Years of going to school, followed by now even more years working in and around government, mean that I tend to think of September as the start of a new year. As the evenings get longer and I start seeing conkers on the ground, I pack away my summer wardrobe and turn my attention to the new political term.
In normal years, I would be finalising plans for the party conferences. Maybe one of the few blessings of COVID-19 is that I’m spared from three weeks of late nights, tired feet and a diet of beige buffet food and cheap wine. But I will miss the seeing friends from all three parties, listening and taking part in policy debates and playing ‘who is jockeying to be the next party leader’ (a game I never tire of). But this year, even though we won’t be gathering in Brighton, L