Thursday, February 15, 2007

Off to Conference

Tomorrow we all converge on Aviemore for Scottish Conference. It should be a fantastic event. I'm looking forward to the consultation session on Trident and to the debates on health and early years education and lots of exciting fringe meetings with everyone from Children First to the Society of Podiatrists.

It's also a great chance to catch up with everyone. I expect there will be quite a buzz with the elections rapidly approaching. Danny Alexander MP or his extremely persuasive staff will no doubt try to thrust a bundle of leaflets to deliver on each of us as we leave.

One prospective candidate for May who had better remain nameless found out from reading this blog that I had been in his constituency and chastised me on our next meeting for failing to deliver any leaflets while I was there. Such single mindedness is to be admired - I think.

I'm particularly pleased to see that we're having a young candidates' session - that there are enough of them to make it worthwhile. Stuart Douglas at just 18 will be taking on Jack IMcConnell in Motherwell and Wishaw. I first met him during the General Election in 2005 when he was so keen to learn and help and listen. He will do us proud. So will Shabnum Mustapha in Glasgow. She has a very calm, clear air of wisdom and authority and is a lovely person. She would make an excellent representative and, I hope, will go far.

I remember being a young, enthusiastic new party member way back in 1983. It's quite scary to think that it's not long until I've been involved for a whole quarter of a century and I'm not yet 40.

I hope that my daughter takes something from my political involvement. I have always told her that the main reason I do it now is to try to make sure the world she grows up in is a good and fair world. Maybe she will stand as a 20 year old in the 2019 Holyrood elections......

She has been exposed to the Liberal Democrats ever since I carried her round as 3 week old and read her all the leadership election manifestos. Her first proper trip out of the house was to stuff a regional mailing. She was my inspiration for the spoonsored labour I did to raise funds for the 1999 European election campaign. I don't think I've ever told her that, though.......

Anyway, I will report back next week once the exhaustion wears off. Conference is quite a frenetic experience.

I should mention that the person who organised an AGM to take place at 9.15 on Sunday morning, so that I have to get out of bed 45 minutes earlier than I should, has a very special place in my heart.

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