Sunday, 16 May 2010

Birmingham and back

After the stress of the election, I was hoping for a relaxing Sunday. But it was not to be. Earlier this week, the Liberal Democrats decided to call a special conference so members could have their say about the coalition deal. I felt it was important to go as it feels like we are seeing history in British politics being made.

So myself and three members car shared and went to the NEC in Birmingham. We had about 60 delegates speaking to a conference of over 2,000 delegates. Of those three were unhappy with the coalition agreement. We passed a number of amendments to the motion approving the coalition. This reaffirmed or commitment to a number of issues such as reform of the digital economy act and abolishing tuition fees. Reading the papers, it sounds like there is a lot of dissent in the Lib Dems. Out of over 2,000 delegates called to Birmingham, less than 20 voted against it. All the amendments that were meant to be limiting to the leadership were accepted in full.

A good day to be involved in politics and a good day to be a Lib Dem. You won't see similar conferences in the Tory or Labour party. That's because they are not as democratic as us.


  1. Graham Tomlinson17 May 2010 at 14:26

    I'm sorry but this was theatric appeasement of the highest level.

    What would have happened if the vote went against? The collapse of the Government and the Lib Dems tarnished by power plays and out of power for another 30 years?

    Nope, things would have carried on as normal.

    It's a bit 'letting the people bolt the door after the horse has made HorseGuards parade'

  2. Graham - I hear what you are saying - we would have had to be very strongly against to chuck it out completely. If we had though the Lib Dems would have had to pull out or risk being hopelessly split. However, we are the only party with a so called "triple lock" on coalitions. It was not needed this time as none of the parliamentary party and only one of the Federal Executive voted against it. However we thought it was still good to have a private conference where members could have the freedom to say whether they were unhappy with the deal. They weren't by and large.