Saturday debates open thread: Welcome to Glasgow

Liberal Democrat Voice at Conference

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Whether you are physically in Glasgow or are following what is happening from home, this is your place to talk about the public face of the Conference – in other words, all the debates and speeches that are going on in the main auditorium.  Please use the comments below to add your reports on policy and constitutional debates or to draw readers’ attention to ones in the pipeline.

We will be running a similar thread each day, so please confine your comments today to what is actually happening today. Tomorrow’s instalment will appear at 8.30am tomorrow morning.

We will also be running a thread each day on fringes, so use that one for anything going on outside the main show.

So what is happening today at Conference?

Today’s timetable

Presidential Hustings (in Crowne Plaza, Argyll Suite)

F1 Formal Opening of the Federal Conference by Jo Swinson MP

F2 Report: Federal Conference Committee

F3 Speech: Lynne Featherstone MP

F4 Policy motion: Reducing Poverty and Discrimination

F5 Speech: Rt Hon Simon Hughes MP

F6 Party business: Expanding the Democracy of our Party with ‘One Member, One Vote’
F7 Constitutional amendment
F8 Standing order amendment

F9 Policy motion: Towards Safer Sex Work 25

Update 17:40: Caron Lindsay

The Poverty and discrimination motion was passed with its amendment accepted by the movers.

One Member One Vote should soon become a reality in the Liberal Democrats. Conference strongly backed an amended motion which requires more work to be done on accountability and transparency before the changes take effect but I think it should all be concluded by the original timescale of July 2015.

There was a particularly good speech from Callum Leslie from Kirkcaldy who talked about how positive an experience OMOV has been in Scotland. I had a card in but was one of the 17 people who was not called.

There was an attempt at a reference back from Alisdair Calder McGregor from Calderdale which was defeated after a barnstormer of a speech from the FE’s Sir David Williams who said, basically, that opposition to the motion was about protecting power elites. He spoke with such passion and I hadn’t quite expected to mild expletives to escape from him from the podium.

Of all the things I never expected to hear at Federal Conference, the phrase “I received a golden flying penis” was probably somewhere near the top of the list. Twice in the same debate was even more improbable. But Chris Davies and Evan Harris were both keen to talk about receiving the Politician of the Year Award from the Sex Industry Association. The motion, calling for decriminalisation of prostitution, was passed overwhelmingly with only one man speaking in favour of adopting the Nordic Model of criminalising the client. This has been proven to make things more unsafe. Callum Leslie made his second speech of the afternoon talking about the toleration in Edinburgh of saunas which gave sex workers safety. Scottish members made three contributions to the debate, with Ewan Hoyle and Jade O’Neil both being called. I particularly love it when people publish their speeches on their blogs just after they’ve sat down, as Jade did here.

How to follow what is going on

You can view or download the agenda, directory and policy papers.

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

You can watch the debates live on BBC Parliament – today’s schedules.


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This entry was posted in Conference.


  • Paul Griffiths 4th Oct '14 - 8:36am

    Is there any way to get Conference Daily (without access to a smartphone)?

  • Maria Pretzler 4th Oct '14 - 9:49am

    Is there any chance to get to see one or both presidential hustings online somewhere?

    Given that so many members yet have to make up their minds, those who can’t get to conference should get a chance to hear the candidates, too!

  • @Simon Foster Great to hear you’ve rejoined. The BBC Parliament schedules look pretty comprehensive so hopefully they’ll give you plenty to watch.

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