Liberal Democrat Conference Diary
Monday 15 September 2008
*There are jitters in Liberal Democrat high command over Lembit Opik's attempt to become party president. Colourful doesn't begin to describe the love life of the former paramour of weather girl Siân Lloyd and Cheeky Girl Gabriela Irimia. Opik is otherwise known for warning of the threat from asteroids and appearances on shows like Al Murray's Happy Hour. But with the party president having a crucial role in the event of a hung parliament, when he or she would represent grassroots opinion, some fear he lacks gravitas and prefer candidate Baroness Ros Scott. But Opik's star quality is likely to hold sway.
*Vince Cable, the man hailed as an economic oracle for predicting the credit crunch and urging the nationalisation of Northern Rock, has embarked on his most ambitious project – the definitive history of the financial turmoil engulfing the world, in a book to due out next year. But he admits: "I'm not sure how it's going to finish."
*Lib Dem stalwart Neil Sherlock has lent his speech-writing skills to a succession of party leaders, including Nick Clegg. So what did he think of his first appearance at the rally opening proceedings? Were any of his well-crafted one-liners used? He never found out. Organisers underestimated their leader's appeal and booked such a small room that Sherlock and 100 activists were turned away.
*Charles Clarke erupted when he was doorstepped by Sky News after addressing a fringe meeting in Bournemouth. "That's out of order," he barked at newsman Glen Oglaza, who tried to get a few words from the man who detonated a hand grenade under Gordon Brown's relaunch. The former Home Secretary raised eyebrows when he turned up with Blairite minister David Lammy, but insisted he was not getting embroiled in the latest row over the PM's leadership. Bit late for that.
11.15am – Norman Lamb, health spokesman
12.20pm – Vince Cable, economic spokesman.
2.50pm – Debate on tax and spending proposals.
4.20pm – Q & A on environmental policy.
- 1 Al Pacino on suffering from depression: 'It can last and it's terrifying'
- 2 Half of young women unable to ‘locate vagina’ and 65% find it difficult to say the word
- 3 Saudis risk new Muslim division with proposal to move Mohamed’s tomb
- 4 A teacher speaks out: 'I'm effectively being forced out of a career that I wanted to love'
- 5 Mexican woman becomes world’s 'oldest person' at 127
Perez Hilton apologises for publishing Jennifer Lawrence naked photo leak
Jennifer Lawrence 'nude photo hacker' claims there are hundreds more celebrity images to come
Victoria Justice on naked photo leak: 'Let me nip this in the bud right now – pun intended'
Saudis risk new Muslim division with proposal to move Mohamed’s tomb
Ariana Grande nude photos leak: Pictures are completely fake, say singer's representatives
Rotherham child sex abuse scandal: Labour Home Office to be probed over what Tony Blair's government knew - and when
What do immigrants really think of Britain? Polish immigrant's Reddit post goes viral
Ashya King: Parents of five-year-old boy refused permission to visit him in hospital and denied bail at Spanish court
With Douglas Carswell joining Ukip, my party has taken another giant step forward
When elitism grips the top of British society to this extent, there is only one answer: abolish private schools
Ashya King: 'Cruel NHS has not given us the treatment we need', says father of five-year-old with brain tumour who fled to Spain
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