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.
- 2 The West has it totally wrong on Lee Kuan Yew
- 3 #FreeTheNipple: Women in Iceland bare breasts in solidarity with trolled student
- 4 Scientists have discovered a simple way to cook rice that dramatically cuts the calories
Germanwings captain Patrick Sondenheimer tried to break into locked cockpit door 'with an axe' as plane was descending
Amanda Knox murder conviction: Italian court overturns verdict for US student and Raffaele Sollecito in the killing of Meredith Kercher
Saudi Arabia says it won't rule out building nuclear weapons
The battle for the Middle East's future begins in Yemen as Saudi Arabia jumps into the abyss
#FreeTheNipple: Women in Iceland bare breasts in solidarity with trolled student
Nigel Farage brands LGBT activists 'filth' and 'scum' and accuses them of scaring away his children after they invade his local pub
Ukip supporters are 55 or older, white and socially conservative, finds British Social Attitudes Report
JK Rowling responds to fan tweeting she 'can't see' Dumbledore being gay
Russia threatens Denmark with nuclear weapons if it tries to join Nato defence shield
Jeremy Clarkson sacked live: Alan Yentob 'wouldn't rule out' ex Top Gear host's BBC return
Germanwings plane crash live: Co-pilot Andreas Lubitz wanted to 'do something people would remember him for'
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