Posted tagged ‘conference’

Liberal Anonymity

September 21, 2011

So remind me; who are you again?

This blog is not necessarily one that takes a great amount of notice of the internal workings of our country’s political parties. However, as I listened to my daily dose of John Humphries and his Crazy crew this morning I heard that one of today’s ‘highlights’ at the conference would be a speech by the Liberal Democrat Local Government Minister Andrew Stunnell.

Unfortunately, I have to work during the day so caught up with his speech in the written form yesterday evening (you can do so too).

So where to begin?

Well, Mr Stunnell started with a joke and although it takes some explaining I assume everyone in the conference hall got it. Speaking about the coalition negotiations he said:

Newspapers full of the back stories of the four-man Liberal Democrat negotiation team of Danny Alexander, Chris Huhne and David Laws.

I’m not bitter.

Honest.

The Guardian wouldn’t have spelt my name right anyway.

Funnily enough I can empathise with the Guardian on this one. We’ve written between five and ten posts about the DCLG over the past 18 months and do you know how many of them have involved Mr Stunnell? Well, the answer is none. Reading the rest of his speech I couldn’t work out whether this was a good thing or a bad thing.

Was it good that the Liberal Democrats only Minister in the DCLG had kept his head down and not joined in the Eric Pickles inspired local government baiting?

Or was it a sign of Liberal Democrat ineffectiveness that despite being in Government nothing changed?

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Do they even care about us?

June 29, 2011

Did the PM betray attitudes towards Local Government?Yesterday the Prime Minister attended the LGG conference and spoke to the masses. He was apparently the first serving PM to do so in history, and began by quipping that perhaps afterwards he would know why none of his predecessors had done so.

He was due to talk about localism, so thanks to a timely heads-up from @dominiccampbell I tuned in to the live web stream and listened as he began outlining localism. It started well, with reference to what in effect used to be known as Total Place, and went on to mention the current deregulating of local government.

However, before long the conversation turned away from local government. Mr Cameron instead turned the focus of the discussion over to the current headline issue – public sector pensions – and in effect used his key note speech to speak directly to the media. He set out why he was doing what he was doing, and how important it was that his party’s plans were followed through.

The discussion around the rights and wrongs of this debate are not the topic for this post, and in any case are being picked apart by far brighter and more informed minds than mine. My interest in this is instead to be a little narked at the way local government appears to have been casually tossed aside here. (more…)