Thursday, September 27, 2012
The media write their stories in the bar in London before they travel to the seaside.
I think it was 1979 when Michael White wrote in the Guardian that Margate pier was the ideal image for the Liberal Party. Our conference in Margate had been interrupted by occasional explosions as the demolition experts tried to destroy the pier. It was, said Michael, "a Victorian structure that refused to go away". I wondered if any journalists this year would be tempted to compare the party to Brighton's West Pier, cut off in the middle of a hostile storm, but none of them did, although Allegra Stratton's Newsnight piece extended the weather metaphor and included a shot of the pier.
Journalists searched Brighton in vain for despair and rebellion. Instead they found what you will always find at a Liberal Democrat Conference - debate and decision (not to mention drinks and dinner). Today Andrew Sparrow told us in the Guardian that the Lib Dem Conference had taught us 10 things.