lib dem conference
Unless the Government gets prisoner numbers down and devotes the resources necessary to getting staffing levels up, building a renewed prison estate and providing effective education, training and other purposeful activity in every prison, all they will be doing is trying to use small sticking plasters to staunch gaping wounds.
Now, four months after our near obliteration, we are convalescing at an encouraging speed. Loud liberalism will save our party and our country. More than ever, the Liberal Democrats need Britain and Britain needs the Liberal Democrats - please don't let us be right without power again.
Now represented in Parliament by just a handful of white, middle-aged men the Lib Dems are becoming even more of an irrelevance in today's modern world... The party leader may have changed but you still can't trust the Lib Dems - they have lost all credibility for good.
There is possibly nothing more ill-fitting than a party conference: it's precisely the sort of thing that should happen briefly over a weekend in the summer, not four week days through the first weeks of a dreary autumn...
The Lib Dems do not believe that the game is over. Whilst they are obviously worried about what will happen next year, they remain bullish. What we also saw though was leading MPs thinking about what a post-Clegg world might look like.
I feel great sympathy for my old colleague Nick Clegg. Many of us expected a rough ride mid-term, but by now I thought his fortunes would turn as the party matured into government and the tough choices started to reap rewards. With the election looming I was confident that polling would pick up rather than head downwards. So what can he do now?
The Liberal Democrat conference has been rocked by the news that no one is defecting to their party. "People here are absolutely
The Liberal Democrats will add extra bands onto council tax to raise more money from the rich and cut the deficit fairly
(All images: Press Association)
In the words of the late, great David Frost: that was the week that was. The week that the Liberal Democrats held their conference