Conference Day 1: Tears before bedtime

Conference was barely four hours old and I had already been in tears four times.

The debate on ending conversion therapy had some brilliant speeches where people shared their accounts of the damage that this appalling practice can do to LGBT people. I am hoping to have some of those speeches to publish on here.

I also cried at a wonderful fringe event where former leader Jo Swinson talked to Lib Dem Councillor Rabina Khan about her excellent book My Hair is Pink under this Veil It is such a good book that had me raging and crying as she described the disgusting racism she and, particularly her mother, experienced when they came to this country. One of these days I will write a proper review of it. We all should read more about the lived experience of the crap that every single person of colour has to put up with. Jo and Rabina spoke about her childhood, about motherhood and the discrimination that Muslim women have to deal with in maternity services, about how Islamophobia has got much worse since 9/11 and about feminism and about how all women need to stick together to fight for equality. Also, the Lib Dem Campaign for Race Equality is offering a free copy of Rabina’s book for the first 25 people who join them during Conference.

Elsewhere, Conference passed a motion asking for more support for business to cope with the effects of the pandemic and save jobs, including keeping VAT at 5% for hospitality and tourism and extending furlough to the end of this year. We also called for a Global Corporation Tax so that large companies pay their dues. I have put the video of Alistair Carmichael’s excellent speech on our post as it showed some breathtakingly gorgeous Orkney scenery. And it was a bloody good speech.

A policy paper on democracy and public debate was referred back for more work. While many speakers acknowledged that it contained some excellent measures, they argued that there were some elements, such as the lack of definition of social media, which would create real practical problems of implementation and would diminish the policy’s credibility.

Today we have debates on supporting care leavers, tackling climate change ahead of COP26, uyghur genocide, assisted dying, health data and housing. There are keynote speeches from Daisy Cooper, LGA Lib Dem Group Leader Cllr Joe Harris and a Q and A with Ed Davey.

You can read the agenda here and details of the fringes and the very extensive training programme here. Keep an eye on the Lib Dems Twitter account during the day and the #ldconf tag too to find out the latest news as it happens.

* Caron Lindsay is Editor of Liberal Democrat Voice and blogs at Caron's Musings

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One Comment

  • As far as Islamophobia and 9/11 is concerned watched an interesting programme on the DW channel on the internet reminding us the days of the Russian occupation of Afghanistan. The US armed th extremists through Pakistan. In spite of their extremist views they were our friends. But times changed and when the Russians withdrew things changed
    Then came an attack by mainly Saudi citizens with bases in Pakistan on the US so they decided to occupy Afghanistan.
    We need to think about the real effects on real people before we accept the destructive jingoism we see all around us.

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