So – back from the wilds of Brighton and the Liberal Democrat conference. Just a few ‘tidy ups’ as I was basically blogging by video diary.
I didn’t understand the reference at the time that the Chair, Jon Ball, made to me a one of the four Lib Dem Sun ‘lovelies’ when he introduced my keynote speech on Wednesday. Coming home – some kind person (!) has emailed me the link – and there I am with Jo Swinson (27), Julia Goldsworthy (29) and Kirsty Williams (36). Sadly – they do publish my age! Still – whereas I used to just rail against the innate sexism in such articles – now (at my advanced age) I am just grateful!
More seriously, on the last morning, the speaker who summated in the Liberal Democrat Youth and Students Emergency Motion on Darfur, a Darfuri Abdo Abdullah, gave a most powerful speech.
We had had the Global Day of Action on Darfur on the Monday (blogged about by one of the organisers here). But there is nothing more powerful to advocate both the need for speed of deployment of the AU/UN hybrid force and the need for our government to stop sending Darfuris back to torture and murder – then someone standing in front of you who has seen his own family murdered.
I spoke in this debate and of course, made Darfur one of the key issues in my keynote speech the day before – but will the Government act? Brown says he wants troops deployed earlier than next year. Given he is Prime Minister, he has the power to push it – but he seems satisfied with warm words alone. Cold comfort to dying Darfuris.
You can see more of my conference photos over on Flickr.