Conference debates open thread: Wednesday 23rd September

Liberal Democrat Voice at Conference

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Whether you are physically in Bournemouth or are following what is happening from home, this is your place to talk about the public face of the Conference – in other words, all the debates and speeches that are going on in the main auditorium.  Please use the comments below to add your reports on policy and constitutional debates or to draw readers’ attention to ones in the pipeline.

We will be running a similar thread each day, so please confine your comments today to what is actually happening today. Tomorrow’s instalment will appear at 8.30am tomorrow morning.

We will also be running a thread each day on fringes, so use that one for anything going on outside the main show.

So what is happening today at Conference?

Wednesday 23rd September

09.00-10.00 F39 Emergency motion and/or topical issue discussion

10.00-11.00 F40 Policy motion: No-one Should be Enslaved by Poverty

11.00-11.45 F41 Policy motion: Youth Services

11.45-13.00 F42 Speech: Tim Farron MP

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5 Comments

  • I like the fact i have a ready access to the timetable here

  • I am not happy with the (presumably pre-briefed) tone of Tim Farron’s remarks today about “embracing the Lib Dem record in Government”. This sounds like “more of the same”! That is, a continuation of the rightward movement of the Party. This, I can guarantee, is NOT why many many people left the party. Some had tentatively started to rejoin, but I doubt their long-term future in the party again now. Other, new, younger, members are coming along who know the issues about inequality, and are desperate for political movements to rectify those problems. The spin around the Farron campaign was all about a new direction. I always had severe doubts on that, but was hopeful. It now seems the existing 8, the loyalists in the Lords, and the defeated Parliamentarians have united to defend many of the poor decisions they took in Government.

    They need to think again, or precisely the same result will occur. If you get it wrong, self-justification should have little role in democratic politics. People are asking for a genuine new honest politics, not more of the same. The VW issues are just some of the problems we will encounter. We need to approach Corbyn, the Greens and the SNP approach with respect. WE may not always agree with any of them, but the progress they are trying to make, and the rhetoric they are using is in tune with the times.

  • @Tim 13 “This sounds like “more of the same”! That is, a continuation of the rightward movement of the Party. This, I can guarantee, is NOT why many many people left the party. Some had tentatively started to rejoin, but I doubt their long-term future in the party again now. Other, new, younger, members are coming along who know the issues about inequality, and are desperate for political movements to rectify those problems. ”

    If we accept that there has been a rightward movement of the party (which I don’t – there has been a move towards sound economics), then those new, younger members – ie those who’ve joined within the last decade – will have joined knowing all about that rightwards movement and precisely because of it. Tim Farron reflects what the membership is right now, not what it was 30 or 40 years ago.

  • Good to see the poverty motion has just been passed. I know it is an easy point to make when one is watching at home but it is depressing to see the empty rows of reserved seats for party worthies who did not think the debate was worth listening to.

    Also, apart from George Potter’s excellent speech which displayed a real grasp of detail about the current benefits’ regime, most of the speakers offered us platitudes about how poverty is bad, Lib Dems don’t like poverty. Beveridge was a good bloke etc.

    Fine. But we need to face up to our more recent history. How about some contrition about Clegg’s “Alarm clock Britain” and our support for the Tories’ welfare regime in coalition. We paved the way for what the Tories are doing now.

  • Hear hear Ruth.

    I see above that my comment is ambiguous regarding why people left the Party. What I meant to say was that those many leaving the Party because of its medium term rightward drift were tentatively rejoining, but I doubt whether that will continue if there is an obvious attempt to defend the past, rather than a conscious and well-communicated change of rhetoric and strategy.

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