Richard Kemp and Liverpool Lib Dems set up street stall outside Labour Conference

Knowing that there may be a lot of unhappy Labour members once the leadership result is announced, Richard Kemp and the Liverpool Liberal Democrats are setting up a stall outside Labour’s conference to offer them a home if they are feeling that their party has moved too far from them.

They will be outside the Liverpool Museum at the Pier Head between 11 am and 1pm.

They will be looking for people like Mark Robinson:

Good luck to them. You have to admire their nerve.

But people need to have a party that’s going to stick up for ordinary people, stand up to the Tories and fight to make this country the best, most generous-spirited, diverse place where everyone’s voice has a chance of being heard. That is not the Labour Party in its current form.

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

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58 Comments

  • All welcome, by the way!

  • Jayne Mansfield 24th Sep '16 - 2:13pm

    I don’t remember the Labour Party being a hot bed of marxists in 2006 when Mark Robinson left.

    The interesting question for me would be why he left when so called moderates were very much in control.

  • Toby Hardwick 24th Sep '16 - 2:32pm

    St John’s ambulance booked and ready for action, I hope?

  • Richard Underhill 24th Sep '16 - 2:39pm

    Frank Little: When we had a federal conference in Sheffield we were inside the security cordon while they pressed their faces against the wire mesh.
    BBC TV is at Liverpool today for the Labour leadership result and the Labour conference. I thought they said that there is another event lasting four days.
    “Jeremy for leader” has been decided, so is this a rival party being founded as party within a party in Liverpool?
    There may be a nuance of difference between those who call for a Labour government and those who want Labour to be in government. They may be papering over cracks.

  • Richard Underhill 24th Sep '16 - 2:41pm

    Jayne Mansfield: Tony Blair’s pollster died.

  • George Flaxman 24th Sep '16 - 2:50pm

    There’s been a torrent of “I just joined the LibDems” tweets all day. I expect we’ve blown the 80,000 ceiling ?.

  • Dave Orbison 24th Sep '16 - 7:25pm

    @ Simon Shaw- a staggeringly bad result for Corbyn?

    He increased his share of the vote. 62% vs Tim Farron 56%.

    This based on receiving over 309,000 votes compared to 19,000 for Tim Farron.

    This based on a 76% turnout vs LibDem leadership turnout of 56%.

    All this is the face of hostile media and an outrageous attempt to rig the vote by disenfranching supporters and purging supporters based on the most dubious if grounds.

    Thanks for the laugh though. You be telling us next the LibDems are the party of Government and their wipeout at the last General Election was a good result.

  • @Dave Orbison
    People had more choice last time so any comparisons on share should be tempered as comparing apples and pears.

  • I dont know why people like Dave Orbison continue to get up tight when anyone criticizes Corbyn and his crowd.Dave has got what he wanted…we will welcome those coming from the Labour Party who are less than enamoured QED

  • I worry about Lib Dem intentions if they are reaching out to those who have involved themselves in such a challenge and have previously been so happy to abstain on policies like cuts to tax credits then rely on the house of lords to block/delay action.

    Weak MP’s obsessed with their own roles does not make the Lib Dems stronger.

  • John Mitchell 24th Sep '16 - 9:50pm

    I’d think that the Conservative party is more fertile ground for acolytes of Blairism.

    Vacuous politics only works for a limited time and even Blair’s spinners couldn’t back their way out of this one now. The political landscape has and will continue to change.

    What’s weakening Labour is not necessarily Corbyn or all of his fault and if the party continues to fight it won’t win.

  • Peter Watson 25th Sep '16 - 12:13am

    @Simon Shaw “if Tim were to be subject to some sort of challenge …”
    A report in Private Eye a couple of months ago suggested that senior Lib Dems were sounding out colleagues for just such a challenge from none other than Nick Clegg. A frightening thought …

  • Simon Shaw

    “It’s only when we get close to the next GE that they’ll really let rip with 30 years of facts with which to criticise Corbyn, McDonnell et al.”

    That is very true. It’s not left wing policies that will destroy Labour at the next GE, it’s the history of Corbyn, McDonnell, Livingstone etc and their links to terror groups.

  • Dave Orbison 25th Sep '16 - 7:29am

    Simon Shaw and Malc – I think they have thrown everything they can at Corbyn. The idea they are holding back is, I think, fanciful.

    As to why post about Corbyn here, it’s LibDem Voice? Couple of reasons.

    First the LibDems gave 8 MP’s. That’s it just 8. There is little they will achieve on their own if they are intent on opposing this Tory Govt. Alliances, informally least need to be forged.

    Second I see the Govt as the biggest threat to our society, public services etc. So it irks me, I must confess when LibDems AND members of the PLP go Corbyn hunting when the real problem is across the chamber.

    Thirdly I would not want the LIbDems to be taken over by authoritarian right wing Labour MPs who have no regard for party members’ views. That would weaken the LibDems for another generation.

    Finally, at the risk of being lampooned, I genuinely beleive Corbyn to be a good and decent man who stands for and says what he means in the face of huge media pressure. There are few such authentic politicians in all parties and I wish we had more.

  • Dave Orbison – I think you are right about Corbyn being a good and decent man, though a minority of his supporters are probably not. The problem is that he faces an impossible task in creating an effective opposition to the Tory hegemony we are likely to face for the forseeable future. It is completely pointless for the Liberal Democrats to waste time attacking Corbyn: the civil war in the Labour will emasculate the party for years at this rate. And I’m afraid you are wrong about the media: come an election the gutter press will go into overdrive – “Clegg’s Nazi smear on Britain” will seem mild in comparison with what will be dragged/made up by Murdoch et. al.

  • At the time of the Brighton bombing Corbyn was part of the editorial board of a left-wing magazine. As part of their coverage they wrote “Try riding your bike now Norman” and ” What do you call four dead Tories? A good start”. Those are not the words of a “good and decent man”.

  • Jayne Mansfield 25th Sep '16 - 10:36am

    @tonyhill,
    Isn’t the answer to facing a seemingly impossible task, to help in making that task less impossible?

    I don’t know whether Jeremy Corbyn is a good or decent man, I do feel that he made the right calls on something that for me trumps all other issues. He voted against the Iraq war, was one of the 30 MPs who voted against the Libyan intervention, and also our decision to join in the bombing in Syria.

    Having made the decision to join Labour, I find that I do not recognise the depiction of Corbyn supporters that I meet. Some of them , particularly the young are indeed passionate but I am not sure that passion is such a crime when it is directed at confronting social injustice – in fact they remind me of the Young Liberals in their heyday.

  • Peter Watson 25th Sep '16 - 11:09am

    @malc “Those are not the words of a “good and decent man”.”
    But were they the words of Corbyn? Perhaps you could provide a link that demonstrates that he wrote them or approved them before publishing or agreed with them.

  • Peter Watson

    He was a contributor, member of the editorial board, and served as general secretary of the Labour Briefing Magazine so I think it’s fair to say he wrote or supported what was published. If he didn’t, a “decent” man would have resigned. However, if you choose to think otherwise that’s entirely up to you.

  • Neil Woollcott 25th Sep '16 - 12:05pm

    Apart from fighting whether Corbyn has a big enough mandate or not, the big question is how effective was the Richard Kemp’s stall? Did he sign any members and if so, how many?

  • Dave Orbison 25th Sep '16 - 12:09pm

    Malc I echo Peter Watson’s comments re the the authorship of the piece to which you refer. If Corbyn is not as decent or honest as honest as some of us beleive I am mystified why you have to go back 30 years or so to dig out one, not terribly convincing example.

    Even if it wer his work and his alone what are we to make if the Young Liberals (I think joined by one LibDem) MP singing joyously as to the death of Tony Blair? It even those that have seen Billy Elliot the musical and laughed at the Thatcher death song. Are they dishonest and evil? Of course not.

    Tonyhill may be right that the likes of The Sun and Daily Mail will not hesitate to invent or portray Corbyn (or any other designated Tory opponent) in the most despicable manner but does not mean we should beleive much less rely on it in debating with him or his supporters.

  • Dave Orbison 25th Sep '16 - 12:11pm

    Apologies for typos but everyone here is clever enough to work them out

  • Sue Sutherland 25th Sep '16 - 12:11pm

    It’s great to see Lib Dem campaigners having fun again and after the way Labour treated us in Coalition they have no right to moan if we start getting our own back. In fact we don’t need to because it’s no surprise that in that authoritarian party the left and right are arguing about who is more authoritarian. We have a different way of doing things which may come as a relief to ordinary Labour members when they come and join us.

  • Dave Orbison 25th Sep '16 - 1:55pm

    Simon Shaw – I will never stop complaining about The Sun. My reference to Young Lib Dems singing about Tony Blair’s death was true was it not. Obviously the singing not the death. Forgive me if I chose not to use the exact phrase they used in the song but as it was rather crude I though a simple reference would suffice.

    Simon they did sing it didn’t they? Does it make them bad or nasty people? Of course not. But you do need some humour and a sense of perspective.

  • Jayne Mansfield 25th Sep '16 - 2:49pm

    @ Dave Orbison,
    The LSE carried out an interesting study.

    The report covering the first two months of his leadership laid bare the media bias.

    I can’t get my link to work but you can find an article on the study in the Independent online headlined:-

    ‘Our report found that 75% of press coverage misrepresents Jeremy Corbyn. We can’t ignore media bias anymore’.

  • bob sayer 24th Sep ’16 – 8:11pm………..I dont know why people like Dave Orbison continue to get up tight when anyone criticizes Corbyn and his crowd…..

    The media are all falling over themselves to attack Corbyn and the same stuff coming from a party with just 8 MPs is ‘lost in the noise’. Perhaps, if half the effort put into attacking Corbyn was aimed at May (who just happens to be the PM), we might get something of a result…

    Simon Shaw 25th Sep ’16 – 12:33pm……….Frankly I’m not in the least bit interested in whether the words were written by Corbyn prsonally….

    Which would rather seem to invalid anything you write on the subject…

  • Dave Orbison 25th Sep '16 - 3:19pm

    Jayne Mansfield – thanks I remember in the 1970s at 15 as a Labour supporter writing to Tony Benn as I was fed up with the Daily Mail attacking him in the name of Labour supporters.

    Tony Benn replied with lots of information going back to his earliest battles to become an MP. Having confessed not to being that knowledgable about the Party or even knowing The Red Flag, he included the lyrics and music.

    It taught me a valuable lesson. People are not always the demons we are told by the Media that they are. It also showed how destructive the Media can be.

    I disagree with those on here who say lets ignore the Media attacks on Corbyn. Not just because I support Corbyn but more importantly because I beleive a biased Media is a threat to democracy. The anti EU stance by much of the Media did its bit in securing the Brexit result.

    The issues for Media bias goes beyond the Labour leadership and the LibDems are not immune to this in my opinion.

  • Jayne Mansfield 25th Sep '16 - 4:06pm

    @ Simon Shaw,
    As an evidence based party, why dont you watch the video on Politics home?

    ‘Watch the Glee club sing Tony Blair can f.. off and die’

  • Simon Shaw…Just Google…”Lib Dem Glee Club sing ‘Tony Blair can **** off and die’…
    There is a video of it..

    You owe Dave Orbison an apology…

  • I think it’s true that the real vitriol for Corbyn will appear in the run up to the next election. All the right-wing press are doing now is laying the ground-work.

    However, I don’t think that’s something the LibDems should be joining in with. Fair enough, have a few facts to hand to counter the inevitable claims that Corbyn and his supporters are the only ones with any morals or principles, but I think we can and should leave the mud slinging to the gutter press. Apart from anything else, they are better at it than us!

    I am mindful that even with the most optimistic election results, we’ll have to work with other parties, and that includes parts whatever is left of the Labour party. We have our political differences, but their membership includes a lot of decent people, and we must be able to come up with positive reasons to vote for us, that are about more than reminding people of Corbyn’s short-comings.

    I anticipate we could mop up quite a few votes from traditional Labour voters who might hope we could be a steadying partner in a coalition, but they might resist if they think we are more interested in destroying Labour than we are in getting a good deal for the people. The other risk is that we spend too much time fighting between ourselves and Labour, giving the Tories a free ride to Downing Street. This is, arguably, what happened with the SNP. They followed the tactic of giving Labour (and ourselves) a kicking at every opportunity, and it helped them to win seats, but it also helped the Tories to win seats from Labour (and ourselves). They expected to hold the balance of power, and instead they just get to harp on about being the “3rd party in Westminster”, and blame Labour for not beating the Tories.

    Learning from that experience, we too must be wary of the pitfalls of fighting a campaign on two fronts. Getting bogged down in sniping and name calling is too big a distraction, and is a big turn-off for many floating voters.

  • The Professor 25th Sep '16 - 4:31pm

    When you have a faction running a political party then others not of that faction have to let the other faction fail.

    So Jeremy Corbyn must be allowed to fight a General Election so that all can see the result.

    In much the same way I felt the same re Nick Clegg after the 2014 Euros – he should continue so that the 2015 GE result can be used as proof of how useless he and his ilk really were. The same goes for Gordon Brown in 2010. History is littered with these examples.

  • Dave Orbison 25th Sep '16 - 4:45pm

    Simon Shaw – you claim I am making it up about LibDems singing re Tony Blair’s death.?

    See link attached – I assume you won’t have the decency to apologise.

    http://m.huffpost.com/uk/entry/uk_57e110cee4b05d79137111d3

  • Alex Macfie 25th Sep '16 - 5:40pm

    Dave Orbison: You know perfectly well that the phrase in question is not one that is intended to be taken literally. I’ve sung that myself at various Glee Clubs, in the days when I attended party Conference. I never actually wished Tony Blair dead.

  • Jayne Mansfield 25th Sep '16 - 5:46pm

    @ Simon Shaw,
    Thank you for providing the link.

    What pet inaccuracies of mine are you referring to?

    When I mentioned the Young Liberals to tonyhill, I was expressing my admiration for them. It was their fight against apartheid and the Vietnam war that first persuaded me to vote Liberal and sadly as it turns out, led me to continue to do so in its different forms, as a too little examined, default position for decades.

    If you don’t think that the media’s representation of Tim Farron which has been mostly appallingly contemptuous and demeaning, in the same way that the de-legitimising of Jeremy Corby as leader of a political parties has been, I fear even more for the future of democracy in this country.

    Speaking of democracy, whilst I wouldn’t wish anyone dead, or sing any song joyously or otherwise , with words that might be construed as such, I thought ‘Blairism’ was top-down, authoritarian, anti- democratic with it’s catapulting of parliamentary candidates into seats, and its managerial approach to politics an absolute turn off. But if you want to win three general elections, maybe attracting some of those who didn’t might help the Liberal democrats to win one. Just emulate them.

  • Dave Orbison 25th Sep '16 - 5:49pm

    @Alex Macfie – Exactly, I totally agree with you. That was my point in disputing the demonisation of Corbyn I said that those singing this song were not of course bad people. Quite the contrary that we should have a sense of humour and perspective in politics.

    I was responding to Simon Shaw who accused me of making this up and who challenged me to provide a link to back me up. I simply obliged.

    For the avoidance of doubt the world would be a very sad place if we couldn’t laugh at ourselves and with others.

  • Hello Lib Dem folks, I thought it might be interesting to highlight a few of the things going on in the Labour Party at the moment, for those of you who wonder why the PLP don’t just allow Jeremy to lose the next GE, after which he would resign and a more electable leader would be chosen.

    Jeremy is proposing an Amendment to the rules – the McDonnell Amendment – which will reduce the percentage of nominations required to stand as leader. In effect, this will only require 12 nominations rather than 51, and the word on the ground is that Jeremy will stand aside in the next year and make way for John McDonnell who will easily get 12 nominations and will be voted in by the membership. Once this has happened, it will be very hard for a moderate leader to win the leadership for the foreseeable future.

    At the same time, Corbynites are taking over the NEC, who will then replace the General Secretary and the party management machine, with fellow Corbynites/ Momentum members. Meanwhile, CLPs are being flooded with Momentum members who are then replacing, through sheer numbers, the Chair et al with their own people, in order to deselect any dissenting MPs. We have seen this in Brighton and Hove and other places and it has been stopped temporarily by the current NEC. However, very soon, this will no longer be possible. So, in 2020 we can expect a Corbynite Leader, General Secretary, a Corbynite dominated NEC and mostly Corbynite PLP. The current MPs have nothing to lose now and if they procrastinate, they will soon resemble the frog in a pot of boiling water. I cannot see any other option but for them to split. What this means for Lib Dems is a huge number of disenfranchised voters looking for a new home, not just a temporary resting place, for several decades. I do not expect a moderate Labour leader in my lifetime, and I am much younger than Neil Kinnock!

  • Jayne Mansfield 25th Sep '16 - 6:14pm

    @ Alex Mcfie,
    Stop digging.

    If this had been a group of so called Corbynistas caught on video singing the words, I have no doubt that it would be seen by Liberal Democrat supporters on here as positive proof of their danger, rather than a display of ill -judged, immature behaviour that hopefully , children never see.

  • Have any Liverpool based people seen this? It’s an open event on Tuesday to launch a campaign to get Labour to put PR on their conference agenda for 2017.

    http://www.makevotesmatter.org.uk/events/labourconferencerally

    I’m not suggesting recruiting for the Lib Dems – that would be beyond cheeky, but a few extra bums on seats and people making supportive noises can only help.

  • Jayne Mansfield 25th Sep '16 - 8:58pm

    @ Simon Shaw,
    Such double standards.

    The words are poisonous which ever way you try to spin it.

  • Dave Orbison 25th Sep '16 - 9:53pm

    Simon Shaw – you challenged me to provide a link to a story you accused me of inventing. I did just that.

    Hiding behind a pedant’s argument that the LibDem Glee Club is somehow wholly removed from Young LibDems at conference, as if that makes an iota of difference, fools nobody.

    Your lack of grace in failure to offer a simple apology for your slur, though unsurprising, speaks volumes.

  • Peter Watson 26th Sep '16 - 12:04am

    @Simon Shaw
    Setting aside whether “young liberals” have sung “Tony Blair can f*** off and die” but “Young Liberals” have not, are you saying that you have sung it. I am shocked! 😉

  • Dave Orbison
    Did you ever go on one of those demos where they chanted,” Enoch we want you-dead”?
    We all die as you will one day. Tony did a good job with the GFA. As for the Middle East, it isn’t much understood by westerners. try a spell working there.
    As for a hostile media, Mr. Corbyn gets good coverage in the Morning Star, a publication he used to write for. I didn’t buy the Morning Star this summer, the New European was more interesting.

  • Dave Orbison 26th Sep '16 - 4:57am

    Manfarang – no I never went on a demo urging ‘Enoch dead’ nor have I worked in the Middle East. Your point? As for Corbyn writing for the Morning Star, not so sure if that is true. But I don’t recall the Morning Star vilifying those that died at Hillsborough so in my book MP’s writing for Murdoch Press is a bigger issue.

    I agree the Middle East is not well understood by Westerners and I doubt our understanding is much improved by bombing it to bits.

  • David Garlick 26th Sep '16 - 10:46am

    The Liberal Democrats had a contest between two fantastic candidates. Both offered themselves in a spirited way to lead a united party which would be thrilled to be led by either and who now work in harmony. Labour contest could not be more different. If you want media bias DO review the coverage of the Lib Dems over the last 50 years.

  • Peter Watson 26th Sep '16 - 12:11pm

    @David Garlick “Both offered themselves in a spirited way to lead a united party”
    I recall that Tim Farron’s christian faith was unfortunately brought into the debate by Norman Lamb.
    And I am not certain about how united the party is. Although the debate between Lib Dems over economic liberalism is far more subdued than the Conservatives over Europe or Labour over socialism, it still feels like unfinished business.

  • Dave Orbison 26th Sep '16 - 4:55pm

    @David Garlick – I’m not a student of LibDem politics by any means but I think perhaps you are overstating the degree of unity that there is in the LibDem party.

    Only the other day temperatures on LDV soared as the issue of sexism and sexual assaults at LibDem Conf was raised.

    There are clear differences of opinion over Trident as in the Labour Party but here people call those same differences ‘splits’.

    The jury was not so kind on your last leader either. Would the LibDems welcome him back?

    Then there is the debate between the social liberals and orange-bookers not to mention those that still are more SDP or Liberal depending on your choice?

    All parties have a broad spectrum. The party keenest on promoting PR and the consequential need for interparty cooperation, the LibDems, would I have hoped, recognised that and accepted it was not in itself a barrier for cooperation.

    Perhaps not.

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