Andy McSmith's Lib Dems Conference Diary: No bullying, but Lib Dems talk around the subject

 

The Liberal Democrats put aside half an hour at their conference Sunday to discuss a worthy addition to their party constitution, which lays down that “you must treat others with respect and not bully, harass or intimidate any party member, member of party staff, volunteer or member of the public.” During the debate, the party President, Tim Farron, mentioned “revelations” and “events that have unfolded”, which brought about the amendment, and admitted “we as a party have not always lived up to our values.” Two words that no one uttered were ‘Lord Rennard’. He denies any wrongdoing.

* In the exhibition hall at the Glasgow centre there is a stand called Liberal Democrat Image where you can buy more Lib Dem related paraphernalia than you ever dreamed of, including a badge with the face of the Liberal Democrat MP of your choice. The badges are all displayed in alphabetical order, pinned to an upright board. But what is that? The ‘Sarah Teather’ badge, bearing the photograph of the Brent East MP who is quitting in 2015 because she does not like the direction in which Nick Clegg is taking the party, is pinned on the board upside down. Who turned her upside down? I am told it was the Lib Dem MP for Colschester, Sir Bob Russell.

* Making his first ever appearance at a Lib Dem conference, Labour’s shadow defence secretary, Jim Murphy, told a fringe meeting that being in opposition is “bloody awful” – as if the Lib Dems did not know that already, from decades of experience.

* Away from the Lib Dem conference, Jerermy Clarkson is thinking of causing Ed Miliband a bit of grief in 2015, according to a tweet he sent out on Sunday, which said: "I might stand in the next election as an independent for Doncaster North, which is where I'm from. Thoughts?"

Clarkson did, indeed, grow up in Doncaster, and it was not long before the message had been retweeted or favourited 5,000 times but since Miliband is sitting on a 10,909 majority, and may yet increase his vote because he is better known than in 2010 A race against a renowned speed freak could be fun, but the chance that Clarkson could overtake him is nil.

John Prescott tweeted an alternative: "Why not stand in Chipping Norton, where you live now? You've got lots of mates there.”

* And more grief for Ed Miliband, from the Labour-supporting Rochdale pensioner who received a public apology from Gordon Brown at the last general election after he was caught on a microphone calling her a “bigoted woman”.

In an interview, to be broadcast on Tuesday on Radio 4’s One to One programme, Gillian Duffy says she remains loyal to the party but is less than impressed with its current leader.

Asked whether Mr Miliband could make it to Downing Street, she says: “He’s going to have to pull his finger out, isn’t he, and get moving, get some policies out. They’ll be very lucky if they get in, Labour.

“Ask anybody in the street, I bet they can’t name who they are. They’re not doing well up North, there’s nothing happening up here at all.”

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
Life and Style
Steve Shaw shows Kate how to get wet behind the ears and how to align her neck
healthSteven Shaw - the 'Buddha of Breaststroke' - applies Alexander Technique to the watery sport
Arts and Entertainment
The sight of a bucking bronco in the shape of a pink penis was too much for Hollywood actor and gay rights supporter Martin Sheen, prompting him to boycott a scene in the TV series Grace and Frankie
tv
Sport
footballShirt then goes on sale on Gumtree
Voices
Terry Sue-Patt as Benny in the BBC children’s soap ‘Grange Hill’
voicesGrace Dent on Grange Hill and Terry Sue-Patt
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
ebookA unique anthology of reporting and analysis of a crucial period of history
Arts and Entertainment
Performers drink tea at the Glastonbury festival in 2010
music
Arts and Entertainment
Twin Peaks stars Joan Chen, Michael Ontkean, Kyle Maclachlan and Piper Laurie
tvName confirmed for third series
Sport
Cameron Jerome
footballCanaries beat Boro to gain promotion to the Premier League
Arts and Entertainment
art
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Guru Careers: Software Developer / C# Developer

£40-50K: Guru Careers: We are seeking an experienced Software / C# Developer w...

Guru Careers: Software Developer

£35 - 40k + Benefits: Guru Careers: We are seeking a Software Developer (JavaS...

SThree: Trainee Recruitment Consultant / Resourcer

£18000 - £23000 per annum + Commission: SThree: As a Trainee Recruitment Consu...

Ashdown Group: UI Developer - (UI, HTML, CSS, JavaScript, AngularJS)

£25000 - £40000 per annum: Ashdown Group: UI Developer - (UI, JavaScript, HTML...

Day In a Page

Abuse - and the hell that came afterwards

Abuse - and the hell that follows

James Rhodes on the extraordinary legal battle to publish his memoir
Why we need a 'tranquility map' of England, according to campaigners

It's oh so quiet!

The case for a 'tranquility map' of England
'Timeless fashion': It may be a paradox, but the industry loves it

'Timeless fashion'

It may be a paradox, but the industry loves it
If the West needs a bridge to the 'moderates' inside Isis, maybe we could have done with Osama bin Laden staying alive after all

Could have done with Osama bin Laden staying alive?

Robert Fisk on the Fountainheads of World Evil in 2011 - and 2015
New exhibition celebrates the evolution of swimwear

Evolution of swimwear

From bathing dresses in the twenties to modern bikinis
Sun, sex and an anthropological study: One British academic's summer of hell in Magaluf

Sun, sex and an anthropological study

One academic’s summer of hell in Magaluf
From Shakespeare to Rising Damp... to Vicious

Frances de la Tour's 50-year triumph

'Rising Damp' brought De la Tour such recognition that she could be forgiven if she'd never been able to move on. But at 70, she continues to flourish - and to beguile
'That Whitsun, I was late getting away...'

Ian McMillan on the Whitsun Weddings

This weekend is Whitsun, and while the festival may no longer resonate, Larkin's best-loved poem, lives on - along with the train journey at the heart of it
Kathryn Williams explores the works and influences of Sylvia Plath in a new light

Songs from the bell jar

Kathryn Williams explores the works and influences of Sylvia Plath
How one man's day in high heels showed him that Cannes must change its 'no flats' policy

One man's day in high heels

...showed him that Cannes must change its 'flats' policy
Is a quiet crusade to reform executive pay bearing fruit?

Is a quiet crusade to reform executive pay bearing fruit?

Dominic Rossi of Fidelity says his pressure on business to control rewards is working. But why aren’t other fund managers helping?
The King David Hotel gives precious work to Palestinians - unless peace talks are on

King David Hotel: Palestinians not included

The King David is special to Jerusalem. Nick Kochan checked in and discovered it has some special arrangements, too
More people moving from Australia to New Zealand than in the other direction for first time in 24 years

End of the Aussie brain drain

More people moving from Australia to New Zealand than in the other direction for first time in 24 years
Meditation is touted as a cure for mental instability but can it actually be bad for you?

Can meditation be bad for you?

Researching a mass murder, Dr Miguel Farias discovered that, far from bringing inner peace, meditation can leave devotees in pieces
Eurovision 2015: Australians will be cheering on their first-ever entrant this Saturday

Australia's first-ever Eurovision entrant

Australia, a nation of kitsch-worshippers, has always loved the Eurovision Song Contest. Maggie Alderson says it'll fit in fine