Wednesday, September 21, 2005
Well firstly, Conference is the place to have debates, and if it just became a gossiping ground and rubber stamping exercise that would be greatly detrimental to the Party and how we shape our policy and our direction. Now is the right time to start talking about where we go from now.
Secondly, on the big stuff, we are united. Think about Iraq and tuition fees and all the other issues that people recognise the Lib Dems made a principled stand on. Our MPs represent a diverse range of constituencies with differing issues and yet on matters of great importance we walk through the lobby united as one. I don’t think the other two parties are able to conduct debates on issues in the same way. Matters of significance are either taken out of the hands of members or spectacular U turns occur.
Talking about the others, I was thinking about what the Tory Party Conference would be like this year with the leadership contest in the offing and I think it will be comparable with the programme “Big Brother”.
A random selection of individuals who can’t stand each other stuck in a confined space, vying to win a contest that will result ultimately in short lived notoriety before the next contest begins.
Last night was interesting, I ended up having a very long conversation with Brian Sedgemore, the former Labour MP. I can’t imagine what it must have felt like to realise that the party you are in no longer has the same guiding principles that attracted you to joining it. I can’t imagine that happening to us; we can have debates about our future, yet we are united – and whatever the results of the debates are and how they shape our future – I am confident that we won’t be deserting our fundamental principles.