A request to the media: challenge yourselves

by Stephen Tall on September 16, 2006

“Lib Dem conference will be dominated by leadership questions”. So says the BBC’s political correspondent Nick Assinder. He continues:

It may not be the biggest question the party wants to address when it gathers in Brighton. But it is the one that is already hanging over the event.

I travelled down by train to conference today, together with three fellow Lib Dems. The issues we discussed ranged widely: the 50p debate, land value tax v local income tax, replacing Trident, the size of school sixth forms, compulsory voting, waste recycling. Ming’s leadership wasn’t mentioned once.

Mr Assinder is in one sense right. The issue of leadership is hanging over the conference – but that’s because it’s the only issue the media can be bothered to pay any attention to. Personality politics is easy to report; any fool can do it.

Perhaps our news journalists could try raising the bar during conference season, instead of just propping it up?