The Liberal Democrat Voice Team at Conference

Comic Con foursomeLast Saturday, the Scottish Exhibition and Conference Centre was full of trolls, superheroes, and Pokemon. I kid you not. 20,000 people, many of them in costume,  turned up for the Scottish Comic Con event. My daughter, or Karkat Vantas as she preferred to be called, was one of them. The photo shows a selection of the colourful and elaborate costumes on show.

Next Saturday, it’ll be full of Liberal Democrats gathering for Conference. Insert your own joke here. In the first of a series of preview posts, I thought I’d let you know what the Liberal Democrat Voice team will be up to on the Fringe.

Caron Lindsay

I will be chairing two meetings. The first is the Humanists and Secularist Lib Dems fringe in Picasso 3 in the Campanile. That’s on the Sunday evening between 6:15pm and 7:30 pm. We’ll be discussing The Coalition: Friend for foe of secularism with a panel including former Liberal Youth Scotland President and current Scottish Diversity Co-ordinator Sophie Bridger, Tim Maguire from the Humanist Society of Scotland and Gary McLelland, Chair of the Edinburgh Secular Society.

The second is the Co-operative Group’s meeting asking whether we can ensure access to justice for all of society, particularly relevant in the light of proposed and actual changes to Legal Aid. One of the hallmarks of a liberal society is the ability for the ordinary citizen to hold the organs of the state to account if they treat them illegally. How are we doing with that? Speakers include Tom McNally, Liberal Democrat Minister of State for Justice, Alan Beith, Chair of the Justice Select Committee and Christina Blacklaws the Director of Policy at Co-op Legal Services. That’s on Tuesday at 8pm in Dockhart 1 of the SECC.

Stephen Tall

Stephen has 6 outings on the fringe. He’s:

Chairing the CentreForum fringe, ‘Data world: how should liberals balance privacy and liberty’, Sunday at 11am in Boisdale 2, SECC, alongside Julian Huppert MP, Sarah Ludford MEP and Lord (Tom) McNally.

Chairing the Electoral Reform Society fringe on the Lib Dem position the EU in/out referendum, Sunday, 1pm in Castle Room 1 of the Crowne Plaza alongside Sarah Ludford MEP, Stephen Gilbert MP, Stephen Williams MP (a panel with 3 Stephens, really?), Katie Ghose and Professor Simon Hix from the LSE.

Speaking at Liberal Reform’s fringe, ‘Mike Thornton MP: My first 6 months in Parliament’, introducing their new publication, ‘Coalition and Beyond: Liberal Reforms for the Decade Ahead’, 20 essays from a diverse group of mostly Lib Dems, which he’s edited and has a foreword from Nick Clegg. Sunday, 8pm in Dochart 2, SECC.

Speaking at the Institute of Economic Affairs/Liberal Vision fringe, asking ‘Are the Liberal Democrats liberal enough?’ Other speakers include Jeremy Browne MP, Emma Carr from Big Brother Watch, Julian Huppert MP, Chris Snowdon from the IEA. This takes place on Sunday at 6.15pm, Alsh Room, SECC.

Speaking at TUC/Resolution Foundation fringe, ‘The Lib Dem approach to tackling low pay’, on Monday, 6.15pm Crowne Plaza — and Stephen adds a Cabinet Minister to his tally of co-speakers, with Vince Cable also speaking alongside James Plunkett from the resolution Foundation and Frances O’Grady from the TUC

Speaking at Dods/Shelter fringe, “Opportunity Knocks – What can Lib Dems do to capture voters now?’, on Tuesday, 1pm Carron Suite 1, SECC. Now he’s on a panel with one of the most senior journalists in Britain, Jon Snow of Channel 4 News. Mary Riddell and Matthew Oakeshott also take part.

Nick Thornsby

Nick is speaking on the Monday night at 6:15 at the All-Party Parliamentary Group/Migration Matters Trust/Ethnic Minority Liberal Democrats meeting on Where is the Leadership going on immigration? That takes place in Picasso 2 of the Campanile and the speakers include Andrew Stunell, currently chairing the working group on immigration, Catherine Bearder MEP, Don Flynn of the Migrant Rights Network, and Atul Hatwal of Migration Matters Trust. That’s chaired by Ruwan Uduwerage-Perera of EMLD.

Mary Reid

Mary will be speaking at the early evening fringe meeting on Tuesday titled “Boot Camp: Designing a truly digital government “, sponsored by Policy Exchange and EE. The other speakers will be Julian Huppert MP, David Frank from EE and Chris Yiu from Policy Exchange. It takes place at 6.15 in SECC, in Alsh 1.


Of course, you’ll find many more members of the Liberal Democrat Voice team in Castle 2 of the Crowne Plaza at the Liberal Democrat Voice awards from 10 pm on Saturday night.

We’re all looking forward to Conference. Please come up and say hello and tell us if you have any suggestions for the site or have any questions you want to ask us.

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

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