Journalist, and author of Why Vote? A guide for those who can't be bothered and Why Join a Trade Union? has been at Conference this week and here he offers his closing thoughts on the weeks events.

Thirty years of attending Labour conferences and this one has been as weird as they come. For much of the time, I couldn’t work out what it was all about.

The feeling in Manchester this week.was not of a political gathering but of a trade fair with nothing to sell so the people at it were wandering around bemused but still determined to have a good time.

There is genuine uncertainty and division of opinion about Ed Miliband, though I am a big fan and thought his speech was good in the circumstances (little time to prepare and he clearly needs media training).

Considering the Greek tragedy of David having the crown snatched from his lips (ahem!) by his younger brother, the reaction has been quite muted. It will pretty well pass by the time delegates leave Manchester and the media turns its attention to the Tories in Birmingham next week.

When you think that this is the first conference since Labour lost the election – a recipe in the past for intense bloodletting and open warfare – and saw the very narrow election of a surprising choice for leader, it has gone better than could be expected.

Ed Miliband’s most important task in the weeks ahead is to keep his party together and aiming its fire on the coalition rather than at its own ranks. He has made a reasonable start.

David's books Why Vote? and Why Join a Trade Union? are available to purchase here and here, each priced £6.99