LibLink: Mark Pack – The Liberal Democrat Spring Conference agenda, whistlestop guide version

Over on his Mandate, Hogarth and Penrose blog, Lib Dem Voice’s Mark Pack provides the time-pressed among us with a whistlestop guide of the agenda for the upcoming Liberal Democrat Spring Conference in Sheffield.

Here are the bits of conference that Mark suspects are liable to be the most controversial:

Saturday 10:15am: conference debates the Disability Living Allowance – mobility component, which is one of the areas of proposed welfare reform that has generated much controversy between Liberal Democrats and Conservatives in the coalition.

Saturday, 10:45am: a long motion supporting the NHS reforms, including the words, “Conference welcomes the vision for the NHS set out in the Government’s White Paper”. Will conference representatives be happy to vote for that without at least the including of a “But…”?

Saturday, 14:20pm: ready your tabloid headlines for in amongst a motion on youth justice is a proposal to raise the age of criminal responsibility in England and Wales to 14. Though widely supported by those involved in both justice and youth issues across the political spectrum, it is not hard to see how an unfriendly tabloid newspaper might describe this proposal.

Sunday, 09:50am: a long motion on the party’s strategy. As one senior Liberal Democrat peer recently said to me, “I can’t remember one party strategy motion that has ever had an impact on the party’s strategy”. However, their details can sometimes have an impact (as with the creation of the triple-lock) and this one offers up some words on the media’s favourite topic of conversation – pacts and deals: “The Liberal Democrats will fight the next general election in Great Britain as an independent party without any pacts or agreements with any other party … The Liberal Democrats intend to enter the next general election campaign with no preference for potential future coalition partners”.

Sunday, 11:45am: Nick Clegg’s speech to party conference. He’s a good speech-maker and he’s bound to get a standing ovation. But beyond that his choice of topics, which parts the audience clap at and how keen the ovation is will reveal a lot about his leadership and the party.

You can read Mark’s blog in full here.

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6 Comments

  • Tony Greaves 19th Feb '11 - 8:09pm

    Hm. I remember a party strategy resolution in 1970 that had just a bit of influence on what happened next.

    Tony Greaves

  • Malcolm Todd 19th Feb '11 - 9:50pm

    Go on, Tony. For those of us with slightly less elephantine recollection, do tell us a little more …

  • Evan Harris 20th Feb '11 - 9:59am

    The Strategy Motion we are debating in March is pretty specific which makes it easier for party Committees to hold the leadership to its terms.

  • Will there be a Degsy stylee walkout?

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