Tag Archives: conference

Nick Clegg wins out on EU referendum – but what will the party think?

EU Flag at the European Parliament at Strasbourg. Photo credit: Some rights reserved by European ParliamentToday’s Guardian reports that Nick Clegg has won the backing of MPs over whether to support a change in the party’s policy on an EU referendum:

The deputy prime minister, who has faced direct calls from ministers for a change of stance on the EU, won the agreement of the Lib Dem parliamentary party to stand by the current policy. This is to hold a referendum only if UK sovereignty is passed to the EU. The Tories

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Five reasons why Liberal Democrats leave York in good spirits.

Screen Shot 2014-03-09 at 08.06.08Liberal Democrats left York with spirits as bright as the sunshine which brought 17 degree warmth to the historic city.  Seriously. I was quite surprised about how genuinely upbeat people were. It’s not that they’d forgotten that we’re defending 12 European Parliament seats in 74 short days’ time. By the way, if you think that’s along time away, remember that 74 days ago was Boxing Day.  Everyone knows the scale of what we have to achieve by then and nobody is taking anything for granted.

Even the more, how shall I put this, hardened Awkward Squad (not an insult, definitely a badge that many of them would wear with pride) were saying things that could only be described as positive. Actual positive, not just lacking in complaints.

Why the good humour, then?

People love fighting a European Election about Europe

Liberal Democrats are by their nature internationalist. If it involves working together and building global alliances to make the whole world better, we’re happy. And that, to be honest, is what the European Union is all about. It’s about making sure that our young men don’t have to meet up somewhere on the continent and kill each other every few decades. If you look at the last couple of thousand years, that’s pretty huge. Yes, there are lots of other benefits that have a real practical relevance to people’s lives, but peace and stability across 350 million is the Big One.

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So, what’s been going on at Conference?

It’s not always easy to blog from Conference. Wifi can be temperamental and distractions are plentiful. However, your team will have lots to tell you over the next few days.

Here’s a quick snapshot of what’s been going on so far:

The Rally:

Vince Cable got really personal. He said that he’d had a fair bit of pressure put on him to slash adult education. He refused to do it, because of his own family experience.

His mother had a long spell in hospital following a nervous breakdown. He talked about how adult education had given her a second opportunity to build a career.

That …

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Call for amendments!

key_conference_registerIs there a motion on the LibDem Conference Agenda you are just dying to amend? Something that’s too Orange Book, too Soggy Democrat or just plain too Lembit for you to support?

I’d like to know about it!

On Sunday 2nd March, two days before the deadline for amendments, Calderdale Liberal Democrats Policy Working Group will meet – with our voting reps and ordinary members in attendance to debate the motions and any proposed amendments.

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What could you do with £32?

In these straitened times, we are sure that you have better things to do with £32 than pay it needlessly to the party’s Conference registration Department. You could of course still give it to the party, but that’s by the by.

It could also pay for a meal out, or a trip to the sales, or 3 or 4 books, 4 one day travelcards in London and a coffee when you get there. Or a round of drinks in the Conference bar…

Today is the last day when members can register for Liberal Democrat Spring Conference at the lower rate. Don’t miss …

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Opinion: Conference – elitist drinking club or democratic decision-making?

BeerI find myself reflecting on Chief Whip Alistair Charmichael’s quip suggesting that the real business of Conference is done, carousing late into the night, in the bars and hotels of Glasgow.

In the mean time I have been standing on the town hall steps, speaking with constituents and pondering how such an aspiring egalitarian Party concentrates power and decision making into two exclusive weeks each year that leave the majority of the Party disempowered and without any voice.  During the other 50 weeks of the year we have a plethora of committees, sub-committees, special interest groups, local, federal and membership involvement to the nth degree.  All this ends as soon as soon as Conference begins.

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Sarah Ludford MEP writes…Conference must debate Miranda detention

I was not initially planning to get particularly involved on the David Miranda Schedule 7 issue except as a concerned, nay horrified, spectator. After all, I’m an MEP not an MP nor (at present) able to be active as a peer, and I have plenty on my plate in Brussels.

But from early Monday morning, as I read the admirably vigorous response from the Independent Reviewer of Terrorism Legislation David Anderson QC – and the immediate if deeply hypocritical reaction from Yvette Cooper – I did start to wonder who from the party was going to be vocal. So I tweeted …

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Conference preview: The training programme

Some people go to Liberal Democrat Conference and never get anywhere near the debating hall, because the fringe, exhibition and training programme provide such a cornucopia of interesting and enriching entertainment. Others mix and match between debates and fringes.

This year’s training programme, which you can view in full here,  is intense. There are three and a half full days of sessions on a huge variety of subjects. During the day, there can be as many as nine sessions going on at once. The Party’s training guide has suggestions for courses to attend if you’re a local or parliamentary candidate, …

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Liberal Democrat Federal Conference agenda available

Autumn 2012 conference - Some rights reserved by Liberal DemocratsAgenda papers for the federal conference in Glasgow have been published. Within the theme of ‘a stronger economy in a fairer society, allowing everyone to get on in life’ there are policy motions on work life balance, green growth, learning and skills, fairer taxes, strengthening the economy, housing benefit, tackling sexual and domestic violence, racial equality, and more.

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Liberal Democrat Spring Conference to be held in York in 2014

From The Press:

YORK is to host the Liberal Democrats’ Spring Conference next year.

The three-day conference, to be held at York Barbican Centre in March, is expected to attract more than 1,000 delegates.

The Novotel Hotel will also be the party conference headquarters for the duration of the event.

Nick Clegg is quoted as saying:

I’m delighted that the Liberal Democrat Spring Conference will be held in York for the first time next year.

We’re helping to create new jobs all around the country and York is not only a beautiful city, but it’s also a great place to do business. I’m sure all

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Race equality – a new Liberal Democrat approach: SLF/EMLD Conference takes place soon

Vince Cable, Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills, is the keynote speaker at one of the most important race equality events this party has held in recent years. Organised jointly by the Social Liberal Forum and Ethnic Minority Liberal Democrats, it takes place from noon on Saturday 1st June at Amnesty International’s Human Rights Action Centre, 25 New Inn Yard London EC2A 3EA. The conference will be of immense help to all those who realise that, particularly in London, the ethnic minority vote will be key to whether we sink or swim in the next elections.

Race equality is …

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New Zealand Parliament rejoices at passing of same sex marriage bill

Something made me cry today, and it involved a bunch of politicians in what is normally a solemn ritual.

It took place in the New Zealand Parliament when MPs voted in favour of same sex marriage. In the House of Commons, you might, if you’re lucky, get some order papers waved. Having said that, I hear tales of The Land and Lloyd George knew my father being sung in the Lords voting lobby by certain of our peers late one night.

Anyway, look at this place – real warm  celebrations. Hugs, kisses, flowers and the spontaneous rendition of a Maori …

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A sneak peek at a Scottish Conference agenda full of controversy…

The Agenda for this year’s Scottish Conference will be sent to members tomorrow but I’ve had a bit of a sneak peek. I’d better not give you the full list of timings and the like because Scottish Conference Convener Sheila Thomson would spank me if I did, but I can tell you that there is plenty of scope for controversy and debate.

There are more policy debates than for some considerable time – 9 in total with 6 coming from local parties or members. Scottish Conference will get the chance to have its say on the controversial secret courts legislation. Should …

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Recent Comments

  • User AvatarTony Rowan-Wicks 1st Oct - 9:00am
    Well spotted Caron. And in reply to Tony, I would hope that every Lib Dem MP and every LD election campaigner is just waiting for...
  • User AvatarJUF 1st Oct - 8:57am
    @JohnTilley +1 @malc +1 It seems to me a far more effective way of "blunting the Tory blade" as Kelly-Marie put it would have been...
  • User AvatarJUF 1st Oct - 8:50am
    @Caracatus - in answer to: "and after we have an EU in out referendum – what happens to the UKIP vote?" - I'm assuming that...
  • User AvatarAnthony Vaughan 1st Oct - 8:32am
    Fantastic letter! Theresa May has a habbit of selecting the evidence to suit her needs and aims! JohnTilley is right, the Tories maje it so...
  • User AvatarMark 1st Oct - 8:31am
    Well said!
  • User AvatarRichard 1st Oct - 8:29am
    Great - so now pin her down during ministerial questions. Let us remember that Theresa May was the minister who allowed her own department to...