by Stephen Tall on September 21, 2010
Over at the Financial Times, Alex Barker has an entertaining compilation of the highs and lows, serious and tragic, of Lib Dem conferences down the years. My favourite two:
7. The White Witch denounces bad vibes around Simon Hughes
This incident is still used to train budding Lib Dem conference chairs. At the end of a particularly long and tedious debate on commerce policy, the chair relucantly gave way to a point of order. “I am a witch,” the lady told the stunned conference hall. She went on to explain she had detected “evil spirits particularly concentrated on Simon Hughes”. Ever since, all conference chairs have been given a mute button.
10. The second Taiwan Straights Crisis of 1958
Sir Alan Comyns Carr was a conference chair with a disconcerting habit of keeping his notes between his mouth and his microphone. But his address in 1958, during an international security crisis over two obscure islands in the Taiwan straights, is fondly remembered to this day. “Fellow Liberals,” he declared. “The eyes of the world are on us — I do not want to say anything which might exacerbate the situation in Quemoy and Matsu.”
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