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Lembit Opik is interested in becoming Mayor of London, while The Guardian has a round-up of comments from backbenchers about the Budget. Although all are anxious about one aspect or another, notably they all overall support is as with Annette Brooke:

I don’t like the budget but I dislike the economic situation we find ourselves in even more. The Lib Dems have done their utmost to address the fairness issue. In an ideal word I would not choose to put up VAT. But I was convinced, even at the hustings meeting, that the books were much worse than we thought and that whether we had a Tory or a Labour government, VAT was going to go up.

Meanwhile, there’s also speculation about quite what coalition may mean for party conferences. It’s already been the case that MPs from one party sometimes pop up at fringe meetings from the other and we’re likely to see a lot more of that in the autumn. The Independent has also speculated that Cameron and Clegg may address each other party’s conference. From what senior Lib Dems are saying, I’ll happily wager a very large chocolate bar on Cameron not addressing the Liberal Democrat conference in Liverpool.

UPDATE: Chocolate is looking good for Federal Conference Committee’s Jeremy Hargreaves tweets, “Lib Dem conf cttee has decided not to invite Cameron to speak at Conference.”

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16 Comments

  • Conservative 26th Jun '10 - 2:34pm

    I hope that we don’t have each other’s leaders at our party conferences: we will be fighting each other in the locals and the AV referendum quite soon after and it seems stupid to pretend that we are in any way similar – so many of you hate our policies and vice versa this would simply be a sham.

  • George Gosling 26th Jun '10 - 3:11pm

    Would you make that same wager about any Tory cabinet minister?

  • If the other party leader is to appear then why not in a separate rally or on the fringe not in the hall?

  • Andrea Gill 26th Jun '10 - 5:09pm

    I appreciated the idea of Michael Gove facing questions from Lib Dem Councillors at the ALDC conference, and would appreciate being able to question Conservative ministers on immigration, prison reform and education. I can also see why Conservative party members might want to question Clegg on electoral reform but conversely do not see the point in Cameron appearing at our conference

  • George Kendall 26th Jun '10 - 5:33pm

    @Mark
    I think you’re right. Immediately after the coalition was formed, a Cameron speech at party conference might have felt okay. But in the context of this budget, it wouldn’t.
    Both parties are struggling with how to retain their independence of action, while remaining in coalition. It’s created a lot of worry about the future of the parties. Having our two leaders address each others conferences would only increase those problems. However, having Conservative ministers attend fringe meetings would be helpful.

  • “Lib Dem conf cttee has decided not to invite Cameron to speak at Conference.”

    Hurrah for the good sense of the Conference Committee.

    And now no need to look up which procedural motion would be needed to move next business just before Cameron’s speech!

  • David Morton 26th Jun '10 - 9:34pm

    Good News re Cameron particulalry given tonights polls. I also quite like the fact the announcement has come from FCC. Lets all remember who is in charge.

  • I’m with Andrea, first thing i thought when reading the article in The Independent was that I’d like Michael Gove to face questions about his Free schools and Academies policies that it seems no LD are comfortable with.
    Cameron making a speech at the conference (or Nick at the Torie’s for that matter) otoh seems a step too far and a danger of blurring our distinctiveness in the public’s mind.

  • toryboysnevergrowup 27th Jun '10 - 10:55am

    I’m sure that Boris could find some position fro Lembik in a coalition. Then histrory really would be repeating itself as farce given this week’s tradgedy.

  • Pretty gobsmacking how people still haven’t got their heads around this coalition lark. I seem to write this every single bl**dy week.

    Partners in a coalition coalesce – “coalesce, v., to mix together different elements”, note: DIFFERENT elements. I might marry some dubious dude but that doesn’t instantly morph me into a man. Parties that coalesce don’t become each other. So why on earth one political party would want to invite someone from a different political party to an internal political conference is beyond me. The fact that it’s even contemplated in the first place indicates that the contemplaters just don’t get it.

    It’s enough of a test of strength to find myself in the same bedroom as Dave, and only just bearable due to the twin bed arrangement.

    On a more serious note, there’s too much of a general whiff of the Tories being the ‘superior’ partners in this deal. They are no such thing. We can leave the playground anytime we like.

    And no ‘yes buts…’ please. We can, end of.

    So can we just get back to discussing the issues at hand like good honest Social Liberal Democrats please?

  • Barbara Harris 1st Jul '10 - 9:57pm

    What i am wandering is, Will the coalition get to grips with the fact that most Members of parliament have stakes. shares in Major Pharmaceutical Companies.
    That really is not on on as it is Total Conflict of Interest in governing the people,when they are in the POCKET Of these Major prescription drugs companies.

  • Presumably they have to register this as an interest?

  • Barbara Harris 2nd Jul '10 - 12:45am

    Kirsten
    Yes they do, but that is not the point i am trying to put forwards, registering as an interest is just a formality they have to do. But that still does not stop the Direct conflict of interest, If everybody knew how many MPS were actualy in the pockets of BIG PHARMA they would be shocked at the extent of it all with them.Just check up for yourself. And some are even on the Boards of Big Pharma as well. I think that that says it all really especialy over the swine flue injection scam they did on the public.

  • Oh I completely agree with you Barbara, that big pharma is a dirty dirty business and, like you, I’m sure that some dodgy dealings were involved with that ridiculous swine flu scam.

    How to actually get a grip on it is an entirely different matter – answers on a postcard…

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