Our final podcast from the conference floor was the penultimate session, a Q&A with cabinet ministers Danny Alexander, Chris Huhne, Michael Moore and Vince Cable.
The last session at Lib Dem conference is usually reserved for the Leader’s Speech – but that was not possible this time as Nick Clegg had to fly out to the UN.
It’s quite a shock for Liberal Democrats to get to quizz cabinet ministers, but it’s something they took in their stride with relative ease. This was taped from the reserved press section – and it’s interesting that over a dozen journalists had stayed till this last minute to see what might be learned.
The questions take a wide variety of topics, and bring some interesting answers. Danny Alexander confirms that all departments will have to do equality and carbon impact assessments when preparing cuts; Vince reveals a new hobby; and there are some strong answers to strong questions about cuts to science funding.
After a brief hiatus during which our podcast host migrated us to an account we hadn’t asked for during our busiest week, we can now bring you, in full, the debate on LGBT marriage from Tuesday’s conference floor.
This debate may not necessarily be of interest to the wider public, but certainly anyone who loves Lib Dem conference will recognise many of the aspects of the debate.
Highlights for me include Dr Evan Harris’s explanation, in the opening minutes of the debate of his stint as the only openly gay Lib Dem MP despite not actually being gay; the Voice’s own Sara Bedford recounting her experiences of taking young children to Pride marches (as blogged here) (19’38″); and Brian Paddick’s personal experience of his own gay marriage in Norway (40’00). Also of note, after warnings about the “Methodist wing” inhibiting change, was the queue of three speakers from Religious Society of Friends wanting to explain the stance the Quakers had decided on at a recent meeting (25’00), culminating with Lucy Care telling us that the Quakers had even discussed that, if it proved not possible to register gay marriages, they might renounce their right to solemnize heterosexual marriage.
Veterans of conference will also enjoy the unexpected reference back, the point of order raised and the chair’s attempt to cope with it. This is almost certainly inaudible on the recording, as it was barely audible in person.
A brief review of the debate is available on the Voice, and edited highlights of the debate should appear in Friday’s Pod Delusion
With the success of the most recent Blog of the Year still ringing in our ears, I thought I’d dig through the archive and bring you the tapes from the previous incarnations of the event.
Marvel at our clipped accents and the comical costumes we wore as we take this trip down memory lane.
Firstly, Jonathan Calder unearthed some footage of the very first BOTY ceremony with guest speaker Alex Wilcock. This was way back in 2006 when the world was as a younger, kinder place.
I’m not aware of any recordings from 2007 – if you can help fill the gap in our archives, do please let me know.
So, flying forward to 2008, in March, the Campaign for Gender Balance had their own, never to be repeated CGB Blog awards.
In September that year, the fabled Zoom H2 made its first appearance at conference and captured this piece of historic footage.
2009, and another year of BOTYs can be found here.
And of course last night’s ceremony is still here.
This lunchtime, Lib Dem conference representatives gathered in the staggeringly poorly signposted Hall 1B to hear a stellar lineup of Susan Kramer, Evan Harris and interloper Will Straw from Left Foot Forward hold forth on the subject of “Fairer? For whom?” – excellently wrangled by the chairman, our own Stephen Tall.
As with all Lib Dem Voice fringe events, we were there with our trusty recording equipment for posterity, and for the readers of Lib Dem Voice at home who were not able to join us at conference. I’m sure it will also be helpful to those LibDemVoice editors who carelessly agreed to deliver training at the same time as one of our fringes.
Left Foot Forward also have their own write-up of the event.
Below is a sound recording of the Nick Clegg Q&A that just happened.
We also live-tweeted it – and the tweets will not be displaced from our feed for a few hours yet.
And m’colleague Stephen Tall was live-blogging the session, and his words can be found here.
Earlier tonight, the Blog of the Year Awards reached their fiery climax.
Helen Duffett has already brought you the stunning results, congratulated the winners and commiserated with the runners up.
All that remains is my duty to bring you, the loyal listener at home who maybe can’t be at conference this year, the recording of the proceedings.
And, technology permitting, you should find that below.
Just a very quick note to say this weekend I was invited to go and speak with the people of the House of Comments podcast.
I worried I wouldn’t have much to say.
This proved not to be the case.
Have a listen and let me know what you think.
I always seem to start my podcasts with an apology. In the hurry to bring this recording to you so you can share in the debate the Lib Dems had this morning, I have not yet processed my sound file. It could do with a bit of amplification for sure. And I’m afraid I missed the vital first few moments of Bridget Fox’s speech. And after that, the speeches will be punctuated by the sounds of the hall slowly filling up as the debate progressed, and the frustration of many of the delegates that what looked like prime empty seats were in fact reserved for a monarch who has been dead for over 100 years.
So, please, strain your ears to hear, overlook the bumps, mumbles and whispered asides, and listen to a party that really does get it on the internet.
And if there’s anyone out there can offer new media training for peanuts, do please <!–
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Last night a good crowd turned out to hear Paul Burstow MP, Mark Pack, Alex Wilcock and Bridget Fox talk about our new online project, Authoritarianism vs Liberalism and to talk more generally about their work and current campaigns.
As ever, I was there with my trusty Zoom H2 so that we can share the fringe meeting with our listeners at home.
Unfortunately in our efforts to demo our new website to our live audience, we were using a mobile internet service that has had the predictable but unforseen by us consequence of adding a bit of a beepity beepity sound track to the recording, so apologies for that. We have also had to remove the hurried Q&A session from the end because although you could hear the panel’s responses you can’t hear the questioners.
Below, you will find our final fringe event at conference, Beyond Twitter. MP Jo Swinson joined LDV regular Mark Pack and MySociety’s Richard Pope to debate the future of public online engagement with politics.
We still have one more fringe event in the cans ready for sound processing, but I won’t be able to bring that to you just yet.