Tales from the seaside…

A few observations from the weekend in Brighton.

Lib Dem Voice luxury

The Liberal Democrat Voice office was the loveliest we’d ever had. Normally we are stuck in a broom cupboard in amongst bottles of Domestos. This time we had proper desks, bottles of water and sweeties. And do you know what else was lovely? The Conference Office had factored us in and booked us a room without us having to ask. Our thanks to the person who did that.

Rumour had it that the professional media’s quarters were not quite as plush. I’m not saying that there was straw on the floor or anything, but they weren’t fantastic.

How not to be scary, by Alistair Carmichael

Everyone in the Party is in awe of the Chief Whip, Alistair Carmichael. I mean, I don’t often use bad language on social media, but during one particularly fraught Formula 1 race last year, I resorted to entirely justified anglo-saxon to berate Romain Grosjean. Within seconds, Mr Carmichael had told me off.

During questions on his Parliamentary report on Saturday, he said “I don’t want you to think that I know what all of you are doing at any given time but…” and then told us that the questioner wasn’t around to ask a supplementary question because he was at a football match.

So, you can see that in social situations he would want to find a way to be less intimidating. That is the only reason I can imagine he took to wearing a jumper slung casually round his shoulders to the Glee Club on Saturday night. Why else would he go all American preppy on us?

Mike Thornton does his “turn” at Glee

It is a tradition that all new MPs come along to the traditional end of Conference sing song and do a turn. It’s fair to say that most of them look on it as an ordeal to be endured. Mike, on the other hand, is still sufficiently on a high after his victory that he approaches everything with enthusiasm. He spent the weekend giving heartfelt thanks to the very many people who helped his campaign and took to the Glee stage on several occasions. The first was to sing Jerusalem. The entire Eastleigh core team also did a few songs, and the Glee Club sang Happy Birthday to Front of House’s Sarah Harding, who turned 21 at midnight.

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

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  • Alistair Carmichael is a bit less amusing when you remember that he is the Chief Whip who didn’t whip Lib Dem MPs in favour of equal marriage, but did whip them in favour of secret courts.

  • Precisely Hywel, precisely.

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