I really never thought I would say that.
They can appear somewhat cliquey – the only Federal Committee to publish its mugshots in the conference agenda (apparently conference representatives aren’t interested in who looks after their interests on the Federal Executive or the Federal Policy Committee).
They can be a bit insensitive: not the cleverest idea to select a business motion which would increase their powers over emergency motions at a time when representatives are feeling restless. And a tad cynical to have it at 0900 on Tuesday morning when many will still be at breakfast. (Yes: I know you will have gone to bed rather late the night before but do please get up and vote against this piece of nonsense).
But the hysteria about their decisions must give cause for alarm in two particular areas: accreditation and the NHS.
FCC has not been as sensitive as it could be in its communications about accreditation. But it has had the guts to submit the new arrangements to conference for debate. No doubt many will get up and say that their civil liberties have been trashed by the ill-disposed antics of West Midlands Police and their FCC lackeys.
The reality, however, is stark: the world turned upside down in 2010. Liberal Democrat cabinet ministers became a reality. Just as real is the desire of some people to do them serious harm. If you don’t believe it then look again at the reception we were blessed with at Sheffield from the public sector unions. Look at the opportunist violence associated with the NUS anti-tuition fees demos. Look also at history, where Cabinet ministers and others have been murdered at a British party conference by terrorist organisations.
Bluntly: no accreditation means no police support. No police support means that we become an uninsurable risk and thus there is no conference at all.
As for the NHS, the anger and manoeuvring are becoming out of all proportion to the issue at hand. The NHS Bill has been changed substantially. Producer interests have expressed themselves satisfied with it (though there is a warning to us here). Nick listened and delivered much.
But a number have felt that there were still issues to be resolved and another highly technical motion has been submitted.
It is unusual for the Party to debate the same issue at successive conferences but a case could be made that things had changed once more.
The deal is that there will be a topical debate without a vote but FCC is accused, in crafting this compromise, of being in the pockets of the Leadership. I suspect the Leadership would say: ‘If only…’
There may well even be an appeal to suspend standing orders this weekend – the ultimate student politics device – which would confirm to the world that the Lib Dems are after all pretty useless at influencing Coalition policy.
Perhaps we all need to maintain a sense of proportion.