Tag Archives: 2012 Brighton Conference

A welcome rebalancing of the media/members ratio at conference

Tim Farron 2015 bournemouth

Tim Farron, with Rosie Farron, awaits the cue to deliver his first conference speech as leader at Saturday’s night conference rally.Photo by Paul Walter.

Pssst. Let me tell you a little secret which you may not have noticed if you haven’t attended Lib Dem conferences. As we went through the coalition years, the numbers of members attending conference dwindled. No doubt someone is going to dispute this and quote detailed numbers. But it was pretty obvious and, towards the end, feintly embarrassing.

While the numbers of members attending conference went down, the numbers of media, police, security guards and sycophantic business people buzzing around soared.

Posted in Conference | Also tagged and | 10 Comments

You don’t have to go to conference to be a conference rep

Vince Cable and Paddy AshdownNot only do you not need to be a conference rep to go to conference, you don’t need to go to federal conference to become a federal voting conference rep.

It’s often assumed that it is only worth becoming a conference rep if you are going to go to conference, and as a result local parties further away from the venues in particular often do not elect a full slate of conference reps. However, whilst this is the primary role for voting conference …

Posted in Conference and Party policy and internal matters | 6 Comments

Opinion: Why Richard Reeves is wrong about the ‘Nanny State’

When I joined the Liberal party in the 1980s, no one then used the term ‘Nanny State’. Originally it was a term the political right wing started to use; I do not recall when exactly. The terms betrays its upper case origins, a class that can afford to pay for a Nanny to look after the children.

Richard Reeves has recently published a Demos book that was handed out at the ‘What is Cleggism?’ fringe meeting at the Brighton conference last week. His use of the term ‘Nanny State’ is not new for the Liberal Democrats; I noticed Ed Davey use …

Posted in Op-eds | Also tagged and | 10 Comments

Tom Brake writes … Lib Dem Conference is so much more than just political war-gaming

Before departing for Conference in Brighton this year, I happened upon a blog post on Prospect which bemoans the way in which Party Conferences have evolved from being policy-making platforms into gory showcases for Party brands in the mould of late 90’s movie ‘Primary Colours’ staring the fleet-of-foot John Travolta. Instead of serious politics, they’ve become simply a form of political mood music, so the accusation goes.

Sadly it’s all too easy to write off modern politics as less cerebral than it once was. But having authored a detailed policy paper about police reform and debated complex justice issues from …

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Opinion: Reflections from Brighton 2012

While it might be a stretch to say that the 2012 Lib Dem conference in Brighton was an unmitigated success, it is hard to come away from the conference without feeling a little better about life and about the party.

Certainly the only consistent low point of the week was being blown sideways by the gales sweeping in from the English Channel. (On reflection I think it may have been a mistake for me to tell friends that the weather is always good in Brighton!)

Posted in Conference and Op-eds | Also tagged | 4 Comments

Are you a Liberal Democrat conference rep who went to Brighton?

If so, I’ve got a question for you. Below is the text of an email sent out by 38 Degrees following their lobbying campaign around Liberal Democrat conference.

The lobbying itself – over the climate change debate – was pretty well done, in particular firing up supporters to want to lobby the Liberal Democrats – but doing so without throwing the sort of brickbats at the party that would make the lobbying less likely to be effective. (It’s a common problem with lobbying campaigns: you whip up an audience by saying the target is evil, and then found the said recipient …

Posted in Conference and News | Also tagged | 23 Comments

Nick Clegg’s speech: analysis from Matthew Parris, Lance Price and myself

On Wednesday night Radio 4’s The World Tonight lined up the three of us to talk about Nick Clegg’s speech to the Brighton conference. You can listen to our discussion, along with interviews with other conference attendees here:

Posted in Conference and News | Also tagged , and | 4 Comments

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