Tag Archives: spring conference 2015

Confessions of an FCC virgin

 

Liverpool was my first conference as a member of the Federal Conference Committee (FCC), having been elected at the end of last year. The experience confirmed my impression that Liberal Democrats do conference really rather well.

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Thanks Liverpool!

image

My photo of the stage at the replica Cavern Club, The Beatles Story, Liverpool.

When we visit a city for a conference, it has a significant positive impact on the local economy of that area. Our arrival is very well flagged up in advance with posters and publicity. Then when we arrive everyone knows we’re there due to the extra security presence and hordes of…..well let’s just say unusual looking people with yellow badges and bundles of papers wandering around.

Much of the time during the conferencee, the representatives are charging around like blue-bottomed flies chasing to the next debate or meeting.

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In full: Nick Clegg’s Liverpool speech

Well, you could have knocked me down with a feather when I read this tweet:

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In Full: Danny Alexander’s speech to Conference

Danny emphasised the Liberal Democrat contribution to the economic recovery in his keynote speech to Conference and talked about the forthcoming budget and the choice facing the country. Liberal Democrats were needed to provide fairness and responsibility, he said. Here is his speech in full:

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Jo Swinson saddles up her feminist high horse…

Two pictures you might like. First, Liberal Democrat Equalities Minister Jo Swinson:

Jo Swinson

And now, a feminist high horse.

See what I did there?

Jo Swinson has been going for the Daily Mail readers’ vote. She can certainly speak the paper’s language, as you can see from this parody press release from her office. Will editors get the joke?

Mother of one, Jo Swinson gave a speech today wearing a shocking pink dress and a new pair of heels.

While looking desperately in need of a ‘calming down dear’, Swinson railed against the established privilege of men in power and their unconscious inability to experience what discrimination was really like.

She did not say that government should determine what editors can publish. But it could have been what she meant really.

Swinson suggested that the Tories were too afraid to back a ‘feminazi’ clampdown on Fleet Street’s dinosaurs.

Swinson who last year abandoned her Ministerial post for six months on maternity leave, has persistently shown herself to be the possessor of radically liberal ideas as well as a feminist high horse.

If you want to see what she actually said in her speech, it’s all here.

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Nick Clegg’s Q & A: Live blog

Nick Clegg Q&A Liverpool Spring conference 2015 Photo by Liberal DemocratsWhen I tried to live blog Nick Clegg’s q and a in Glasgow it all went horribly wrong. I’d got about 20 minutes in and then lost the whole thing. I will be a bit more diligent about saving and updating this post.

In the style of the Daily Mail writing about female politicians, Nick Clegg, a 48 year old father of three has come on stage wearing a smart blue suit with a lighter shirt. His hair is not as sleek as it could be. He could have done with a few minutes with his hairbrush this morning.

The first question is about our relative spending on defence and aid. Nick said we should look more holistically – aid is an important part of our own national interest. He was then asked if the EU idea and said definitely No. A barmy idea, a barmy army, he said. He did say, though, that Britain and France were the only countries with any large military capability so if the EU wanted to be more self sufficient on this, there should be more long term thinking on building it up so we didn’t have to rely on “uncle Sam’ to bail us out.

Right and left abhor us being in government more than they abhor each other

Why are our poll ratings not better when we’ve done so much in government is the next question.

Nick says that it’s the first coalition at a time of real economic crisis. The powerful financial and media vested interests of right and left “abhor the Liberal Democrats in government more than they abhor each other.” They want to reclaim their binary system and us being in government puts a spoke in that.

He says that polls look much better where we can tell our side of the story and where we do that, we are going to win. 

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Nick Clegg calls voters from the conference #Team2015

nick clegg team 2015
This morning, Nick Clegg joined Team 2015 at the conference phone bank to make calls to voters.

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In pictures – the conference so far #ldconf

Scroll down to view. Firstly, Paddy declares that the parrot is not dead:

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#ldconf gets under way: Rally live blog

Rally entertainment Spring Conference Liverpool March 2015 Photo by Liberal Democrats
I’m sitting in the auditorium between Paul Walter who is taking photos which by the magic of technology will illustrate this post later, and Deborah from Derbyshire, who’s at her first Conference. She’s been saying what a wonderful atmosphere it is here. In front of us Nick Clegg, Jo Swinson and Paddy Ashdown are watching the singers who are entertaining us with bright and uplifting songs. It’s a little bit of West End musical magic to make us smile.

We’ve already had a video where some of the fantastic Team 2015 volunteers who staff the LDHQ phone banks tell us about themselves. Including some guy called Nick who said he was the Deputy something or other.

Mustang Sal

And now we have Sal Brinton making her first platform speech in her new role. She enters the hall on her wheelchair to the strains of Ride, Sally, Ride. She managed to get from Mustang Sally to Ian Fleming to modern politics in her opening paragraph.

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Protecting open and accessible justice: your help needed

The principles of open and accessible justice are key for all liberals, but they are principles that have been challenged in government by the woeful condition of the public finances and the Conservative appointments to the office of justice secretary. The Justice and Security Act and legal aid cuts have been bitter pills indeed for Liberal Democrats to swallow.

Today, another concerning reform takes effect, namely a significant increase in the fees for bringing what are known as “money claims” in the civil courts. They cover everything from serious injury claims to small businesses seeking to recover unpaid invoices.

For a long …

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Two important deadlines for next week’s conference

Before the weekend is over, a couple of quick reminders about important deadlines to do with next week’s Conference in Liverpool.

I am ridiculously excited about heading back to Liverpool. I’ve been there twice before in my life. The first time was almost 30 years ago as a student. The second was in 2011 when me, my niece and my sister (who was the responsible adult accompanying us) went to see Paul McCartney perform on the very stage that Nick Clegg will be speaking on next weekend. No pressure on him, then. If you are interested, you can read all three gushing instalments of that trip on my own blog here.

Anyway, before I get myself caught up in a mellow spiral of nostalgia, down to business.

Amendments deadline

Should you want to submit an amendment to any of the motions, you need to do so by 1pm on Tuesday 10th March. You can submit it online here. You must also submit emergency motions by this deadline.

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Have you sorted out how you are getting to Liverpool yet?

It’s just 8 short weeks till we all gather in Liverpool for Spring Conference. What’s even scarier is that it’s only another 8 weeks until we know the result of the general election.

On the party website, there’s information about all sorts of deals to help you plan your transport. I actually managed to get very cheap first class tickets ages ago. It means leaving in the middle of the bloomin’ night, but I’ll live with it.

Anyway, Virgin are apparently offering 20% off on fares from London (cos, clearly, that’s the only direction we’d go in to get there – rage) and if you’re going by coach, National Express are offering a 50% discount.

You can find all the details here.

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Recent Comments

  • User AvatarKatharine Pindar 30th Mar - 1:33pm
    Strong statement from Lord Sumption (? spelling) on World at One just now, stressing the dangers to our liberties of the excessive use of police...
  • User AvatarMichael 1 30th Mar - 1:07pm
    For those that don't subscribe to them, people may want to know there is a joint Never Mind the Bar Charts / Lib Dem podcast...
  • User AvatarRichard Flowers 30th Mar - 12:57pm
    Hopefully the Federal Board can and will revisit this decision in a month or so when we are all in a better position to see...
  • User AvatarMichael 1 30th Mar - 12:55pm
    Fair enough on seniors. a link to UK pollling would be interesting though. There's quite an interesting discussion from America's National Public Radio at https://www.npr.org/2016/02/06/465819152/times-have-changed-what-should-we-call-old-people...
  • User AvatarWilliam Francis 30th Mar - 12:43pm
    Absolutely agree!
  • User AvatarDavid Becket 30th Mar - 12:43pm
    Once again we see how far out of touch with real life those who run our party are. We need leadership NOW. Tory's have a...