s including the Democratic Unionist Party (DUP) likely to support Theresa May in the event of a motion of no confidence, and this is something that Jeremy Corbyn is aware of.

The European Union has said that there will be no further concessions or renegotiation of the withdrawal agreement, which presents another obstacle for Theresa May in her quest to get the withdrawal agreement passed through parliament, with sources suggesting that Ms May could reach out to pro leave opposition members in order to get her deal passed.

The Labour party’s message around Brexit is at best confusing and incoherent. John McDonnell MP, Shadow Chancellor of the Exchequer said, “a peoples vote is inevitable” and last Thursday Angela Rayner MP, Shadow Secretary of State for Education said, “a second vote would undermine democracy”.

Andrew Gwynne MP, National campaign Coordinator for the Labour Party has suggested that the Labour Party will put it to members at a special party conference on the party’s next steps on Brexit. What will be on the ballot paper is another question, but the prospect of a special party conference further illustrates the dilemma that constitutional matters present to the Labour Party, and the lack of direction from the front bench, which is understandable given that there is a split between Labour MP’s who represent both leave and remain constituencies.

Whilst the referendum in 2016 was democratic, sometimes even democracy can get it wrong, and what people know about Brexit now is that it will have severe implications for the country.

This debate can not be viewed in the context of a left v right struggle, but rather what is in the best interests of the country, and what is needed is politicians to have the conviction and the courage to do the right thing for the country and push for a second referendum, otherwise if Labour is perceived to be the facilitators of Brexit, it could have far reaching consequences for the future of the Labour Party.

 

 

The Future of the UK hangs in the balance over the next five days

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They say a week is a long time in politics, but the next five days will prove crucial for Theresa May as she aims to persuade parliament that her Brexit deal is the best deal for the country. So, what will the next five days entail and what could potentially happen?

Contempt of parliament

In response to calls from the Labour Party, Liberal Democrats, Scottish National Party (SNP), Democratic Unionist Party (DUP), Plaid Cymru and the Green Party that the government is in contempt of parliament, John Bercow, speaker of the House of commons has said there was “an arguable case that a contempt of parliament has been committed.”  

Today, the first order of business will be for the House of Commons to vote on the allegation that the government was in contempt of parliament as a result of the Attorney general not disclosing the full legal advice given to the cabinet on the EU withdrawal agreement.  

Advocates of the withdrawal agreement will say that this is a delay tactic by opposition parties, and those opposed to Theresa May’s plan would argue that given what’s at stake parliament needs to know what advice was given to the cabinet in order to make an informed decision when it comes to the meaningful vote which takes place on the 11 December.

If the House of Commons vote that the government was in contempt of parliament, then the matter could, potentially be referred to the House of Commons Privileges Committee, who will investigate the complaint, whether that would delay the Brexit debate is largely unknown, but it is widely speculated that the government will table an amendment which could result in the government publishing the Attorney General’s advice to the government on the EU withdrawal agreement.

Over the course of the next five days all eyes will be on the House of Commons as the UK debates the EU withdrawal agreement, with the meaningful vote taking place on the 11 December. There are only two outcomes of the meaningful vote:

Government wins

The government gets the proposed withdrawal agreement passed through parliament, as protocol, it would go to the House of Lords to be debated, which could see further amendments being included and sent back to the House of Commons for a further debate before royal assent is given.

EU Withdrawal bill is voted down

The withdrawal agreement is voted down by parliament. This would be a devastating blow not only to the government, but to Theresa May’s credibility and the potential consequences of the government losing the vote on the EU withdrawal bill could be far reaching which could result in:

A vote of no confidence

The Labour Party has already indicated that it will table a motion of no confidence in the current government. For a vote of no confidence to be passed “a number equal to or greater than two thirds of the number of seats in the House” must vote for it. This is a real possibility given the numbers against the proposed withdrawal bill.

General election

The vote of no confidence would most likely result in a General Election, with parties likely to pledge a second Brexit referendum as part of their election manifesto commitment, but the question is, will remain be an option on the ballot.

 

 

 

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Chancellor of the Exchequer's budget statement

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Tomorrow, all eyes will be on Philip Hammond, Chancellor of the Exchequer, as he delivers his third budget statement to the House of Commons, but this won’t be any ordinary budget announcement, it will be the last one the chancellor makes to parliament, before the United Kingdom leaves the European Union next year. Pentland looks at what we can expect from the forthcoming budget.

Is austerity over?

Following on from Theresa May’s claim that “austerity is over” the pressure will be on Mr Hammond to come up with the necessary public spending to match that bold claim, with the Resolution Foundation suggesting that it will take an extra £30bn of public spending by the end of this parliament to end austerity.

The dilemma for Mr Hammond is, does he choose to stick to the Conservative manifesto pledge to get rid of the deficit by 2025 or embark on increased public spending ?

Brexit

As a committed remainer, Mr Hammond has repeatedly warned of the serious implications for the UK’s economy in the event of there being a no deal Brexit. In August, Mr Hammond said “leaving the European Union without a deal could have large fiscal consequences” whilst the Institute of Economic Research suggests that the difference between a deal and no deal Brexit could be in the region of £30 billion.

The High Street

With the decline of Britain’s High street, there will be pressure on Mr Hammond to propose measures to reverse what many people believe to be the death of the High Street. It is widely speculated that Mr Hammond will announce a boost worth £1.5bn for the UK’s High Street, which will include plans to cut business rates for small retailers and relax town planning laws.

It is also expected that Mr Hammond will announce plans to tax internet retail giants such as Amazon, amid speculation that internet retail companies don’t pay tax due to international tax loopholes.

Whilst, this will be welcomed by high street retailers, Mr Hammond also stressed that the changing face of the UK high street as a shopping destination means that the high street must evolve with the possibility of empty retail premises being used for housing.

Small businesses

It is rumoured that Mr Hammond could reduce the threshold for VAT payments by small businesses, from £85,000 to £43,000, which could potentially generate £1.5 billion in revenue for the government but won’t be a popular move with the 5.7 million small businesses in the UK.

Housing

During the Conservative Party conference, Theresa May announced the end of the borrowing cap, which was welcomed by local authorities up and down the country. It is suggested that the amount of investment needed could total £1 billion per year, with borrowing likely to be under tight fiscal rules.

NHS

Mr Hammond has suggested that he will offer a £20 billion spending boost for the NHS with any increases in tax being an “absolute minimum.”

 

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Brexit: The final countdown

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Over the last few weeks, Northern Ireland has been the central focus in the Brexit negotiations. The complexities surrounding the Northern Ireland question, has resulted in a split in the Conservative Party, which has been further highlighted by rumours of resignation by both key Conservative remainers and Brexiteers.

Ruth Davidson, Leader of the Scottish Conservative and Unionist Party, and David Mundell MP, Secretary of State for Scotland, has suggested that if there is a renewed barrier between Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland, they would tender their resignations as a result.

This message is clearly not intended for the mainstream electorate, but rather to the party faithful, which amounts to being told to get on board or be responsible for the destruction of the Conservative Party in Scotland.

Ruth Davidson is a perceptive politician and knows only too well, the implications of a renewed Border between Northern Ireland and the mainland UK and what that means for Scotland. Clearly, this is a stark warning to those who are playing high stakes political poker with the future of the UK.

Similarly, the Democratic Unionist Party (DUP) has said that if Northern Ireland is treated differently to the mainland UK, they would withdraw their support for the government, which would weaken Theresa May’s majority and almost certainly result in a vote of no confidence. The DUP have been consistent in their views and is unlikely to move from this position, although its rumoured that the DUP is preparing for a no Brexit deal.

To many, the prospect of a border between Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland would undermine the Good Friday Agreement, and it’s worth noting that in the divorce agreement reached between the EU and the UK Britain promised that “no new regulatory barriers” would emerge between the mainland and Northern Ireland.”

There is no denying that Theresa May is between a rock and a hard place, some may even go as far as to say dammed if you do and dammed if you don’t, but if a constitutional change was easy, it would have happened long before now.

There has been a lot of speculation about the future of Theresa May as prime minister and leader of the Conservative Party, with numerous media reports suggesting that forty-four Conservative Party MP’s have submitted letters of no confidence to the 1922 Committee, with four more needed, to enable a leadership challenge.

Whilst it is fair to say that Ms May is in a vulnerable position, she still holds the political ace card and as prime minister could at any minute call a general election, and this is a real possibility.

Not only would this suppress the prospect of any leadership challenge, but it would be a game changer that could see Ms May incorporate a renewed deal on the European Union as a key manifesto pledge, perhaps a favoured customs union, which could be enough to swing a sizeable section of the electorate that believes this would be the best Brexit deal for Britain, and in turn increase her majority.

 

Scottish Labour Party announces new Shadow Cabinet

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The Scottish Labour Party has announced its new shadow cabinet following the party’s recent reshuffle and the current line-up is:

·         Richard Leonard, Leader, also leading on the economy brief 

·         Lesley Laird, Deputy Leader and Shadow Secretary of State for Scotland

·         Claire Baker, Shadow Cabinet Secretary for Culture, Tourism and External Affairs

·         Claudia Beamish, Shadow Cabinet Secretary for Environment, Climate Change and Land Reform

·         Neil Findlay, Business Manager, Party Liaison, Constitutional Relations

·         Rhoda Grant, Shadow Cabinet secretary for Rural Economy

·         Iain Gray, Shadow Cabinet secretary for Education and Skills

·         Daniel Johnson, Shadow Cabinet Secretary for Justice

·         James Kelly, Shadow Cabinet Secretary for Finance

·         Monica Lennon, Shadow Cabinet Secretary for Health and Sport

·         Pauline McNeil, Shadow Cabinet Secretary for Equalities, Housing and Social Security

·         Elaine Smith, Shadow Cabinet Secretary for the Eradication of Poverty and Inequality

·         Colin Smyth, Shadow Cabinet Secretary for Infrastructure, Connectivity and Transport

·         Alex Rowley, Shadow Cabinet Secretary for Communities and Local Government

The longest week for the Labour Party

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Today the results for Labour’s ruling National Executive Committee (NEC) will be announced and tomorrow the committee will meet to discuss whether the Labour party should adopt the definition on Anti- Semitism in its entirety, as provided by the International Holocaust remembrance Alliance (IHRA) or not but what does this mean for the future of the Labour Party?

The issue over anti-Semitism has escalated over the last few weeks with one prominent Labour MP accusing Jeremy Corbyn of being an anti-Semite and a racist and another prominent Labour MP resigning the whip over the handling of the issue. Historically the Labour Party has often referred to its self as a broad-church, a collective term used to describe the many opposing views and divisions within the Labour Party.

However, the continuation of this current debate is fuelling those divisions which is going to the core of the Labour Party membership, but the real test for Tuesday’s meeting will be between Jeremey Corbyn and Momentum founder and leader Jon Lansman.

Jeremy Corbyn and his critics of the IHRA definition believe that by adopting the full definition will restrict an individual’s ability to criticise the Israeli government and in turn be deemed an anti- Semite, which is at odds with Momentum Founder Jon Lansman, who believes that the Labour Party should adopt the IHRA definition in full.

The row over anti-Semitism was further heightened when NEC member Peter Willsman made remarks that were deemed as being anti-Semitic. This resulted in Momentum removing support for his candidacy to be re-elected to the NEC and caused division within Momentum with some accusing Jon Lansman of “losing his bottle” in the face of hostile media attention.

Given that Momentum played a key part in electing Jeremy Corbyn as party leader in 2015, and subsequently during the 2016 leadership contest, this will be the first time that the Labour leader will be at odds with an organisation that has been a strong advocate of his leadership since day one.

So, what does this mean for the future of the Labour Party? In short there are only two possible outcomes, either the party adopts the anti-Semitism definition in full or it doesn’t.

Either outcome will have serious repercussions for the party but it’s likely to come down to loyalty to either Jon Lansman or Jeremy Corbyn. If the NEC adopts the definition on anti-Semitism in full this will be a major blow for Jeremy Corbyn with some questioning his leadership, but if the NEC refuses to accept the definition, then its likely that some Labour MP’s will resign the whip in response to the direction in which the Labour Party is going.

They say a week is a long time in politics, perhaps this will be Labour’s longest week to date.

Surviving party conference

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Top tips for surviving party conference

Its getting close to that time of year again when politicos will descend from across the country to attend their respective political parties annual conference. For many, it’s an opportunity to catch up with friends, network and make new connections, but there is no denying that party conference can feel like the equivalent of an SAS selection test where endurance and stamina are key to surviving it.

Pentland shares some of its top tips for surviving party conference.

Sleep – The night before leaving for conference make sure you get an adequate amount of sleep, ideally eight hours.

First night – Ask any veteran conference attendee and they will tell you not to over do it on the first night, pace yourself, you have days left, and most likely will have an end of conference knees up to attend.

Business cards – It sounds obvious, but how many times have people not taken enough business cards and missed an opportunity to swap details with someone. To a potential client it looks sloppy and unprofessional, make sure you have enough business cards for the entire conference period.

Mobile phone chargers- Technology is amazing but only if it works, make sure you take both a phone charger and a portable charger to ensure you are contactable by phone during conference and not miss any import emails or calls.

Eat- Make sure you take time out to eat something of substance that will keep you going. Days at conference can feel long and never ending, and just like a car its important to refuel to keep yourself going.

Remain hydrated – Remaining hydrated is key to staying alert and making sure you are on top of your A game.

Networking – Conference is a hub of busy activity and a great opportunity to network both formally and informally. Ask any seasoned conference goer and they will tell you that the best place to network is at the conference bar, usually late into the evening, but bear in mind that conference is a hot bed of eager journalists looking for their next story.

Be flexible – Rarely does anything go to plan at conference, events over run, meetings get cancelled or rescheduled

Be professional – Reputation is everything. Whilst conference is a great opportunity to socialise and network with people, it’s best to remain professional always. At the end of the day you represent your company, and your behaviour will define the perception people will have of your company.

Jeremy Corbyn in Glasgow

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Ahead of Jeremy Corbyn’s visit to Glasgow tomorrow, Pentland looks at the Labour Party and what we can expect from Jeremy visit to Glasgow.

Three years ago, Jeremy Corbyn spoke with an air of authenticity that resonated well with a large section of the Labour Party membership, that resulted in him winning the Labour Party leadership contest with an overwhelming majority. Too many, Jeremy spoke a language of socialism akin to previous generations, in which he promised a new kind of politics, with greater party member participation, underpinned by the promise of straight talking honest politics.

During his time as leader of the Labour Party, Jeremy has overcome a botched attempt to force him to resign as leader, accusations that he was a communist spy and won a second mandate as leader of the Labour Party after defeating Owen Smith in 2016. To the surprise of many and perhaps even Jeremy himself, the 2017 general election returned five additional Scottish Labour MP’s.

So, what next for Jeremy? Tomorrow Jeremy will be in Glasgow addressing a delegation of Corbyn admirers, Corbyn sceptics and those who just don’t know but want to hear what he has to say. Given the 2017 election result its likely that Jeremy will talk about the failures of the Scottish government, the increase in Scotland’s inequality and Labours plans to tackle it by increasing tax on high earners as announced by Richard Leonard, Scottish Labour Leader. Given Jeremys reluctance to talk about Brexit, it will be interesting to see If he addresses the elephant in the room, which for many people will be the deciding issue on who they vote for in the next general election. Brexit for many people makes a reference to the biggest political topic of our time.

Talking to the converted is an easy gig, but the real challenge for Jeremy will be extending that message to those that are Corbyn curious and getting them on board. In the last four years, Scotland has had two general elections, two referendums and a local council election, to say that people are suffering from voter fatigue is an understatement, but people are also fed up with political soundbites and weak words.

A poll by YouGov last month predicts that Westminster voting intentions in Scotland would see a resurgence for the SNP and Scottish Labour losing the six additional seats that they won in 2017, resulting in the party having one Westminster MP.

If the polls are to be believed, then the Labour Party in Scotland has its work cut out to convince the electorate it can deliver a radical alternative to the SNP.