by Stephen Tall on September 20, 2007
Ming Campbell has just finished his second speech to the Liberal Democrat conference as party leader.
My impressions… Ming seemed far more assured than last year. He opened strongly – no attempt to start with a scripted joke – and gave a defiant definition of his liberalism, and how the Lib Dems will translate that into action under his leadership. This year, too, he seemed confident enough to tear his eyes away from the autocue.
What pleasantly surprised me in particular was his emphasis on liberal values: “the price of freedom is the risk of offence”; “A truly liberal society guarantees the freedom of all religions, but it accepts the tyranny of none”; “Government must stand for the interests of all, but the vested interests of none.”
All in all, it felt to me like a relaxed (surprisingly so, given the media barrage of criticism he’s faced) and confident performance. The conference speech clearly isn’t a task Ming relishes, but he certainly didn’t shrink from it, either. It’s a thumbs-up from me.
UPDATE 2: The party’s new film is a compilation of reactions to the speech from conference representatives.