So I’m more excited than an excited thing about going to my first Spring Conference since 1999. Sadly, I haven’t lost the 7 months pregnant look I had then, but I’m still looking forward to seeing my friends.
I’m hoping to get to the rally tonight – although I have a meeting at half five in a real ale pub. But I’m on antibiotics so I can’t drink much, sadly.
Here are some judiciously leaked extracts from the delights that Nick Clegg and Tm Farron are going to offer us.
I think Nick is right that we should be shouting our achievements from the rooftops, but try driving without looking in the rear view mirror, you are going to end up in big trouble. We have to have a handle on the effect the bad stuff is having on us – and how we are being blamed for it. And his words are a bit like giving you a bowl of thin soup and a fork to eat it with. If there is no effective rebuttal coming from the Westminster Bubble, what are we supposed to do? We need effective ammunition. There are some very encouraging and positive developments in the way the party is getting its message out, but there is more work to be done.
Anyway, this is what he’ll say:
“We’ve made some difficult decisions, not all of them popular. But we made all of them with only one test in mind: What was the right thing to do for the country?
“And now it is time to move on. To stop justifying being in Government and start advertising being in Government. To stop lamenting what might have been and start celebrating what is. To stop defending our decisions and start shouting our achievements from the rooftops.
“We’re in Government, and it is a better Government for it. Fairer, freer and greener.
“Lower taxes for working people. Fairer chances for our children. And the beginnings of a new, green economy that benefits everyone in every city, not just a few in the City of London.
“So: no more looking back. You can’t drive if you’re only looking in the rear-view mirror.
“We have to look forwards, to the better future that we are building for our children.
“Of course we have many fights ahead of us. But I don’t know about you, I’m up for a fight or two. This party has never ducked them. The great men and women in whose footsteps we follow never ducked them.
“So let’s tear off that rear view mirror and look straight ahead. Let’s get on with the job that we all came into politics to do. Making this a more liberal nation.”
Farron, as usual, is in feisty, fighting fettle. There is no football reference in this quote though. That just doesn’t seem right. Where is our President and what have you done with him?
We got three quarters of our manifesto into Government policy, so I hereby allow you to stop saying sorry for the quarter we didn’t get.
“And if people wanted that missing quarter, well they should have flipping voted for us shouldn’t they?”
“The comeback starts here.
“Together we will build our party so that we go from here to new victories.
“Winning back the seats we lost last year, defending our parliamentary seats, winning new territory, transforming Britain into a Liberal society.”
I can hardly wait. But first, breakfast date with the husband, who is using up his annual leave to look after not just our daughter, but two others as well, while I’m away. The man’s a hero.