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Blogging the Liberal Democrat Conference: Day Two

by AdrianJames Mon Sep 17th, 2007 at 07:46:19 AM EST

Zero Carbon Policy Motion for the "Green " Liberal Democrats is a big step forward in actioning our stance with regards to Climate Change and Green Agenda.

Scintillating speech by Jose Manuel Barroso, President of the European Commission.

[editor's note, by Migeru] See also: Day One.

[editor's note, by Migeru] I have taken the liberty of merging both of Adrian's "Day 2" diaries into this one


An excellent debate ensued this morning at Conference, lead by an enthusiastic and uplifting speech by Chris Huhne, Shadow Minister of State for the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs.  The full policy motion was debated well with two areas of the motion causing some consternation , however with the overwhelming rejection of nuclear power, the need to include biofuels and develop their potential and the overall deveoplment of renewable energies will see us as the lead party of Green issues.

Chris Huhne, started the debate at home with the recent flooding experiences, and further afield with the life of Polar tribes and how their lifestyle was being eroded away by the effects of climate change and global warming.

The inexistence of Brown's Green Policy and the Tory mismatch of a report by John Gumner which has yet to be heard, whilst John Redwood only Green thing in his new report is his surname means that none of the other leading parties have a policy like which we have approved today with an overwhelming majority.

A key principal of Ming's Party leadership is the Environment and Green Policy and the debate today puts the liberal democrats at the forefront to shape Green Policy.

Climate Change policy was then focussed from a national level to both European and World significance, where with the assistance of the EU, we can fight for environmental and further protocols when the Kyoto Agreement comes up for renewal in 2010.

Following the passing of this motion, this is a very good platform for the Liberal Democrats to reach to the electorate on these issues and prove that they have a policy in place which is looking to the needs  of the people of the UK, Europe and World.

The afternoon Party's business was kicked off in great style with a speech from the President of the European Comission, Jose Manuel Barroso. His awe-inspiring speech emphasised the importance of Europe and working with the European Commission to create a Liberal Democrat vision of Europe. He received a standing ovation from the Party, who is the first President of the European Commission to speak at a party conference.

The issues that were central to speech drove through the need for global action which means cooperation on issues such as climate change (especially renegotiation of Kyoto Protocol in 2012), economic challenges and international action which requires the participation of the UK within the European Union and the European Union requires the UK's input and experience to take decisions.

President Barroso also realises the need for institutional reform which would then allow the Union to work more efficiently and effectively and pledged that he hoped the Reform Treaty and ratification process from October this year and acknowledged that without this mandate, improvements which are so needed in Brussels will not occur.

Overall an excellent speech and well received by the Liberal Democrat Party.

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Thanks, Adrian.

Oye, vatos, dees English sink todos mi ships, chinga sus madres, so escuche: el fleet es ahora refloated, OK? — The War Nerd
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Mon Sep 17th, 2007 at 07:56:35 AM EST
We should have elected Huhne as leader. Mind you I have always gone for the loser in every membership vote leadership election, the Liberals/Liberal Democrats have ever held.
by Gary J on Mon Sep 17th, 2007 at 09:18:55 AM EST
Slightly off-topic: will you be in Brighton these days? Any change we might meet up?

Oye, vatos, dees English sink todos mi ships, chinga sus madres, so escuche: el fleet es ahora refloated, OK? — The War Nerd
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Mon Sep 17th, 2007 at 09:48:41 AM EST
[ Parent ]
change => chance

Oye, vatos, dees English sink todos mi ships, chinga sus madres, so escuche: el fleet es ahora refloated, OK? — The War Nerd
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Mon Sep 17th, 2007 at 10:09:31 AM EST
[ Parent ]
No, I will not be at the conference. I have not attended a conference, since the mid-90s.

I used to attend regularly, but I just lost interest. I was not involved in any factional plots and there is only so much worthy speechifying I felt called upon to tolerate.

I was in the audience when David Steel told us to go back to our constituencies and prepare for government (I did not think it was very plausible at the time).

The early (Social and) Liberal Democrat conferences were quite exciting, but things calmed down when the people from the old parties gelled together as one party after a year or two.

Eventually the growth of the Blair cancer began to poison the entire British political system. It all became less interesting.

Hopefully we are beginning a new era where things will be livelier.

by Gary J on Mon Sep 17th, 2007 at 10:59:50 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Thanks. there was comment today in the Independent that the LDs have exactly the green and anti-authoritarian policies necessary to be distinctive and to lead the arguments in significant issues in Britian today. However they also suggested that the MPs in parliament are often not the most entusaistic representatives of said policies, guided as they are by industry and commercial lobbyists hwo don't have the same conerns as we do.

keep to the Fen Causeway
by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Mon Sep 17th, 2007 at 10:08:53 AM EST
the LDs have exactly the green and anti-authoritarian policies necessary to be distinctive and to lead the arguments

But they (er... we ;-) don't have a leader that can lead any arguments.

Oye, vatos, dees English sink todos mi ships, chinga sus madres, so escuche: el fleet es ahora refloated, OK? — The War Nerd

by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Mon Sep 17th, 2007 at 10:11:06 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Yea, that as well

keep to the Fen Causeway
by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Mon Sep 17th, 2007 at 11:34:10 AM EST
[ Parent ]
The Lib Dems don't seem to have worked out that policies are irrelevant.

You need three things to win an election in the UK:

Support from a rich and powerful block vote, which means either the unions or the City, and preferably both.

Press support - which means getting into bed with Murdoch so the Sun will support you.

A charismatic leader.

Unless your policies are completely Monster Raving Loony Party insane (votes for telephone boxes! free rubber bands for everyone over the age of 60! no more use of the word 'beige' before 9pm on Mondays!) no one will much care what you stand for.

You can always fill in the gaps with platitudes about a strong Britain, moving ahead, being proud of something or other, support for something else, commitment to yadda yadda you can see my lips moving but you can't hear a word that I'm saying because you're checking out my confident and subtly dominant body language while I beam reassuringly, gesticulate aggressively and wave imperiously.

Where were we? Policies. Yes - not.

Nor Ming, who doesn't tick anyone's alpha primate boxes.

by ThatBritGuy (thatbritguy (at) googlemail.com) on Mon Sep 17th, 2007 at 07:48:06 PM EST
[ Parent ]
The Liberal/Liberal Democrats reject the idea of representing a sectional interst (trade unionists, business) as a matter of ideology; whilst in practice basing support on a section of the middle class (despite ideologically rejecting the idea of class).

Ever since the breakdown of the Liberal/Conservative two party system, this support profile has been a source of Liberal electoral weakness but has also sustained a party which cannot be quite crushed by the Labour/Conservative two party system. Thus Britain has had a two and a half party system, which has in effect existed for the last 85 years and seems likely to continue into the indefinite future (unless proportional representation for the House of Commons changes the rules of the game).

The Liberal Party used to have some press support but Liberal supporting papers disappeared during the course of the twentieth century or like The Guardian evolved away from supporting the party as such.

The Liberal Democrats are probably not prepared to make the compromises which Murdoch would require, before he even considered supporting a party. Even if they were prepared to sell out, I doubt Murdoch would think it worth buying the third placed party.

A charismatic leader would be nice, but is not sufficient to ensure a break through. Consider David Lloyd George, probably the most charismatic leader the party ever had. In 1929, even with the status of being a former Prime Minister and leading a party well funded (from the proceeds of the sale of honours when LG was Prime Minister) and enthusiastic with a forward loooking programme, Lloyd George was only able to secure a few seats less than the Liberal Democrats have today.

by Gary J on Tue Sep 18th, 2007 at 07:47:32 AM EST
[ Parent ]
It seems like in the UK, support of the rich and support of the press is the same thing, since it is characterized by Rupert's money/press.  

Now, a charismatic leader... in the UK...?  I´d support ´Diana Trent´.

Our knowledge has surpassed our wisdom. -Charu Saxena.

by metavision on Mon Oct 1st, 2007 at 03:01:45 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Nice to read you here! It looks like a good start...

"Dieu se rit des hommes qui se plaignent des conséquences alors qu'ils en chérissent les causes" Jacques-Bénigne Bossuet
by Melanchthon on Mon Sep 17th, 2007 at 10:58:01 AM EST
very nice job adrian, ta.

i guess the bittersweet truth of the energy issue and its effect on british politics lies in realising that until there are more jerome-like crossovers between finance and alt energy in england it will be biz as usual, the biggest, nastiest corps buy and sockpuppet the browns and camerons alike.

the germans have got behind solar, with a similarly greysky climate, what is so recalcitrant and about britain, when tidal and wind power could work so well?

lib dems are a token party, and thus don't attract the hypermotivated and uberambitious snakehandlers like blair.

so far they just remind me of a permanent nader party, to play the other parties off of each other with a few votes peeled here'n'there.  

perhaps when the thames as softly lapping at hampstead heath, the british public will awaken and demand all pols 'go green'...

the issue is big enough not to need 'leadership' in the old-paradigm, charisma-fetishising style.

it just need a public that cares.

and some sound policies...

average quality civil servants are quite competent enough to 'get 'er done'.

'The history of public debt is full of irony. It rarely follows our ideas of order and justice.' Thomas Piketty

by melo (melometa4(at)gmail.com) on Tue Sep 18th, 2007 at 04:12:28 AM EST
Welcome Adrian and thanks for a great report!

I dislike Barroso enough that I can´t imagine him giving an "awe-inspiring speech".

Our knowledge has surpassed our wisdom. -Charu Saxena.

by metavision on Mon Oct 1st, 2007 at 03:12:05 PM EST


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