#LDConf Diary: Day 2

Today was the second day of my first conference, and my first full day attending.

As with all good virtual experiences, my day started with technical problems. Not my own, of course, but somewhere along the lines the bandwidth gremlins prevented the trainers from starting my first training session for 15 minutes. Fortunately, I still managed to get a lot out of it when it eventually got underway.

The big surprise of the day was the policy motion on a federal United Kingdom. Not because we had one, as a federal UK is already party policy, but because it was far more contentious than I was expecting. It turned into a virtual confrontation between the English members and those from the other nations in the union, ignoring the real and genuine concerns of people facing elections in May so they could have a good internal squabble (where have I heard that before) – but in the end, after a successful motion to debate whether or not we would debate a motion to reference back (debating whether or not to have a debate is, of course, peak Lib Dem), and then a defeated motion to reference back, the policy passed overwhelmingly.

After pausing for breakfast (I dragged myself out of bed just in time for the first session), I decided to try out the conference’s built-in speed-dating feature. Ok, so it’s not actually “speed-dating” but rather “networking”: the software randomly pairs you with another member in the system and gives you a strict four minutes to chat with them before unceremoniously ending the call and moving on to the next person. Sounds a lot like speed-dating to me! And I’m not convinced the software is entirely random, either…

Then it was back to the auditorium for the debate on the emergency Covid motion. Sadly I only managed to see the first half of the debate before I hot-footed it off to another training session, but the beauty of an online conference is that you can vote on a policy motion in the auditorium while simultaneously sitting in a training session in another room.

The training session also took up the first half of the Q&A session with our new leader, and whilst I tuned in to the second half, I was multi-tasking and completing end of year charity accounts.

I took a break from conference to focus fully on the accounts and have something else to eat before heading in to the comedy night, Cracking up the House, providing some much-needed light relief to round off the day.

Not as much as it would have been needed after the Europe debate tomorrow, though…

Highlight of the day: Jamie Stone’s comedy routine at Cracking up the House

Looking forward to tomorrow: the party once again putting its electability on the line for its obsession over the EU