Sunday, May 16, 2010

Lib Dems at Work

If our Parliamentary party and Federal Executive hadn't supported the coalition deal overwhelmingly we would have needed a special conference of members to make the final decision. Being Liberal Democrats we had one anyway! It was never going to change the agreement but it did give the opportunity for 2000 people to debate and discuss in some depth what had been agreed and what might happen in the future, without the pressure of the media hanging on every sound bite.
And what a debate it was - 4 hours of discussion, 9 amendments to the motion, all pointing up places where a point needed to be emphasised.
I shall report in due course to members of Stockton Liberal Democrats on the detail of what was said, but I shall place on record here my belief that we have a party which is at least as united now as it was a year ago, which is ready to hang on tight and ride the roller coaster which will be the next 5 years, and which will emerge stronger at the end.
I will also say that I have never heard such a storming speech as that delivered by Simon Hughes - challenging and inspiring, it deserved the huge standing ovation at the end.
And yes, it does feel good to be able to refer to the person walking up the aisle of the conference room as "the minister for ...". As one speaker recalled that infamous conference when David Steel sent people back to their constituencies to prepare for government, he added that we'd spent a long time preparing and now it was time to do!

1 comment:

phil said...

I am confused. How is it liberal or democratic to create 100 new peers (see and remove the power of parliament to hold the executive to account (see