miss_s_b: (Politics: Democracy)
Following on from my previous post on York conference, I thought people might be interested in how we plan the debates and how cards get chosen and things like that.

I also recognise that many of you will NOT be interested in this in the slightest, so am putting it behind a cut )



And then of course, we had Not The Leader's Speech. The tradition of Not The Leader's Speech started when Cleggy was Our Glorious Leader. I went to a couple of his leader's speeches and found them excruciating. In the pub after, a Bad Influence who must perforce remain nameless asked me why I hadn't just walked out and gone to the pub, because that's what he had done. The next conference, I walked out (after 7 minutes, as I recall) and found this same person in the pub. The conference after that... well, we just cut out the middle man and went straight to the pub, downloaded the text of the speech, and worked out at which point we would have walked out had we bothered to go in. At the height of coalition the record occurred: we both agreed we would have walked out in the second sentence of the speech. By that point, though, word had got around somewhat and there were a reasonable number of us in the pub for Not The Leader's Speech.

When Farron was first elected Glorious Leader he was fully aware that this had become a tradition. I made him a personal promise that I'd go to his first leader's speech, but with the proviso that if there was anything I didn't like I would walk out. There wasn't, and I didn't. In fact it was a really really good speech. The thing is, I still don't like leader's speeches (or for that matter, The Rally, which I always feel has a silent Nuremburg in between The and Rally). I don't like sitting there being spoonfed and not participating. I don't like the enforced conformity of the expectation to applaud in the right places (and in some cases standingly ovate). IMHO it's Just Not Liberal. So the only one of Farron's leader's speeches I have been to, and probably ever will go to, remains his first. I no longer feel the need to read the text and work out at which point I would have walked out, because I don't have that sort of fractious relationship with his leadership, but it's still nice to find a good pub, claim a room in it, and have beer and food instead of listening and clapping.

The problem this time was that the group of people going to Not The Leader's Speech has grown to more than 30. And we hadn't booked. Admittedly there were only six of us queueing outside the door waiting for the pub to open, but the rest had DMed or texted me asking for a venue and turned up in short order after. As a former barmaid, I felt really bad about doing this to the pub. I think that next time I will have to at least warn the selected pub in advance... And as Zoe said in the comments to the previous entry, now I am on FCC this is in danger of becoming an officially unofficial event... If it gets any bigger it may have to be in the Fringe guide... You can tell how uncomfortable I am with that idea by the number of ellipsis LOL.

This conference we were biefly joined by a not-Lib-Dem friend and segued off into a discussion about cricket for a while, which was lovely I don't think we terrified her too much.

Anyway, I hope you have enjoyed my officially unofficial reports from conference: next FCC news will probably be from the Shadowy General Purposes And Resources Sub Committee, which I suspect will be quite vague and heavily redacted, so I apologise for that in advance. I will, obviously, explain exactly why I'm having to be vauge and heavily redacted if and when I am.
miss_s_b: (Politics: Liberal)
The short version of What I Did At Lib Dem Conference is:

Attended lots of FCC meetings and training; co-hosted Glee for the second time; hall-aided my first debate as a member of FCC; "organised" Not The Leader's Speech.

click here for more detail on the first three )

Coming soon: What I Did At Lib Dem Conference part two: structuring an actual debate: this time it's personal PLUS Not The Leader's Speech.
miss_s_b: (Politics: Goth Lib Dems)
You may or may not have already seen the factual reports on Lib Dem Voice provided by Geoff and Zoe; I wanted to write something a bit more... human? Both of those reports contain lots of useful information, but it all seems a bit dry, and the relevance of it to the ordinary member might not be readily apparent1. I'm going to try and inject a bit more colour into things.

It was the best of committees, it was the worst of committees; it was the committee of wisdom, it was the committee of foolishness... )

ANYway...

I think I've gone long enough. Questions? Comments? Huge bottles of gin? Do feel free to pass them along...

oh, yeah, there's footnotes too )
miss_s_b: (Mood: Kill me)
Guys, if you've been to LDConf you've surely seen the bundles of papers you get in the full conference pack? Imagine, oooo, about double that. And from what I have heard from more seasoned FCCers, this is not a particularly hefty meeting.

Going to need a ring binder per meeting by the looks of things. I mean theoretically I could do it all electronically, but between their insistence on using formats I don't use and therefore the lack of ease of note-taking, it was easier just to print it all out. YAY the environment!

FCC: not for the dyslexic.
miss_s_b: (Mood: Facepalm)
Airy Fairy LD assertion: London is easiest for meetings! Everyone can get there, and if you're poor you can always claim expenses!

Reality: In order to claim expenses, you have to:

1, have enough money to be able to pay out in the first place in the hopes that you'll get your money back at some unspecified date;
2, have enough money that the risk of your claim being rejected is bearable;
3, get receipts for everything. Getting receipts for Oyster Travel is FUN! Especially if you only use Oyster a couple of times a year and are crap at remembering log in details.
4, if you're far enough away that you can't do the travel and get to the meeting same day*, find a place to stay that falls below the nightly allowance cap**;
5, find the cheapest tickets for your travel; in central London, this necessitates using Oyster (see point 3) because Oyster is by far the cheapest way to travel.

Now, I don't know, maybe I'm being picky here, and maybe that's because of my various brain weasels (travel anxiety being high up on that list) and, yes, those ARE hurdles I CAN get over, but it's not the MOST accessible a meeting could be...

Anyway, meeting is on both Saturday AND Sunday, so I shall report back after.



*that's on occasions when the meeting doesn't run over 2 days anyway, OfC
**good luck doing this if you don't know anyone in London with a spare room or sofa, and eternal gratitude to the person letting me have their spare room this time - the only places I found that fell below the cap were 12 bed dormitories
miss_s_b: (Default)
So, having read through the expenses regulations for federal committee members, I'm going to say two things:

1, I can see why they don't get many applicants from outside London or from the less-monied classes. I need written permission from the chair of my committee to claim for accommodation? Seriously? I live in Yorkshire, dudes. It's a two day meeting. What am I supposed to do, pick a bench outside King's Cross? FFS.

2, Any Londinium types, if you have a spare room that I could have for the evenings of Friday the 27th and Saturday the 28th of January, I would be most grateful. Because I cannot afford central London prices for a hotel on the off chance that the party might deign to reimburse me. And I'm NOT staying in a mixed dormitory for 12 people, which appears to be my only option to stick within budget even if I DID assume permission from the chair.

At least I'll be able to claim back for my train ticket…

UPDATE: Have now obtained crash space with a fellow committee member, thanks all xx
miss_s_b: Abby Scuto says Awesome (Feminist Heroes: Abby Scuto Awesome)
Wow.

Genuinely 1, stunned and 2, honoured to have been voted onto federal conference committee.

I'll do my utmost to be the best rep my electorate could wish for.

Seriously, guys, thank you.

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Hello! I'm Jennie (known to many as SB, due to my handle, or The Yorksher Gob because of my old blog's name). This blog is my public face; click here for a list of all the other places you can find me on t'interwebs.






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