Sunday, 18 September 2011

And thus continues the weirdest week of my life

I believe I am possibly too tired for my brain to function but I shall give this blog a go!

No-one needs a blow to blow account of the conference but I can say absolutely that I have heard some of the most inspiring speeches I'll probably ever hear. Every time I hear him speak, I get more reassured the voting for Tim Farron as Party President was a great decision. He is funny, witty and reassuringly Liberal because unlike other high-ranking party members he doesn't have to take the feelings of the Conservatives into account.

Danny Alexander's speech was also remarkable. He's young and refreshing yet bolshy enough to stand up for the Tories and provide a strong Liberal Democrat influence in the Treasury. Yet however brilliant he is and however much he protects our interests I can't shake the feeling that it shouldn't be him giving the speeches, it should be David Laws. That's nothing against Danny, he's marvellous as I've said, but Chief Secretary to the Treasury is David Laws' job and the only reason he isn't doing it is that he did the honourable thing and resigned to protect the party and the department from his mistakes. And they were mistakes that a less honourable man would have ignored in the hope that they went away and no doubt they would have. Laws could easily have survived with his job in tact but the reason he resigned was because he valued the work the Liberal Democrats were trying to do and didn't want to distract from it. So as fantastic and inspiring as Danny Alexander's speech was, I was watching with a slight twinge of regret.

The debate on drug policy was enlightening, with speakers making very personal remarks that persuaded those who weren't already in favour of a drug review that it was most certainly necessary, but an interesting point was raised across the twittersphere. Not one person who spoke in favour of the motion or amendments spoke from a position of freedom; all supported the motion because it would cut crime or increase the safety of drug but no-one it seemed was brave enough to suggest we should decriminalise drug possession because we as Liberals belief in a person's right to do with their body as they will so long as it doesn't negatively effect the health or well-being of those around them. Perhaps if the debate had been on drug legislation an not whether or not to have a review into such, the point would have been raised.

Lunchtime fringe was rather interesting, as was the evening one I attended even if the latter did require me to spend the first ten minutes standing while extra chairs could be found to accommodate the demand and then, once I was seating, realising I could no longer see any panel member except Jeremy Browne (not that that's a bad thing to have to look at :p) and had to make do with looking vaguely in their direction and merely listening.

Now I could and probably should have stayed later and gone to a fringe about the HS2 rail system but I was far far too tired so I can only apologise for missing it and hope to catch up with all relevant information as soon as possible!

As so I leave you as my desire to attend an early morning fringe means I need to get a 7am train :'(

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