Saturday, 14 March 2009

Conference: So Much to Write Not Enough Time

One of the things I thought would be easier this conference is that having my own laptop with me I'd be finding it so much easier to write up this conference.

Of course your laptop needs power but while there is WiFi in the Perth Concert Hall it is finding the time to actually just sit there and write. The other thing I am finding a little frustrating is that inside the auditorium I am without a signal for Orange. This means two things first I am unable to Tweet little aide memoires to the Twitterverse during the debates and second my time between debates online is then spent Tweeting what I would have done from the auditorium. However, I have copious notes about the Economic Recovery Package debate from yesterday, and will get around to reading my scrawl at some point later.

The other thing of course about the Spring Scottish Conference is that unlike the day long one in Autumn we really do have time for networking. Yesterday for example I did met fellow bloggers, Bernard Salmon, Andrew Reeves, Iain Dale (no not the Tory), Ros Scott, Ruaraidh Dobson and Callum Leslie. If you count the fact that I also ran into Brain Taylor I think I may well have scored the full house of the potential Lib Dem Bloggers.

Last night of course the highlight of the evening was the Liberal Youth Scotland Quiz and Improv Debate night. A roaring success as all of those present left the Ballroom at the Royal George with considerably lightened wallets. In the science round my team Twitter Ye Not realised that having a team full of humanities graduates the closest thing we had to real scientists were social scientists and sci-fi geeks, which meant we at least knew the answer to the ultimate question of Life, the Universe and Everything with confidence. However, Alistair Carmichael and Hugh O'Donnell were hilarious as the questioners and comperes.

Our team also provided 3/4 of the contestants in the Improv Debate and with Ben Rawlings we also had one of the names in the hat that was not called upon. But Cllrs Kenneth Elder and Charles Dundas, the eventual finalists, and myself took on a range of bizarre topics for debate. Things that would never grace the floor of main conference not even in LYS's wildest machinations.

What would Karl Marx make of the Internet? Saw Charles Dundas argue that while Marx said religion was the opiate of the masses what was widely not known was that Marx partook in the opiates and therefore was a great fan of religion.

Raffles should be banned? Was a subject suggested by me whilst I was being tackled by Gavin Steele with a wad of raffle tickets. But Kenneth Elder took up the tone of the afternoons debate of Tobacco Vending machines to say that as Liberals we shouldn't be banning anything unless of course it was to stop our young people getting dragged down by the lottery of life.

Beer is an effective contraceptive. Led me to argue that we all know how our drunken self can never find the way home, how much more would our drunken sperm be unable to find their way to let alone get the key in the lock of the eggs waiting for them at the end of their trip. Before concluding that we all know the rumour that after 4 pints we know that any man is any mans, and we all know that cant lead to pregnancy.

Into the final round and after the tight vote by applause in my semi-final Katy Gordon erroneously started to give me a subject for the final. In the end Mr Elder had to debate You cannot get between the love of a man and his sheep. While Mr Dundas had the subject who ate all the pies.

On the sheep Kenneth glossed over the fact that the subject was suggested by a Welshman in the room. Then argued that the wool on the sheep reminded you of that soft jumper from your gran that you just cannot throw away.

However, the speech of the night was from Charles Dundas who looked through the various types of pies. Rattling off the Lib Dems in the room as the potential eaters before a climatic revelation that the person who clearly ate all the pies was the occupant of Bute House.

Then as the Ballroom emptied out and the winners in the silent auction cuddled their acquisitions we all retired to the hotel bar for more networking. But it was a glorious success and LYS are already promising to do something similar again next year. I for one will be there.


  1. Good post Stephen. Glad you're enjoying yourself and have another good day today.

  2. I am very jealous that I was not there - sounds like a fabulous evening:-)