Monday, November 28, 2005

Hectic weekend

Yet another hectic weekend. But not all liberal democracy.
The biannual LD English Council was held in London. After attending my first in June I was sceptical of this body, as I couldn't see why/how it fitted into the federal structure of the party. But after this meeting I can see it as a big bear just waking up and stretching itself: we updated significant rules on membership and selection of parliamentary candidates. Hopefully the revised membership rules will help to prevent problems of entryism, a problem that has afflicted Labour for years, but has spread with the growth of the Lib Dems (there were tales of parts of the country where people held dual membership of Lab and the Lib Dems, which both party's have clear rules against, but incredibly difficult to stop as they are effectively rival organisations, who aren't likely to disclose membership lists to each other).
The meeting provided a useful chance to catch up with people (blogger Rob Fenwick passed through in Holborn), and meant that post meeting there were people around to celebrate Anders' 30th birthday in London. Unfortunately for Anders we missed out on food until too late and the evening came to an end sooner than expected.
At my age I really shouldn't sleep on sofas.
Sunday was an opportunity to test the rail network and the definition of "Any Permitted" route. Which meant breaking my return journey from London to Birmingham via Peterborough.
This was to stop off for sunday lunch with the (grand)parentals, and my brother & sister-in-law and my ever so cute 3 week old nephew (Toby Robert Radcliffe).
The second half of the return journey was the train ride from hell. Fortunately I managed to get a table seat. Which was luckier than some of the people waiting for the train who didn't even get on-board. The previous service had been cancelled because the Central trains staff "couldn't be bothered"!
Absolutely outrageous.

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