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LDYS Conference Feb 22

Really good weekend away in Leeds, running LibDem Youth & Students spring conference, which seemed to go well.

Speakers included Richard Allan MP, who talked on identity cards. Having sat on the committee scrutinising the ID cards bill, Richard is particularly well informed on this issue and detailed numerous reasons why they are a terrible – and potentially problematic – waste of money. He even drew on Little Britain, suggesting that the fallibility of the biometric identity systems could, in the future, result in trying to access health services only to be told, “Computer says no.” Richard proved once again that he’ll leave a significant gap (and more than just geek-shaped hole) in the parliamentary party when he stands down at the election.

Other speakers included Andrew Stunnell MP (the party’s chief whip in the Commons), Richard Stanforth of Oxfam talking about Make Poverty History (which LDYS is backing), and PPC’s Jon Neal and Greg Mulholland. There were loads of new faces and we had key training to prepare everyone for the general election.

I used to be an elected sabbatical officer at Leeds University Union so it was also good to be back there holding a conference in a section of the union whose renovation I approved before leaving three years ago.

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