Penny Lane or points in parenthesis? Tricky decision….

In a windowless room, those members who made it to the conference centre in time, and weren’t skiving on the Beatles tour, went through a package of Powerpoint slides this afternoon.

The slides showed, line by line, in red, all the deletions and additons to the party constitution which are proposed. These proposals are for an extremely important and refreshing reason: they open up attendance and voting at conferences to all members, rather than representatives.

This change was decided upon at the last Glasgow conference. This meeting was to consult upon the alterations of the constitution to enact the change.

It was all great fun. We had some wonderful discussions about whether to use the term “member” or “party member” (“member” won the day helped by Colin Rosenstiel from Cambridge having a copy of the constitution on his lap). We had points about brackets, “fewer” rather than “less” etc etc. Simon Pike from Newbury and West Berkshire party was on fire (with regard to points of drafting, for example: “if you have the word “appropriate” then the phrase “presently in force” is redundant”, he said with a palpable sense of triumph).

Did you know that the term “typing” is anachronous? It must be because someone said so at the meeting. I typed it down straight away.

The use of the word “tautologous”, by Mr Rosenstiel, was a particular climax of the afternoon.

I felt sorry for the two stewards beetling back and forwards between Messrs Pike and Rosenstiel as they made multitudinous points.

But, it was all very important stuff, and I congratulate meeting chair Sue Doughty for patiently allowing everyone to have their say.

But I think, with hindsight, I should have gone on the Beatles tour with the editor of this esteemed organ.

* Paul Walter is a Liberal Democrat activist. He is one of the Liberal Democrat Voice team. He blogs at Liberal Burblings.

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  • I was lucky enough some years ago to be taken on a personalised tour of Beatles locations in Liverpool by a well-known Liberal Democrat who often appears in LDV.

    Penny Lane, Menlove Ave, Strawberry Fields etc. Excellent.

    I was in Liverpool to stand in and make a speech on behalf of the government minister who headed up the department where I worked. The speech went OK and I had done everything I was required to do. My train fare had been covered by my employer and my Beatles Tour was free. I did not always enjoy my work but this was a day to remember.

    Thanks, Bill.

  • Tony Greaves 13th Mar '15 - 5:59pm

    Is that really what the Penny Lane street sign looks like nowadays?


  • That one was taken by Getty Images in 2011 and this is the caption:
    “LIVERPOOL, UNITED KINGDOM – MARCH 19: A street sign for Penny Lane, the inspiration for the Beatles’ famous song, March 19, 2011 in Liverpool, England. (Photo by Jim Dyson/Getty Images)
    Credit: Jim Dyson / contributor” I think it is conceivable that it is an old one in The Beatles Story.

  • Chris Rennard 13th Mar '15 - 11:34pm

    When I wrote the Focuses for Church Ward Liverpool (inc Penny Lane) c 1979 – 1984, there was always an issue: replacing the missing street sign(s) for Penny Lane!

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