Monday, 17 May 2010

Lib Dem Special Conference next time let the media in

I attended the Liberal Democrat Special Conference details of which have been blogged by Jennie Rigg, Mark Reckons and theuglytruthandthebeautifullies.

This meeting was not required. I thought it was brave of the Liberal Democrats to hold this conference to make amendments to the agreements and to vote on the memberships agreement. This is risky because if the party did not achieve the required 2 thirds then I believe there would of been a crisis within the party and further later confirmations votes may of been required. Can you imagine how uneasy Lib Dem MP's would of felt know that they did not have full support. The media would of also ask questions on the support amongst it members.

Was this the reason why the media were left out? Why was this meeeting a closed meeting? 100 people have left the party since the coalition agreement (im told more have join in that time). I feel the Liberal Democrats missed a trick here. There were some great speeches some of these could of made the news and atleast should of been shown on the parliament channel. Arguments for and against could of been heard and understood by the wider members and supporters.

The event was filmed as there was a large screen behind the stage. I hope all of this footage will be released as there was nothing to hide, nothing to fear and plenty of democracy that could of been shown.

If there is a next time Lib Dems, please make it an open meeting.

Update: Stephen Tall doesn't blame the Lib Dem media team for exercising some caution on this particular occasion


  1. I think it was good that the Media were not allowed in, as people from the floor could stand up and join in the debate without having the nations press trained on them, which would of been really disconcerting.

    Yes, there were some amazing speeches - and if possible they should be shown to the general public. However, it could be argued that those speeches may have not been as great if the media had been present. The speakers would of been more restrained knowing that millions of people are watching them, and the passion and fire that made those speeches memorable would not have been released.

    It was a brave move to make it a closed conference, and I personally think it was the right one.

  2. We are still in the dark as to what happened. Instead of the conference we heard from people outside complaining. Not such a good idea, as they were very negative. One man tore up his membership card. live on TV, saying he was joining the Greens.

  3. Finger on the pulse as ever Adrian. Even a cursory look at the press yesterday would have shed a little light on the dark place you appear to be in. I think a 1988:12 vote in favour of Nick's position was pretty conclusive as results go.

  4. From the point of view of those of us that were there, I think it was good the media weren't allowed in. It meant that the speeches were tailored to us, and not to the watching media. Nick's speech, for example, would have been radically different if it had been to the cameras.

    Of course the media therefore concentrated on the negatives for revenge, but the numbers speak for themselves. And following the #ldconf hastag on twitter isn't DIFFICULT...

    (PS, thanks for the linkies :D)

  5. 'saying he was joining the Greens', I'm afraid there will always be those even in our party happier to sit on the side lines & keep 'pure'by joining very small minority partys.
    Look what the Greens in Germany ending up supporting when in Government. Just imagine all the compromises the one Green MP would have had to make in a 'Rainbow' coalition. Perhaps that disatisfied member should have pondered on that!!

  6. Well there are some fair defences of the Lib Dems stance here, but I would still like to see the tape released.

    We dont ban the press from the other conferences. and we lib dems do speak freely, plus any one of us who went can say what was said at the conference.

    But I do see that It is possible for things to of been different.

    Adrian Windisch I thing that guys was the Libs high profile member to leave the party. 100 people out 400 in is not too bad.

  7. I think it's votes where the LibDems will suffer most rather than party membership. For every party member ripping up a membership card I'm sure there are plenty who feel dispirited by joining a coalition with the Tories (who some have been fighting for decades).

    It takes a stubborn individual to travel to a LibDem conference where s/he is almost certain the coalition deal will be "passed" just to put his hand up in opposition.

    All this is just speculation anyway. But, all things being equal I would expect the LD vote share to be down in the next election.