It was an honour to be invited up to Sedgefield Constituency Labour Party's General Committee last Saturday and speak about my ongoing role as one of the North East's representatives on the National Policy Forum (NPF).
The policy-making process through the NPF is apporaching a key period now on the road to constructing Labour's manifesto for the next General Election. After 2 rounds of consultation with party members and affiliated organisations, a draft is being pulled together to which CLP's will be able to submit amendments, and have them all democratically debated and voted upon.
Nothing quite like it has happened before, so now CLP's like Sedgefield will be gearing up to discuss the 6 policy documents and have their say in May and June of this year. The marathon NPF meeting will take place over a gruelling three days in July.
Saturday was also a chance to revisit old friends at Trimdon Labour Club. Every time I've been to Trimdon over the past 18 months or so, it was for a set piece event as the dying days of Tony's Prime Ministership drew to a close.
Police cordons, helicopters and a media scrum were omnipresent. Trimdon became the centre of the British political universe. As I left on Saturday, there was just an old lady walking her dog on the village green. The village has returned to an almost eerie normality.