Tag Archives: 2013 brighton spring conference

Opinion: Are you a man?

menAre you a man? Have you been or might you be on a fringe meeting panel at Liberal Democrat conference? If the answer to both is yes, I’d like your help…

At the Spring conference just gone in Brighton, I nearly ended up being a speaker on an all-male panel – and one taking place on International Women’s Day no less. The subject – technology and politics – is one where there are a good few female experts in the party, and it was only Olly Grender’s last minute addition which saved my blushes from Mark Thompson’s quite reasonable intention to turn up and put us all on the spot about what was an all-male panel.

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Opinion: The Lib Dem communications heart attack

I am a computer logistician by profession. I can tell you all about managing defective material retention contracts and the comparative stocking strategies of power supplies. I don’t pretend to be an expert in communications.

So the following comes under the heading of “as any fule kno”, and therefore these statements are easy to make when, like me, you don’t know what you are talking about.

Communications Rule One

The first rule of media crisis management was succinctly summarised for me on a con call a few months ago:

“When a crisis breaks get all your dirty washing out into the open in the …

Posted in Op-eds | 12 Comments

LDVideo: Lib Dem spring conference round-up (1)

Missed the Lib Dems’ spring conference this weekend? Here are three clips to help you catch-up, or re-live, some of what happened…

“Where we work we win” says Nick Clegg

Posted in Conference and YouTube | Also tagged , and | 2 Comments

Nick Clegg’s Letter from the Leader: “Keep winning!”

Nick Clegg keeps it brief in his weekly email despatch to members and supporters (which, kudos to Lib Dem HQ, pinged into my inbox at the precise moment Nick’s conference speech finished) — building on the party’s victory at Eastleigh, he urges party members to “Tell our side of the story and keep winning.”

libdem letter from nick clegg

I’ve just had a wonderful three days with Liberal Democrat members at Conference in Brighton.

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That Was The Day That Was – your essential Lib Dem conference round-up

Lib Dem Conference app screenshotHere’s a few highlights from the second day’s action at Brighton… (You can catch up on my round-up of the first day-and-a-bit here.)

Let’s start with the positive…

First, if you haven’t yet, do read the Independent’s editorial today (I suspect someone in Nick Clegg’s office will have it framed for him):

The Lib Dems are walking tall
the party is gathered in Brighton for its spring conference this weekend in better heart than it has been at any time since that glad confident morning in the Downing Street garden. The immediate source of its good spirit was its success in holding Huhne’s seat in Eastleigh in the by-election last month. … the party is buoyant because it is more than just a vote-harvesting machine.

Posted in Conference and News | Also tagged | 2 Comments

“On message. In volume. Over time.” That’s the real text of Nick Clegg’s speech today

Double Clegg 2 - Some rights reserved by Liberal DemocratsIt took 3,000+ words and Nick Clegg 30 minutes to deliver them — but there was only one message he wanted to be heard in his leader’s speech today:

Only the Liberal Democrats can deliver a stronger economy and a fairer society, enabling everyone to get on in life.

That’s the core message, one that’s been tested in polling and was tested in real polling in Eastleigh. And it’s the message the party leadership wants the party to get sick of repeating ad infinitum …

Posted in Conference, News and Op-eds | Also tagged , , and | 19 Comments

Text of Nick Clegg’s speech to the Lib Dems’ spring party conference

Here’s the text of Nick Clegg’s speech to the Lib Dems’ spring conference in Brighton today:

Eastleigh. Conference, I have never seen anything like it. Thousands and thousands of activists flooding in from every part of the UK. Young people arriving in their droves. Hitting the pavements, the phones, Facebook, Twitter, email – finding any and every way to drive our message home. I want to thank you all – you were just brilliant.

They said we’d never win it. The same critics who try to write us off time and time again. But, you know what? The naysayers can tear

Posted in Conference and News | Also tagged | 15 Comments

It’s not just the Lib Dem leadership trying to ignore the ‘secret courts’ row: the news media is too

I had an odd experience on Friday. I was doing a round of media interviews – 3 for TV, 3 for radio – previewing the Lib Dem conference. I’d been called by researchers in advance to ‘get my take’ on the key issues. Each time, I said there was a big issue on which the party leadership could expect to be defeated and which would see activists from across the broad spectrum of the Lib Dems united: opposition to secret courts. This received an “Uh-hum” response which I took for baffled boredom. And as expected, each interview in turn dwelt …

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Jo Shaw quits Lib Dems in protest at leadership’s pro-secret courts position

Lib Dem parliamentary candidate Jo Shaw dramatically announced her resignation from the party as she moved this morning’s emergency motion calling on our MPs to stick by the party’s policy of opposing ‘secret courts’. You can read Jo’s full statement at the foot of this post.

It was Jo’s speech at the party’s autumn conference that captured everyone’s attention, including her line ‘Kafka was a warning not a manual’. Together with another parliamentary candidate, Martin Tod, Jo set up LibDemsAgainstSecretCourts.org.uk and has waged a determined campaign to persuade the parliamentary party to back the party’s line.

And it’s not …

Posted in Conference and News | Also tagged , and | 27 Comments

That Was The Day That Was – your essential Lib Dem conference round-up

Autumn 2012 conference - Some rights reserved by Liberal DemocratsHere’s a few highlights from the first day-and-a-bit’s action at Brighton…

Secret courts rouse conference passions – on both sides

It’s no secret that many Lib Dem members are angry with the vast majority of Lib Dem MPs for their decision to over-ride the vote of the party conference last September and approve legislation extending the use of Closed Material Procedures, aka ‘secret courts’. Ming Campbell is one of the few MPs so far publicly to make the case in favour – which …

Posted in Conference | Also tagged | 9 Comments

Paddy: “You’ve heard the saying it’s not the winning that matters, it’s the taking part. That’s b*****ks.”

Paddy Ashdown video screenshotPaddy Ashdown, Chair of the Liberal Democrat General Election Campaign, is about to speak to the Liberal Democrat Spring Conference. Here’s what he’ll say:

You know, making this speech today gives me a strong sense of déjà vu. I gave a speech at the Conference here in Brighton, right after the last time we won a by election in Eastleigh!

Some things haven’t changed. Orange diamonds. Fighting against the odds, Simon Hughes. But one big thing has changed. We were a Party of Opposition then. We’re a party

Posted in Conference | Also tagged and | 22 Comments

Nick Clegg’s speech to conference: what I’ll be looking out for

nick cleggHuhne, Pryce, Rennard, Eastleigh. A mass of events converge this weekend as Brighton once again becomes centre of the Lib Dem universe for a weekend.

These topics will inevitably dominate conversations in the conference bar. But when Nick Clegg stands up on Sunday lunchtime to make his speech he has to look beyond the short-term events that have dominated Liberal Democrat discourse for the last few weeks and months.

It’s often said of a speeches that they are “one of the most important X has made in the course of his leadership”. …

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Nick’s conference speech: “When our opponents tell us we are finished, remember Eastleigh!”

Here’s the text of Nick Clegg’s speech at the start of the Spring Conference Rally in Brighton tonight:

I know it is unusual for me to speak at the start of the rally but there’s an issue I want to address head on.

Today is International Women’s Day. It is right that we come together as a party to celebrate the life changing advances in women’s rights both at home and around the world. Advances that Liberal Democrats championed in opposition and are delivering in Government.

But it is also right that – following the events of recent weeks – we

Posted in Conference | Also tagged | 4 Comments

Lib Dem conference to vote on whether it can ‘no-con’ the party leader

nick-clegg-birmingham conf9.30 am on Saturday morning may not be a prime-time slot, but on 9th March there will be more than usual interest in a constitutional amendment tabled to the Lib Dem spring conference.

Why? Because the amendment will make it possible for the Lib Dem federal conference to pass a vote of no confidence in the party leader to trigger an election.

Here‘s the proposed amendment:

const amend - mar 2013

‘An election for the Leader shall be called upon a vote

Posted in News | Also tagged and | 41 Comments

Jo Shaw: Secret Courts update – please support our new motion to the Lib Dems’ Spring Conference

Supreme Court - Some rights reserved by cphoffman42The Justice and Security Bill, which introduces secret courts into almost all civil cases, was rushed into its second reading in the House of Commons on Tuesday this week.

The Minister in charge of secret courts in the Commons, Ken Clarke, made an opening statement in the debate which made it clear that the Coalition Government does not accept the amendments proposed by the Joint Committee on Human Rights, some of which were passed by the Lords. It is still …

Posted in News | Also tagged , , , and | 18 Comments



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    I wouldn't be so sure about that, Caractacus. In Scotland, the Lib Dems have been praised by NUS for persuading the SNP Government to minimise...
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    Easter Clegg. This from the party led by Wallace.
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