The Lib Dem conference rally was never going to be the same without Sarah Teather and her comedy routine. With Teather persona non grata following her decision to step down, it was duly a much tamer affair. The only risqué jokes were about Lembit Opik being bitten in the nether regions by a sausage dog. But seeing as Lembit has infuriated party loyalists by again calling for Clegg to go, they got a laugh from the leadership.
The message of the conference rally was that the Liberal Democrats are the party of jobs. Nick Clegg claimed that the Tories weren’t the party of jobs, but the party of fire at will; a reference to the Beecroft proposals.
But Clegg seemed much happier when he moved on to attacking the Labour party. He accused them of having ‘prayed for an endless recession’ and demanded that they apologise for their mistakes in government.
At the beginning of the rally, the delegates were given their campaigning orders by Paddy Ashdown, who is in charge of the 2015 campaign. As Ashdown spoke, there was a mood of grim determination in the hall. Whatever doubts that the activists may have about some of the coalition’s policies, they still seem determined to fight and fight again for the party they love.Tags: Conservatives, Jobs, Labour, Lib Dem conference 2013, Liberal Democrats, Nick Clegg, UK politics