At the conference in Birmingham I would say I was satisfied with the way police dealt with security. It may have something to do with being raised in Northern Ireland that I noticed certain things that maybe many of my party colleagues didn't quite see, or maybe didn't quite understand was was going on, such as swabs off various parts of the ICC first thing in the morning, or the odd movement at the edge of my peripheral vision.
Of course while I may have been satisfied with how the security operation went at Birmingham, that has to be taken under advisement. Anyone who saw my only contribution from the stage will know I wasn't that satisfied with procedure before the conference. If you didn't see what I said you can take a look.
Now from what I understand only 66% were satisfied or higher with security arrangements at conference, from their feed back forms. That does leave 1 not satisfied to a greater or lesser extend to every two above. But also how many of those would normally have been a higher than satisfied rating.
You see security arrangements cover more than merely pre-conference accreditation checks. It also covers the handling of queues, the security on site, the ease of access between sites etc. So a very satisfied can become a satisfied because of a mishandling of one area very easily.
There was a vote at conference, bear in mind this was only of the reps that attended conference, as I mentioned in my speech there are those who were not with us, some refused to seek access to the security zone because of the accreditation process. That vote didn't go the way of what the Lib Dems Federal Conference Committee (FCC) said they 'had' to do. The other speeches pointed out flaws in what the police said they 'had' to do, just in the way that Lib Dem MPs did when the police said they 'had' to have the right to detain for 90 days without trial. Remember that?
Therefore to be asked to give my opinion on accreditation at conference by Andrew Wiseman, chair of FCC yet again seems a bit much. I have already given it three time. First when I noticed a Northern Irish issue with the disclosure of both passport numbers, something that was flippantly ignored. Second when I spoke and conference voted to keep Lib Dem Conference liberal, something that now seems to be ignored, and finally in the comments I made on my conference feed back form.
I am however, now stating why I am opposed to it yet again, for a fourth time.
Sometimes you just have to repeat yourself. But come on FCC I'm not going to let you carry out a neverendum on this issue. We have spoken, we have instructed you to seek a better situation, get on with it. If you cannot watch out for your positions when those conference reps get a chance to elect a new FCC later this tear.
Sometimes I know I have to repeat myself, so today is one of those days.