Tag Archives: birmingham 2011 conference

How many failed the conference security checks?

Before conference there were lots of pieces here on Lib Dem Voice about the new security hurdles over which people wanting to attend conference would have to jump. There was the occasional piece defending the new arrangements, but most were pretty hostile.

I am not usually one to pick at scabs, but I thought that once the dust had settled on conference season I would ask each of the police forces responsible for security at the three main conferences for some hard numbers. Thanks to the Freedom of Information Act I did just that.

What were the figures for the …

Posted in Conference | 32 Comments

Opinion: Who will keep us safe from the men in black with big guns?

Party conferences are different when you’re in government as we found out at Liverpool last year. I didn’t go to Sheffield in spring but I heard from good friends that some of the demonstrators there were very aggressive and made it difficult for people with mobility problems to safely access the conference.

This year at Birmingham I saw something new again – machine guns being carried by police outside the conference. This wasn’t by officers patrolling the streets outside the secure zone. No, it was inside, where people had already come past 3 separate checks that …

Posted in Conference and Op-eds | 14 Comments

What Lib Dem bloggers and tweeters have said about Nick’s speech

There’s always a bit of an irony with blogging and party conferences — at the time when the media are most looking for reaction from activists to the leader’s speech most of them are hot-footing it to the train station to return to their normal lives outside the conference bubble.

However, a few Lib Dems have had chance to put finger to keyboard in response to Nick Clegg’s address to close the Liberal Democrat conference in Birmingham. Here are those I’ve spotted so far on the Aggregator

Posted in Conference | Also tagged | 16 Comments

Opinion: I’d rather be boring than bonkers

Monday night’s Channel 4’s coverage of the Liberal Democrat conference ended with Michael Crick interviewing Ann Treneman and Michael White about the general feel amongst Lib Dems.

Among the usual sniping from a reactionary sketch-writer and the doyen of the urban intellectual elite came a lament that the Liberal Democrat conference did not feel like a Liberal Democrat conference. People were too on message, they moaned; there was not enough rebellion; nor enough eccentricity. Michael White in particular bemoaned the absence of beards and sandals. Lib Dem conference, they felt, had become boring.

Too right.

We are not in the 1970s, when …

Posted in Conference and Op-eds | Also tagged , and | 23 Comments

LDVideo at Conference | Clegg & Cable on the economy; Andrew Neil’s take on the conference; and the power of Lib Dem conference reps

At Birmingham and so missing out on how the Lib Dem conference is being reported? Not at Birmingham and so missing out on seeing Lib Dem MPs and government ministers up close and personal? We hope these videos will help re-connect you…

Clegg welcomes Jaguar jobs boost; Cable warns of economic equivalent of war

(Available on the BBC website here.)

Andrew Neil’s Liberal Democrat conference report

Posted in Conference and YouTube | Also tagged , and | Leave a comment

LDVideo at Conference | Hugh Grant, Nick Clegg and Party Animals

At Birmingham and so missing out on how the Lib Dem conference is being reported? Not at Birmingham and so missing out on seeing Lib Dem MPs and government ministers up close and personal? We hope these videos will help re-connect you…

Hugh Grant presses phone hacking issue at Lib Dem conference

(Available on the BBC website here.)

Don’t forget our LDV caption competition — Nick Clegg meets Hugh Grant — is still open for entries…

Nick Clegg: Immoral to drop 50p tax

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Did you miss Tim Farron’s speech? Catch up with it (and the reaction) here…

Lib Dem party president Tim Farron’s conference speeches have quickly established themselves as must-see events: bluntly honest and genuinely funny, Tim always gets a reaction. And not just from Lib Dem conference-goers if the media reaction is anything to go by…

If you missed Tim’s speech you can catch up with it here. Full text follows…

Posted in Conference | Also tagged | 7 Comments

LDVideo | Nick Clegg rallies conference, Danny Alexander clamps down on tax evasion

Whether you’re one of the thousands of Lib Dem members busy at this year’s conference, or you’re one of those (like me) who’re having to sit this one out, Lib Dem Voice will try and make sure you don’t miss out on the action. Here’s how Day 1 of the party conference has been making news…

Nick Clegg: Lib Dems ‘imposing will’ on government

(Also available on the BBC website here.)

Danny Alexander: We need to make sure tax is paid

Posted in Conference and YouTube | Also tagged and | 5 Comments

Opinion: Never Mention “STV” Again

The Liberal Democrat Conference opens today in Birmingham with perhaps the most depressing talking shop ever put on a Lib Dem Agenda. It’s the consultative session for the “May 2011 Election Review”: a big drop in the popular vote; a major setback on local councils; a disaster in Scotland; a total and utter thrashing in the AV referendum. And it’s the last that looks the most hopeless.

Is electoral reform finished for good, or at least for a generation? Instead of endlessly debating what went wrong, there’s one major change we can make right now to improve things next time: …

Posted in Op-eds | Also tagged , and | 29 Comments

“In government, a thorn in the Tories’ side” – James Landale’s alternative Lib Dem conference slogan

‘In Government On Your Side’ is the official slogan of the Lib Dems’ autumn conference, which officially starts today. But the BBC’s James Landale has proposed an alternative – and I’m rather taken with it:

In government, a thorn in the Tories’ side

The suggestion comes in his pre-conference assessment here. It’s a fair-minded take that recognises the bruising year the Lib Dems have endured, but also acknowledges why the mood in Birmingham will be more upbeat than much of the media was probably expecting (or hoping). And for two …

Posted in News | Also tagged and | 2 Comments

Tim Farron tells it straight: a disappointing, distressing, devastating first year… but Lib Dems remain determined

It’s not often that forewords to the Lib Dem conference directory by the party president make media headlines. But Tim Farron’s honest appriasal of the past 500 days of the Lib Dems in Coalition has done just that — ‘Naive’ Liberal Democrats have suffered a loss of identity, says Tim Farron in The Guardian.

The article is very Tim: blunt, honest… but also optimistic. Here’s his unspun assessment:

The last 12 months has been a bit of a roller coaster for the party, with some fantastic highs reached as we entered into government, followed by some extreme lows in the wake of the disappointments in May. … But let’s be realistic. The consequences of being in power and of not getting our messages across to the public at large have been particularly distressing.

… it’s how you pick yourself up and move forward in the wake of great disappointment that defines you, and I fully believe that the best way to answer these losses is to use this conference as an opportunity to come back together, and address the issues and the problems we are facing together. …

Posted in Conference | Also tagged | 5 Comments

Update on Lib Dem conference accreditation: 5,617 approved, 138 in progress, 150 pending. One person refused.

Jon Ball has just updated live from the Lib Dems’ Federal Conference Committee with the latest on the party’s conference accreditation which has provoked such internal controversy in recent weeks:

Lib Dem conference accreditation update from FCC. 5,617 people have been approved. 138 applications are in progress. There are issues with 150 applications in various categories including photos missing or unsuitable and some people (almost all non-members) being asked to provide passports at conference. These are technical issues that are very unlikely to lead to refusal. However, one person has been refused accreditation by the Chair of FCC, the President

Posted in Conference and Party policy and internal matters | 14 Comments

Decriminalising drug possession: an idea whose time has come?

Drug reform has long been the third rail of British politics. Nine years ago, a newly-elected Tory MP was able to write in The Guardian from the safety of backbench obscurity: ‘I am an instinctive libertarian who abhors state prohibitions and tends to be sceptical of most government action, whether targeted against drug use or anything else.’ It’s hard to imagine David Cameron daring to repeat those words now he occupies Number 10.

Yet the Lib Dems are preparing to move the debate centre-stage by recommending at this year’s autumn federal conference the setting up of an independent inquiry into …

Posted in News | Also tagged , and | 15 Comments

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    Dennis Wake - or he is too short-sighted. Assume that the Liberals continue to be the main party, PR in Canada will permanently shut the...
  • User AvatarAnthony Acton 23rd Oct - 2:33pm
    Thanks Ben Rich for an article of concentrated good sense. To take a lesson from the past - Paddy's penny on income tax for our...
  • User Avatarfrankie 23rd Oct - 2:32pm
    Yes he did David, but he isn't a Labour MP, they still are and are likely to stay that way. Neither by the way is...
  • User AvatarLorenzo Cherin 23rd Oct - 2:28pm
    David Evans That is a fine bit of interpretation and very appreciated. The aspect that really irritates is when others, as you refer to here,...
  • User AvatarDavid Raw 23rd Oct - 2:27pm
    @ Richard Underhill "” the willingness of nineteen Labour MPs to endorse a Withdrawal Bill which they surely know is even more deeply flawed than...
  • User AvatarDavid Raw 23rd Oct - 2:18pm
    Alex, Of course you're right voters don't move in one direction in a single bloc.... and I didn't say that. My point is the Lib...