December 7 2013 Latest news:
Wednesday, September 18, 2013
What Justin Bieber is to young teenage girls, Paddy Ashdown is to certain Liberal Democrat party activists.
One delegate at this week’s conference was heard whispering that the former leader is “so good looking” when he delivered his speech to the party faithful at Saturday evening’s rally.
But the conference does not just cater for Paddy fans.
In the Liberal Democrat shop at the exhibition hall you can actually buy a badge with a picture of your favourite Lib Dem parliamentarian.
Obviously the EDP wanted to find out which Norfolk MPs have the biggest following.
When I last checked Norwich South’s Simon Wright has beaten his mentor North Norfolk Norman Lamb in the popularity stakes.
Simon was genuinely surprised when the EDP informed him of the existence of these badges, and seemed delighted to hear that he was ahead of his former mentor in sales.
But Norman and Simon have a long way to go to catch up Essex colleague Sir Bob Russell. He was such a hit at last year’s conference that this year they are selling mugs bearing his image.
Four out of five had already gone when I dropped into the shop.
As Simon mused...only at the Lib Dem conference...
Norman Lamb’s new hair style has not just caused a stir in Westminster and Norfolk, it is also attracting attention at the Lib Dem conference.
A Norfolk colleague was adamant that the health minister had a bit of the Michael Douglas about him - as reported in the EDP a few weeks ago. Norman himself said he had been called Paul O’Grady.
There is now another one for the list.
Ibrahim Taguri, who decribes himself as the party’s chief fundraiser tweeted as the North Norfolk MP and care minister arrived in Glasgow “Is it Bill Nighy or Norman Lamb?”
There could be a career outside politics for the Norfolk MP as a lookalike.
Covering a conference you don’t get to venture out of the conference hall much.
So you have to rely on the taxi drivers for the man of the people view outside the conference bubble.
My rather forthright Rangers supporting, Scottish independence opposing taxi driver was not shy in his views as he sped me to my hotel.
Nick Clegg makes me want to puke, he told me. Nice.
Eighteen months away from a general election you would think the Lib Dems would welcome people in to the conference with open arms.
It was therefore somewhat surprising that they would not let people in on Sunday.
The Glaswegian high winds and driving rain meant that the main door at the front of the conference centre was closed for a while on Sunday afternoon.
That has been about as stromy as things have got.