Tag Archives: spring conference 2017

Thoughts on York

So, what was the most enduring memory of the York Liberal Democrat Spring Conference? Tim Farron taking on the Tories in a rousing final speech, or Nick Clegg in blistering form on Brexit? The feisty debate on faith schools, or the brief flirtation with unilateral nuclear disarmament, cunningly timed to coincide with England’s Grand Slam decider?

Or was it York itself, magnificent in the spring sunshine, giving us the perfect backdrop to the #libdemfightback?

Well, for me, the abiding memory is being a part of a vast hopeful army of conference newbies, who, like me, had chosen to get up off the canvas of 2016′s despair and do something- anything- to stop the world lurching into hate-filled extremism.

You can’t bottle “essence of York spring 2017″. But if you could, you might be intoxicated by the scent of a new libdemmery. One that had a heady dose of optimism, energy and hopefulness. But also a hint of something bloody, a visceral sense of patriotism that Tim Farron captured by announcing “I want my country back”.

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From selfies with Clegg to the Glee Club stage – my first Liberal Democrat conference

I am currently in my first year at the University of Leeds, studying Politics and Parliamentary Studies. I officially became a party member in November 2016, but I have always been a Liberal Democrat at heart!

Last weekend was my first time at a party conference and I can honestly say it was one of the best weekends of my life. I did not really know what to expect, but I certainly did not expect to get to meet Nick Clegg on the first day! This was a pretty momentous occasion for me as you could call Nick my ‘Lib Dem hero’ given that he was the main reason I first became interested in the party.

My experience of conference undoubtedly proves that I joined the right party. What other party would have the unique event that is Glee Club? Slightly bizarre at first, but after a couple of G&T’s my (not so) secret love for karaoke shone through. Anyone who witnessed my attempted parody of “Rehab” by Amy Winehouse can vouch for this (along with the fact that I am a terrible singer). 

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WATCH: The Conference rally with Olney, Clegg, Farron, Malik and Pearcey

We reported on the Conference rally the other night. Now you can watch the whole thing here. See Sarah Olney thank her helpers and talk about why she joined the party and is fighting Brexit. See Nick Clegg take apart the Brexiteers’ case and warn of the populists undermining the checks on their power. See Jackie Pearcey tell us why we should go to Manchester Gorton to help her. See Hina Malik talk about her passion for dives it and how Simon Hughes and Nick Clegg persuaded her to join the party.

Finally, Tim Farron, after the obligatory pops at George Osborne and Dr Paul Nuttall, talk of Liberal Democrat values of internationalism and of giving EU nationals the right to stay and about why the people having the final say on the Brexit deal was so important.

Enjoy!

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WATCH: Tim Farron’s speech to Conference

As I distract myself from the horrors of Brexit by listening to Eurovision songs from the 1980s and writing blue envelopes for the two people I hope will be the next councillors for Almond ward in Edinburgh, Kevin Lang and Louise Young, It thought you might want the chance to watch Tim Farron’s speech from yesterday.

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The other songs the Lib Dems could have chosen at the end of Tim’s speech…

This was the song that played as Tim Farron left the hall today.

An inspired choice.

The performer is referenced in his speech here:

Patriots love their country, nationalists hate their neighbours.

I am a patriot.

The fact that in 1990 I kissed the TV when David Platt scored against Belgium in the last minute of injury time doesn’t mean I hate Guy Verhofstadt…or Tin Tin…or Plastic Bertrand, or any of the other large number of very, very famous Belgians.

Of course, looking at this list of Top Ten Famous Belgians, it would have been equally appropriate to have something from the musical My Fair Lady, as its star, Audrey Hepburn, was born in Brussels.

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Today at Spring Conference

The emergency motion up for discussion first thing this morning will have been decided by ballot of Conference goers. It’s likely that most people will be pretty bleary-eyed by this stage – especially those who have been at the Glee Club until stupid o’clock.

The main potential flashpoint of today is the debate on faith schools. This is another of those issues where liberal principles can lead you to either strongly held viewpoint. Conference will be offered three options on the way forward. You can read the arguments on both sides here and here.

The highlight of course is Tim Farron’s speech. It will be his pitch not to Lib Dem members, but to everyone who believes that the Government is on the wrong course on Brexit, to join us in our fight.

Here’s the full timetable.

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WATCH: Tim Farron’s Q & A

Here is Tim Farron’s question and answer session from Spring Conference in York Enjoy!

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