Well, yesterday’s Nottingham blogmeet ended up a marked success, I thought.
I turned up at the Broadway rather late. I’ve not been there since their refurbishment, so it was a bit of a shock how swanky the place looks now. The bloggers were easy enough to identify, sitting in a corner, so I went and got a beer and came to sat down at what turned out to be the non-blogger end with a rather sweet couple of pretty young men who were there as part of Mike’s coterie. And they said Hi, and asked what my blog was about, and I said, politics, and they asked which flavour, and I said Lib Dem, and they asked, so what do the Lib Dems have to offer, then?
I ought to be used to that question by now. It comes up whenever I tell new people what I do for a living. And yet so often in a social setting I get blindsided by the question and end up fighting fire – no we’re not in favour of nuclear weapons, no, we’re not about to jump into bed with the Labour party, no, etc.
I should really just parrot those words from the constitution at them:
The Liberal Democrats exist to build and safeguard a fair free and open society in which we seek to balance the fundamental values of liberty, equality and community, and in which no-one shall be enslaved by poverty, ignorance and conformity.
They’re printed on the membership card, and I can almost recite them without having to cheat and look at the card again. I particularly like the “none shall be enslaved by conformity” part.
Time and time again, though, the best answer I can come up with on the spot is
The Liberal Democrats exist
which doesn’t really cut the mustard.
Still, the initial sticking point passed, the conversation flowed more freely as I had more to drink, or at least it felt like it did. It turned out that several people had beefs with the City Council in ways I can probably help fix if they send me the details, so I dished out business cards here and there.
And eventually, moving on was discussed, and the gay end of the table relocated en masse to the next door gay bar the Lord Roberts, where more beer was consumed, and the conversation took on a more scurrilous nature.
At various points in the evening, Mike left and returned, Alan phoned for reinforcements, James quizzed me about incinerators and Miss Mish, erm. Miss Mish, erm, talked about all sorts of things that cannot be repeated. And lent me her pashmina and hat.
Far too much alcohol was consumed. I arrived at 3pm, left shortly before 11pm, and was drinking all evening. I’m out of practice for that sort of thing.