Regional conference

Do a Saturday surgery today at Muswell Hill library. Don’t use this venue too often as there is no disabled access. Lots of heart rending situations this morning. I sometimes despair of the Home Office and its decisions – such as when I have to sit with a woman who has been raped and tortured – and yet has had her final notice that her appeal to stay is rejected.

I will write to the Minister and beg on compassionate grounds – but Tony McNulty’s ears are usually hardened to such pleas. A statistic is one thing – a woman in absolute despair and fear is another.

After surgery I go to Guildford to address a Lib Dem regional conference on ‘How we won Hornsey & Wood Green’. As well as the motivational story – which Hornsey & Wood Green is – I refer to our difficulties. I talk about ‘recent sticky moments’. Yes – as a gale of laughter shook the room – I realised my choice of words was not (or was!) well chosen.

Laughter being the best medicine it was a very jolly rally and I have no doubt when our leadership contest is done and dusted – we will be just fine. Particularly if Chris Huhne wins. I think he will bring that fresh feel to the Lib Dems – and now we need that more than ever.