Forget political debate, the Labour Party conference is really just a backdrop to the construction minister's very own fly-on-the-wall documentary
Nigel Griffiths did more than his bit to raise the profile of the construction industry at the Labour Party conference in Bournemouth this week. Although he didn't look best pleased about it, the construction minister allowed a rather attractive female television crew to shadow him during the conference. The "concept" was a video diary depicting the life of Griffiths' parliamentary assistants. Although this could just about be shown before the 9pm watershed, some parental guidance may be needed when the show is eventually screened on BBC3.

Behind-the-scenes footage will show how Griffiths' macho staff slurp pint after pint of beer in the main conference hall while pretending not to notice the microphones hovering above their heads. Other clips are likely to be of Griffiths marching smartly between fringe events, episodes of aggressive speech practising, and intervals in which he scoffs plates of sandwiches supplied by his ever attentive entourage.

The film will reveal Griffiths to be a real dynamo – one industry figure comments that the minister has had just a couple of hours sleep in the past three days (a regime Margaret Thatcher would describe as workshy). In addition, he likes to be seen as a politician with influence across government – "a good networker", as he keeps telling us. But he was notably absent from the star-studded Marriott Hotel do on Monday night. One industry wag concluded he had stayed in to watch Dirty Den make his return to Eastenders. But he missed a golden opportunity to rub shoulders with Gordon Brown, Paul Boateng and other Treasury superstars.

After a long day struggling to keep up with the human ox they were yoked to, Griffiths' tired and emotional staff had no intention of missing the Marriott bash. You need a stiff drink after all the stiff drinks required to work for this hurricane.

Griffiths grabbed a plate of food, babbled something about Gordon and sprinted off to his next meeting

Other fast-paced scenes from the BBC's show will include Griffiths addressing the glamorous … wait for it … Construction Industry Umbrella Bodies fringe event. The minister marched in, grabbed a plate of food and a drink, gobbled it down, babbled something about Gordon Brown and spending plans, thanked George Bramwell's (sic) and sprinted off to his next meeting, leaving yours truly to garner industry reaction to the performance of the new minister. Graham Watts said he was relieved Griffiths knew what an architects was, Brumwell said he was an "acolyte of Gordon Brown" and a Construction Products Association spokesperson declined to comment.

One issue everyone felt free to comment on – it has overtaken the PFI, student top-up fees and union militancy as the top conference talking point – was the level of security. The police were armed with machine guns (although even that had failed to prevent a delegate trying to arrest Tony Blair for war crimes).

My first encounter with what is euphemistically described as a "tight security cordon" came when I was standing in the queue for the conference centre. The man in front of me, a chap called Bartholomew from the Spindle and Swindle Public Affairs Consultancy, had his silk handkerchief frisked for bombs. Bartholomew spoke flamboyantly about his construction clients, before telling me that in fact he only had the one. His principal reason for attending, it seemed, was to pick up New Labour totty. Possibly Tessa Jowell, although this is only speculation on my part.