In the spirit of avoiding maths homework…

Scottish Lib Dem Conference, what a weekend!!

Arrived on Friday and immediately bumped into Adam Stachura, which showed me that the Lib Dems had indeed taken over central Perth. hit a couple of fringe meetings Friday night, mostly for the food, but was sure to take in the Royal College of Psychiatrists sponsored “Bairns, Booze and Blades”, which was chaired by my good friend Cllr Tim Brett and one of the speakers was another good friend, Alex Cole-Hamilton PPC. An informative fringe, and probably my favourite of the weekend.

Later that night we headed over for a drink at the George, meeting several people, including Stephen Glenn, fellow Lib Dem blogger, and, to my surprise, Debra Storr. Meeting Debra was a pleasure, and made me even more determined that I had taken the right side against the Exec. After an amusing interlude of phoning the elusive Tory Bear, we headed in for our fundraising quiz night. Despite the ridiculous difficulty (thanks Kieran!) a good time was had by all, and we raised a shed load of money. Hugh and Alistair did a great job presenting, and the improv debating (or stand-up Charles Dundas will argue) led to some hilarious moments.

Saturday morning saw me stewarding as a favour to Kieran, but also managing to sneak in and watch our Minimum Income Guarantee motion. Tom spoke fantasically, in my view one of the speeches of the conference. Many high quality contributions to the debate, as well as Ruaraidh’s first class summation, saw the motion passed unanimously, another brilliant moment for LYS.

After getting out of stewarding, Richard Coxon ambushed me with a speaker’s card, saying he wanted young people to speak in the debate he was chairing later – More Powers for the Scottish parliament. I stuck myself in the top corner of the hall for half an hour and hashed out a few choice remarks, and managed to pull together a speech. Inevitably, I was called to speak, and I was pretty happy with my speech. Jeremy Purvis MSP stood up to summate immediately following my speech, and I was honoured that he mentioned me in his summation. Following my speech I had a plethera of congratulations, from Robert Brown to Elspeth Atwool. 

Sunday morning saw us all in the hall for Kieran and Sophie’s blood ban motion, which was also passed with a large majority. For a full account, read Stephen’s blog post here. Was yet another great moment for us. 

Got home on Sunday afternoon feeling satisfied with the weekend, and the icing on the cake came Monday morning, when word filtered through to me my speech had been on the BBC highlights. Sure enough, ten seconds of my speech featured on the BBC programme from conference, which you can watch here.

Had an amazing time, and met some really amazing people, not least of all Stephen, and Elaine of course. Can’t wait for the next one!


~ by Callum Leslie on March 19, 2009.

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