Tag Archives: leader’s speech

The Leaders’ Speech: Ed Davey, Spring Conference 2023

I never knew my dad was a Liberal. He passed away when I was four – so we never got to talk politics.

To be honest, I’d always assumed he was a Tory because mum told me he used to play snooker at the local Conservative club.

So you can imagine what it meant to me when, years later, I came across this newspaper cutting my gran had kept – I guess from the late 1950s – about a garden party held by the Mansfield Divisional Liberal Association.

With a fancy dress parade and music from something called the “Codas beat group”. The cutting quotes my dad, “Mr John Davey” – as Chair of the Mansfield Liberals – saying that, unlike the Government of the day, “Liberals were not ‘pig-headed and pie-eyed theorists’, but people dedicated to public service. “Their dedication to service was untouched by selfish motives, and that was the mark of the Liberal.” Well, Dad, I couldn’t have put it better myself!

Conference, we’re all here today for the same reason that my Dad and his fellow Liberals were in that garden in Mansfield all those years ago: Because of our deep sense of public service. Because we love our country, we love our communities, and we want to serve them. And not a pig-headed pie-eyed theorist in sight!

So, it seems I might have, unknowingly, inherited my liberalism from my dad. But I do know I learnt a lot from my mum.

Posted in News and Speeches | Also tagged , and | 15 Comments

Vince Cable’s Leader address to Lib Dem Spring Conference

It is a sobering thought that just under 2,000 years ago there were people gathered on this spot no doubt complaining about a treaty from Rome.

…with tiresome regulations about daily baths and straight roads; muttering under their breath that these legionnaires should go back to Gaul or Carthage.

And you would have heard lots of people saying Interum sumo inferium. For those amongst you who don’t converse in classical languages, that means: take back control!

It then took them over 300 years to get their ’Rexit, when the Romans went home.

That’s the kind of timescale Theresa May seems to …

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Farron rips up the rules on leaders’ speeches

It is no surprise that Tim Farron can make a decent speech. It’s what he does. Today, though, he took the tried and tested formula for leaders’ speeches. You know the Rules, where they slag off the other parties, they carefully talk about a few issues considered to be the key interests of the electorate, utter a few platitudes, tell a few jokes and end on a high note.

It’s all a bit contrived sometimes, way too polished,  and leaves the listener wanting a bit of genuine discourse and emotion.

Not today. Liberal Democrats are not known for their deference to their leader. It’s impossible to imagine any of us being as devoted to our leader as SNP activists are to Nicola Sturgeon.  We don’t always do their bidding and we usually answer back if they do something we don’t like. We are definitely not the sort of people who give people massive standing ovations in the middle of their speeches like we did this afternoon because he spoke so passionately, as we would, for the refugees whose plight is pretty much dismissed by the Government. He was angry and he showed it and he took us with him.

And what we’ve had from David Cameron is a careful calibration of what it will take to manage that story, the minimum effort for the maximum headlines.

And a policy which will not directly help a single one of the hundreds of thousands currently on the move across Europe.

It’s pitiful and embarrassing and makes me so angry.

Because I am proud to be British and I am proud of Britain’s values, so when Mr Cameron turns his back on the needy and turns his back on our neighbours.

I want the world to know, he does not speak for me, he does not speak for us, he does not speak for Britain.

Posted in Conference and Op-eds | Also tagged , and | 7 Comments

Nick Clegg’s speech: 5 initial thoughts from me – and reaction from members and pundits

Nick Clegg has just delivered his seventh conference speech – you can read it here. Five quick thoughts from me:

1. It’s rare to remember party leaders’ speeches. However, I’ve a feeling this one will be remembered. Not necessarily stylistically — its rhetoric or his delivery — but for a government policy announcement: the emphasis on mental health-care which Nick made a centre-piece and which he has said will be on the front page of the party’s manifesto. Yes, there were plenty of positioning soundbites. But, more importantly, this announcement demonstrated, better than any finely crafted words, the point …

Posted in Conference | Also tagged , , and | 78 Comments

IN FULL: Nick Clegg’s leader’s speech to conference

Clegg SpeechHere’s the text of Nick Clegg’s speech to the Lib Dems’ autumn 2014 conference:

Before I say anything else, I’m sure I speak on behalf of all Liberal Democrats when I say that our hearts and condolences go out to the family and friends of Alan Henning and David Haines for their tragic loss.

These were good men. In the work they did they stood for hope and compassion – the things that everyone in this room believes are more important than anything else. We have to take on the cowards who

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Why I loathe leaders’ speeches. PS: It’s nothing personal, Nick

Don’t tell anyone, but I’m leaving conference on Wednesday morning before our leader speaks. It’s nothing personal — I think my record’s pretty clear on supporting Nick Clegg’s leadership — but I find leaders’ speeches tiresome.

The bullet points will have been carefully briefed to the press in advance, embargoed copies of the speech will be widely circulating — by the time Nick actually gets to his feet for the traditional 40-minute peroration it’ll already feel like a repeat, even if he does ad lib a couple of scripted (and, sorry, almost certainly lame) jokes.

Add to that the …

Posted in Conference and Op-eds | Also tagged , and | 16 Comments

PODCAST: Nick Clegg’s speech in full

After a few minutes amplifying and chopping stuff off the beginning and end, and then many more minutes uploading large files to the internet, we can now bring you the audio recording of Nick Clegg’s conference speech.

You can play it by scrolling down and clicking the “play in another window” link.

And if you’d like to CHECK AGAINST DELIVERY, you will also find the published text here.

Posted in Conference and Podcasts | Also tagged | Leave a comment
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