First day and a half at Brighton

Arrived Recording my conference webcastin Brighton for conference on Saturday and rushed for briefing by Ming. Then walk out to seafront on Ming’s right arm to greet the media. The media are interested in tax – are we giving up our much loved 50p policy? – and Charles – how will his speech on Tuesday go? Ming gave a good answer – ‘there will be no clapometer’ and he robustly defended parties having real debates on substantive issues without them being “high noon” for the leadership. It’s obviously not a competition and Charles is one of our stars so I expect Charles will lay out some ideas – at least that is what I hope, as that is one of his great strengths.

And lastly – top of the pops for media questions – is this conference a test of Ming’s leadership?

Well – every conference is a test of leadership. Ming will do a good job. He is very charming, intelligent and oozes integrity from every pore – but there’s no doubt that all eyes will be upon him. That’s leadership!

Both Saturday afternoon and Sunday morning see me and the rest of the Home Affairs Team (Nick Clegg and Mark Hunter) holding special sessions. The one on the Saturday with us as a team being there for our party members to question, raise issues, tell us the party’s policies and issues that they feel need addressing and inform us what they think of how the Home Affairs Team is doing!

Today’s session was a more formal consultation on the consultation paper on crime produced by the crime working group chaired by Graham Tope – my former London Assembly and Metropolitan Police Authority colleague. Crime and anti-social behaviour remain the key issues – not Labour’s endless headlines and talk about being tough, but for Lib Dems it’s what works that matters. Rhetoric doesn’t make out streets safer.

First thing this morning I did my first webcast from conference. This is a new ‘feature’ during the Lib Dem conference with daily feeds from Ming, Duncan Brack (Chair of Conference) and myself each doing a minute or two filming to go up on the party website so that members can have a taste of what each of us makes of what’s going on.

0 thoughts on “First day and a half at Brighton

  1. It doesn’t matter what you decide on tax, you’re high tax on car policies will drive all your tactical voters back to the Tories. Say bye bye to being an MP at the next election Lynne!

  2. Can’t believe that you didn’t notice the hundreds of angry protestors outside the conference, Lynne! They’re unhappy at how the illiberal and undemocratic councillors on Lewes District have used taxpayers money to challenge the government decision to allow the building of a much-needed football stadium for Brighton and Hove Albion at Falmer. You say the media should be talking about the “real issues” — why haven’t you picked up on this, I wonder?Plenty more info at

  3. Anonymous totally misses the point. The tax policies on cars only hit the most unenvironmental cars – and more importantly only NEW cars people choose to buy if they don’t care about the future of the planet, not existing cars. People have the choice – if they choose not to care about the environment it costs them more. Meanwhile people will pay less tax on their incomes – which is a good thing, which all Tories should realise. Working and generating wealth is good. Polluting is bad. And it isn’t even all “Chelsea Tractors” that are hit.The Liberal Democrat plans aren’t anti-4x4s. Certainly some 4x4s are irresponsible gas guzzlers, but there are already lower emission 4x4s on the market which you can choose.There are 4×4 working vehicles like the Land Rover Freelander thathave lower emissions than the top category, and would thereforeavoid the full tax.Examples of vehicles falling below the top rate of VED include -Honda CR-V 4×4 2.2 i-CTDi SE. C02 (g/km) 177Nissan X-Trail 4×4 2.2 dCi SE C02 (g/km) 190Land Rover Freelander 4×4 2.0 Td4 Adventurer Estate.CO2(g/km) 205Subaru Forrester 4×4. C02 (g/km) 2204x4s have attracted a bad press, but in fact the UK’s three bestselling models are no longer or wider than a family saloon, and onemissions their performance has improved by 15% in the last 7 years.By switching to lower emission 4x4s, like those above, manufacturers will come under more pressure to produce greener 4x4s.