Tuesday, 18 September 2007

Conference Watch

Lib Dem conference gets bumped down the new agenda

The predicament of the Lib Dems is summed up by the media coverage, or lack thereof, of their conference. Looking at the papers today, the Lib Dem conference seems to be about, at best, the fourth item on the news agenda. The worrying thing for the Lib Dems is that this isn’t likely to change as the week goes on. It is hard to see Northern Rock shifting from the front pages and if it does there is bound to be another twist in the McCann saga to capture public attention.

Coffee House

Lib Dems Boo Farage

Nigel Farage today addressed Lib Dem delegates at a fringe meeting where they debated Menzies Campbell's surprise decision to call for a referendum on Britain's membership of the EU. At first sight I thought this looked like a pretty bold move. It shows honour and conviction to be willing to invite those you disagree with into your conference and debate with them in a sensible mannered style, allowing the arguments to speak for themselves. It's not like we've ever had UKIP speak at a Tory conference, the closest we get is a few UKIP pensioners standing outside the conference centre with pathetic little signs.

Caroline Hunt

Lib Dems brand England rugby captain a bully

If you ever needed just the smallest bit of evidence that the Liberal Democrats are not really very serious then you can guarantee that the discussions and motions at their conference will provide it to you. Take for example yesterday where they passed a motion calling for schools to develop policies to tackle bullying. Sounds perfectly reasonable I know, but at its core is the assumption that school's don't have bullying policies already, which obviously nonsense.

Dizzy Thinks

Right on the money

Lib Dems 07: The party's willingness to discuss the radical idea of land value taxation sets it apart from the competition.

Mark Braund

Will the Lib Dems finally get serious about taxation this morning?

Mark Braund is remarkably generous about the Lib Dems on Comment is Free this morning, saying that “what makes the Lib Dem position on tax most interesting is their apparent willingness to discuss the far more radical idea of land value taxation (LVT).” The truth is, this debate will be happening in the face of the Policy Committee and many members of the Party’s front bench. Last year’s Tax Commission report promised jam tomorrow, promising to revisit this issue. This year’s “Reducing the Burden” report makes almost no reference.

Quaequam Blog

Ming and nothingness

Lib Dems 07: Sir Menzies Campbell's rudderless performance today encapsulated the Lib Dems' larger existential crisis: what are they for?

Anne Perkins

Clegg tackles immigrant amnesty critics

As I type, Nick Clegg has just finished an introduction to the party conference motion on immigration. He’s billing it as a departure from a government approach that has mixed “tub-thumping populism” with incompetence and promises “a much more rational, competent and fair response to this vexed issue”. But there are some seperate votes coming up from delegates who challenge a few of the policy motion’s points.

Lib Dem Voice

Hidden in plain sight

So, José Manuel Barroso, president of the EU commission, tells us – via the Lib-Dem conference yesterday – that "Europe is not full of hidden plots." What he means is the "European Union", but he is right about one thing – the "plots" are not hidden. For those who care to look, they are in plain sight.

EU Referendum

No comments: