Tuesday, September 19, 2006

Behind the scenes at Brighton

Being one of the party's backroom folk I am spending most of my time at Brighton round the corner at the so-called 'Quality' Hotel.

Most of my week is spent running training sessions (I was the lucky one this year and have been lead training on the exciting topic of 'Basic Election Law'!) and having meetings with colleagues and teams from various constituencies.

I am always struck by how different the mood at our conferences is from the reports in the mainstream media.

Generally people are very positive. Our campaign teams in the ever growing number of key seats are bouyant, attending lots of training and getting the election planning underway.

There is a lot of enthusiasm fo the Green Tax Switch campaign with hundreds of Local Parties already planning their local campaigns. The rally on Sunday was well attended.

Nick Clegg's speech yesterday proposing a Great Repeal Act went down very well and I have just heard the very positive response to Chris Huhne this morning.

I am sure that Charles will get a very warm response to his speech and, no, it won't mean anything for Ming's leadership, just a party saying thank you to our most recent, well-liked leader.

The biggest debate is clearly going to be on the 50p income tax amendment which is being put forward by my long-standing colleague Evan Harris. It's not my place to state a view either way on the proposal but what I will say is that the important thing is the package overall which gives the Lib Dems a positive and distinctive platform to campaign from.

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