I like to think of Labour as my natural party of choice. I was born in the great industrial city of Manchester, and my childhood memories include the smell of bike oil and dad coming back from t'pit at t'weekends. Okay, I liked about t'pit and t'weekends. But I was into T'Pau for a bit.
Actually, I haven't voted for Labour in a general election for 20 years. Tony Blair put me off: too blue. I felt he sent old Labour drifting down the river like Phil Silvers in It's A Mad Mad Mad Mad World with Tony Benn as the solitary floating hat reminding us of a once great party.
Still, that didn't stop me spending half of this week at their conference venue setting up a bookshop. And because it can be hard work and because a lot of people I meet might be quite bonkers, and because the set-up has done my back in a bit and I'm in a bad mood, you're going to get the brunt of my Labour conference experience in the shape of a few roughly-honed blog posts.
Let's start gently because it's early days. Here are some photos from set-up, Watch this blog for more updates in the coming days when things, y'know, actually get interesting.
1. We all get little stands like this. Our bookshop, which you'll see in later blog posts, takes up several of these little stands.
2. There is a stand called Everything Everywhere. There was nothing in it when I took this photo. Perhaps it's irony. Do politicians do irony?
3. Some nice person had left a bit of paper on their stall. It says SMILE. I wonder if it's the bank. Or maybe it's a dentist thing and they're going to fashion their stand into a gaping, toothless mouth for children to play in, complete with real saliva.
4. The RNIB wheeled in their Eye Pod on Wednesday. There are two eyes, not quite aligned. I think the inside will be full of massive eyeballs - like a ballpit, only horrible.
5. This is a camera. On the other side of this wall is the room in which all the speeches are made. There tend to be camera people lurking, hoping for that crucial shot of Ed Balls belly dancing or of John Prescott mainlining pork pie jelly.
6. Sky News are here. Last time I saw their conference stand, it had Boris Johnson in it. Not at the Labour conference, I hasten to add.
7. I think these are hats.
8. This is the main speeches room under construction. The big, dark rectangle is a video screen on which they will display a permanently rotating head of Neil Kinnock as he rabbits on about the soil in his garden and how his Ocado delivery was late this week.
9. A messy set-up for the union chaps. They do have more red paint than any other colour.
10. "Perspex Labour Party G-Mex." This was a piece of wood raised to head height with no perspex in sight. I think it's a puzzle to be solved, like the Da Vinci Code.
11. Marks and Spencer have built an entire shop in the middle of the venue. This is a man pointing at a light and saying it's a light and his friends are saying yes it's a light, we can all agree on that.
Further Fats: In the belly of the beast - a week in Tory politics