Former leader speaks

Former leader speaks
Originally uploaded by nilexuk.

CK looks great. Thinner and healthier. No notes? Still an excellent speaker. His speech:

Addressing conf not media. Will stay loyal to leadership. Thanks to members and my wife for their support. Think we did well to get more MPs and a million more votes. This at a time when Lab lost 4m votes and Tory 1m. Ours only increase. Encouraging. Lib Dems are a catalyst – interaction speeds up process of change without changing itself. (not sure aldes will agree)

We hold true to principles whatever confronts us. Our principles will see up through:

1 social justice. Fair tax. Redistribution. Not unfettered markets.

2 political reform. PR for many elections. We kept pr alive, must keep house of lords campaign alive. More regionalism also important. Proper federal UK our aim. The road to Welsh parliament. Scotland – Willie Rennie, hooray. Scottish Parliamentary Party, wow. Outright victory for LDs on cards.

3 environmental agenda. Emphasis on consumption tax. Only a start. Vital issue for planet. We are greenest party and must do more

(timing light turned amber and was hastily extinguished)

4 international issues. Legacy of iraq. Vindicated in our decisions. Policy a tragedy that eats at our international integrity. Damnable closeness to Bush. On a good day, only 4/10 voted for Thatcher. Same applies for Bush who doesn’t command majority support in US. Must not become anti-Americanism. Meeting Russian politician who will address conference later. Russia vital geopolitically and for energy. Europe. Plea: speak confidently and persuasively. Lets not hold back, it defines us. Be more pro.

Former leader speaksOur approach then, the best. Labour out of ideas. Tories making virtue of having no ideas. Labour – gone mad? I got better reception at Tuc than Lab PM. Should I talk to WI!? Brown faces poisonous inheritance. Like major or callahan. Deputy leadership of lab v entertaining. Prescott hard act to follow. To Cameron: one Blair is quite enough thanks. Cameron floats like butterfly on policy but local level still stings like bee.

A lot of commentators are trying to tell our story for us. They think we’ll lose seats and votes but gain influence. They do not have our long term interests at heart. but we independent and confident and will come out better and stronger next election. We owe it to ourselves, our children, and our country.

(standing ovation. Clip of Campbell applauding. Ck taps watch and leaves stage with delegates wanting more)


Sitting waiting for Charlie

Sitting waiting for Charlie

Originally uploaded by nilexuk.

Sitting in the conf hall next to waiting for Kennedy to come in and make his speech.

LDV asks “What will he say? What can he say?” Indeed. I suggested “buy my book” but of course it’s not his book, it’s Greg Hurst’s.

Will CK get a chance to shake the leader’s hand?

Conference is packed now as health questions draws to a close. They’ve opened up sections of seating that’s normally closed.

Some interesting nuggets from health questions. Prof Steve Webb says half the people of Oregon have asked for breast augmentation surgery to be funded. Apparently it’s not clear which half.

Bloggers awards last night

A star studded evening last night in the Metropole as the great, the good and the fluffy and the stuffed attended the Lib Dem Blogger of the Year award. A presentation from self-styled blogging queen Lynne Featherstone (a title that was hot disputed amongst those present, not least Iain Dale.) A number of entertaining and post-watershed jokes from the lovely Alex Wilcock and a serious moment from our sponser Centre Forum. (Alex’s speech is here.)

Mark Pack made the interesting point that it was largely bloggers that pushed Chris Huhne so far in his leadership bid, and as a direct consequence, we could thank bloggers for the fact that the green agenda is so far up the Lib Dem’s priority list this September.

I think it goes wider than that, because a further result of the green agenda being promoted so strongly by us is that that other parties have noticed that there is a growing public interest in environmentalism. The Tories have jumped on board and have started even to talk about environmental taxation, which is a way away from traditional tax-cut conservatism.

So from blogs promoting one of the Lib Dem leadership candidates we can draw a direct link to an emerging, cross-party consensus on the environment. What a result!

Other fab things about the evening – the free booze, and when that ran out, we could pinch some of real-ale in barrels in the room next door, brewed by the people the bloggers will be visiting on Tuesday.

There was also a chance to meet Iain Dale, who I rather liked. It was noticeable that the large numbers of members of the press made a beeline for him past many of the rest of us. My interview with him should show up on in the fullness of time; and his interview with me (and with award winning blogger Stephen Tall and net guru Rob Fenwick) is already here. Note to self: try and avoid giggling when drunk. And other note to self: the pros doing the voice recording during the evening didn’t have particularly complicated kit – a good-looking mic and a mini-disc recorder. But they did take the time to find somewhere reasonably free from background noise.

My phone seems broken, so I can’t get the “Elephant in the Room” photo off it.

Checking out the Evening Star

Checking out the Evening Star

Originally uploaded by nilexuk.

With a minute or two to kill, I thought I’d go and warn the Evening Star that the bloggers were coming…

They seemed fine with the idea and the lack of warning. They said they had no idea how busy they’d be on any given weeknight. I said we might be about 10. I didn’t mention the chance of Iain Dale and his camera crew coming too…

I managed to record two podcasts on the train down including an interview, but no chance to upload them yet.

Podcasting from the train

Podcasting from the train

Originally uploaded by nilexuk.

Erm, I think I might be getting a little obsessed with this podcasting lark. I just snuck out to the train vestibule for a quick five minutes with my portable recorder to do a spot on what Lib Dem conference is about, how to organise your diary and interesting fringe meetings.

Unfortunately, although I can moblog photos using my mobile, I need a real internet connection to upload my mp3s.

Podcast test

I’m seeing if I can podcast from conference by borrowing a digital dictaphone.  As a way of testing it, I made a running commentary of my journey into work this morning.  Here you are, 40 minutes of random, M1 related musings:

Presidential candidate REVEALED

Don’t ask me why I was happening to browse Wikipedia’s Charlotte Church entry, but I was, and a line leapt out at me:

In 2006 media reported that Church was considering standing for the Presidency of the Liberal Democrats.

Strangely, this doesn’t appear to be attributed, which is against WP’s rules.

I wasn’t aware that Charlotte Church had been a member of the Lib Dems for the requisite period of time. And how has she found the support of 50 conference reps?

But is the lovely Welsh lass the mystery person who applied to get the ballot papers?

I’m on the record as wanting a president who isn’t London-based, or already a Parliamentarian, and we haven’t had a woman for a while… but do we really need another ex-chorister with a reputation for drink problems?