Conference Extras open thread: LDV’s fringe on foreign policy, Vince, bees, equality and peers’ ears

Liberal Democrat Voice at Conference

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We hope you’ve spotted the open thread on the action taking place in the main auditorium today. In comparison, this thread is for you to talk about fringe meetings, the exhibition and all the other things going on around the main business.

Today’s Highlights

It would be wrong if we didn’t shamelessly plug our own Fringe Meeting. Join William Wallace, Nick Tyrone, me and others for a discussion on how we forge a liberal foreign policy in these challenging times. It’s at 7:45 in Bayview 2 of the BIC. There is plenty wine on offer. I know. I had to pay for it on my own debit card after the fraud people stopped my credit card because I’d been paying for the Liberal Youth elections. Thankfully, our very efficient money-man Alex Foster reimbursed me within the hour.

Earlier in the day, never let it be said that Liberal Democrats aren’t practical – the Lib Dem Lawyers Association will help you write your will.

Vince hits the fringe, in conversation with CentreForum at lunchtime and with Social Liberal Forum and Liberator in the early evening.

Lib Dem Women discuss domestic violence, and there’s a session where you can have an informal chat with peers, called Peers all Ears.

Liberal Reform ask if diversity and equality is the sole preserve of the left.

Late night entertainment comes in the form of a quiz, always guaranteed to be a laugh, or the International Office reception.

How to find out what is happening

You can view or download the directory, which lists all the fringe meetings, exhibitors and training sessions. Alternatively, there will be a host of people handing out leaflets to advertise their fringe meeting. Make sure you recycle them when you’ve finished with them.

You can instal the Conference app from the App store or from Google Play or view it on Blackberry or Windows phones.

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

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This entry was posted in Conference.


  • “…..,an informal chat with peers, called Peers all Ears.”

    What is meant by “informal” in this context ?

    Can we assume that nobody has to wear ermine, sing a Hanoverian anthem about crushing the Scots or kiss anyone’s hands?

    In the strange world occupied by members of The House of Lords (where you are only allowed to walk on certain carpets so long as you are accompanied by a member of the club) the word “informal” has different connotations.

  • Did Tim Farron, in one of the LibDems few chances to speak on national TV since the election, need the embarassment of having to respond to the Ice Cream van selling 99’s,whilst its diesel engine is ticking over stupidity on Marr this morning

    I wonder if the instigator of that policy idea was one of the old LibDems or one of the new post election LibDems.

    Either way it clearly shows that the concept of being liberal in preference to micro managing peoples lives still plays second fiddle in LibDem politics, or perhaps it was just ignorance on the part of the individual or group. Would they also expect the HS125 to turn off their engines everytime they arrive at a station, or perhaps ensure that the air conditioning is turned off at the conference this week, after all whats a few sweaty armpits, when compared to the greater good of the environment.

    The LibDems were/are enthusiastic supporters for closing our main load coal generating sets threatening our energy security, yet whilst in government in full panic mode were happy to be party to signing up companies with standby diesel generating sets to provide supply in the event the grid capacity falls below demand, presumably these idling generating sets also have to be turned off, after all the ice cream van also idles to provide power to carry out it’s task.

    Thee 99 affair would seem to prove that of the thousands who have left the party, the bizarre and barmy have remained, unbent and unbowed.

  • Eddie Sammon 20th Sep '15 - 11:49pm

    I’m concerned about Tim Farron’s position on defence. I want the Lib Dems to back the principle of airstrikes in Syria. I don’t think this is a difficult decision like the 2013 vote. ISIS need to be defeated and Assad probably needs to be removed too. John Kerry, Obama, Cameron and the West in general seem in favour of this plan and I don’t think Tim should try to disrupt it.

    I want Assad removed through diplomatic means, but diplomacy isn’t really an option with ISIS. If we can’t even back airstrikes against ISIS in Syria the UK will look impotent as a nation and it will embolden our enemies.

  • John Barrett 21st Sep '15 - 12:30am

    Does anyone actually believe that involving the RAF in air strikes will solve anything?

    The last vote on air strikes was to bomb Assad in support of the rebels. Now it is to bomb the side we would have been supporting if Nick and Cameron had won the vote last time, as the rebels or ISIS, have become an even worse threat than Assad used to be.

    Eddie Sammon appears to think one solution might be to bomb both sides in Syria, or at least to take military action against both sides.. Or maybe that was a joke.

    The one thing all of the above proposals will do is kill many civilians and increase the flow of

  • John Barrett 21st Sep '15 - 12:31am


  • Eddie Sammon 21st Sep '15 - 1:32am

    John, I only want military action against ISIS, unless the conflict continues and Assad just refuses to go and there is international agreement to remove him. I was against bombing Syria in 2013.

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