View all newsletters
Sign up to our newsletters

Support 110 years of independent journalism.

Bye to Bournemouth

Lembit Opik returns to newstatesman.com's Conference 2008 blog to share his thoughts about how the L

By Lembit Opik

It’s only been 4 days since I last wrote this blog, but it feels like a lifetime. In that time I’ve made 14 speeches, travelled about 20 miles on foot and even more on a “Segway.” As you may know, a Segway Personal Transporter is a strange device with two wheels side by side like a trolley or something. You stand on it and, well, whiz about. This caused a great stir at the conference, and I must have shown around 200 people how to use it. I’ve been campaigning for their formal adoption as legal transport in the UK, and I’d say that the Party voted with my wheels.

The main political work I did was all about housing. That’s my portfolio, and that’s what most of my speeches were about. And we did discuss the Credit Crunch, and repossessions, and homelessness. And verily a great cry went up from the throng of delegate and we agreed with one voice that everything would be fixed if we were in government. And, actually, most of the stuff we came up with is workable now, today. It reminds me once again that when you get together with lots of common sense people, you get common sense answers.

An on-going narrative for my whole conference was also my Bid to be elected President of the Party. It’s a job I’ve been hankering after for 8 years now. I’m currently number 2 to outgoing President Simon Hughes, and with a bit of luck the good members of the Liberal Democrats will choose me to serve next. It was rather enjoyable talking about my plans for that job – though I honestly don’t know who’s going to win. That’s the good and bad thing about democracy. It’s democratic.

And what of fresh faced Nick Clegg our Leader? He obviously had a great 6 days. No rebellions, no speech problems and a very well received performance on the final day. This is the kind of reception a Leader dreams of – and which poor Gordon Brown would give his right arm for.

Did conference achieve anything? Well, I’ve still got flu, lost my voice once and left with swollen glands. Conference isn’t exactly recuperative, while the party got motivated, found a new vision, and left with swollen confidence. There’s a symmetry in there somewhere. So come on Brown, bring on the next General Election – and pass the Strepsils!

Select and enter your email address Your weekly guide to the best writing on ideas, politics, books and culture every Saturday. The best way to sign up for The Saturday Read is via saturdayread.substack.com The New Statesman's quick and essential guide to the news and politics of the day. The best way to sign up for Morning Call is via morningcall.substack.com Our Thursday ideas newsletter, delving into philosophy, criticism, and intellectual history. The best way to sign up for The Salvo is via thesalvo.substack.com Stay up to date with NS events, subscription offers & updates. Weekly analysis of the shift to a new economy from the New Statesman's Spotlight on Policy team.
  • Administration / Office
  • Arts and Culture
  • Board Member
  • Business / Corporate Services
  • Client / Customer Services
  • Communications
  • Construction, Works, Engineering
  • Education, Curriculum and Teaching
  • Environment, Conservation and NRM
  • Facility / Grounds Management and Maintenance
  • Finance Management
  • Health - Medical and Nursing Management
  • HR, Training and Organisational Development
  • Information and Communications Technology
  • Information Services, Statistics, Records, Archives
  • Infrastructure Management - Transport, Utilities
  • Legal Officers and Practitioners
  • Librarians and Library Management
  • Management
  • Marketing
  • OH&S, Risk Management
  • Operations Management
  • Planning, Policy, Strategy
  • Printing, Design, Publishing, Web
  • Projects, Programs and Advisors
  • Property, Assets and Fleet Management
  • Public Relations and Media
  • Purchasing and Procurement
  • Quality Management
  • Science and Technical Research and Development
  • Security and Law Enforcement
  • Service Delivery
  • Sport and Recreation
  • Travel, Accommodation, Tourism
  • Wellbeing, Community / Social Services
Visit our privacy Policy for more information about our services, how New Statesman Media Group may use, process and share your personal data, including information on your rights in respect of your personal data and how you can unsubscribe from future marketing communications.
THANK YOU

Content from our partners
Where do we get the money to fix the world's biggest problems? – with ONE
Labour's health reforms can put patients first
Data science can help developers design future-proof infrastructure

Select and enter your email address Your weekly guide to the best writing on ideas, politics, books and culture every Saturday. The best way to sign up for The Saturday Read is via saturdayread.substack.com The New Statesman's quick and essential guide to the news and politics of the day. The best way to sign up for Morning Call is via morningcall.substack.com Our Thursday ideas newsletter, delving into philosophy, criticism, and intellectual history. The best way to sign up for The Salvo is via thesalvo.substack.com Stay up to date with NS events, subscription offers & updates. Weekly analysis of the shift to a new economy from the New Statesman's Spotlight on Policy team.
  • Administration / Office
  • Arts and Culture
  • Board Member
  • Business / Corporate Services
  • Client / Customer Services
  • Communications
  • Construction, Works, Engineering
  • Education, Curriculum and Teaching
  • Environment, Conservation and NRM
  • Facility / Grounds Management and Maintenance
  • Finance Management
  • Health - Medical and Nursing Management
  • HR, Training and Organisational Development
  • Information and Communications Technology
  • Information Services, Statistics, Records, Archives
  • Infrastructure Management - Transport, Utilities
  • Legal Officers and Practitioners
  • Librarians and Library Management
  • Management
  • Marketing
  • OH&S, Risk Management
  • Operations Management
  • Planning, Policy, Strategy
  • Printing, Design, Publishing, Web
  • Projects, Programs and Advisors
  • Property, Assets and Fleet Management
  • Public Relations and Media
  • Purchasing and Procurement
  • Quality Management
  • Science and Technical Research and Development
  • Security and Law Enforcement
  • Service Delivery
  • Sport and Recreation
  • Travel, Accommodation, Tourism
  • Wellbeing, Community / Social Services
Visit our privacy Policy for more information about our services, how New Statesman Media Group may use, process and share your personal data, including information on your rights in respect of your personal data and how you can unsubscribe from future marketing communications.
THANK YOU