Having published the speech here I spent my evening commute reading and annotating Tim's speech. As I skimmed down the margins to my notes three themes stick out. There's "Backs Nick", "our role/future" and "citing differences with Conservatives" - there is also the word Epic written next to the end of paragraph ten.
I joined the Liberals to change the world - and you don't change it from the luxury of opposition
The speech itself is very good, unfortunately I've been trapped at work and unable to go to Conference so can't comment on delivery.
I agree with what Tim is saying, somewhat wholeheartedly. Being in a Coalition is difficult, a lot more difficult than many of the electorate and media pundits will acknowledge. We have achieved a lot but there is more work to be done. Society is unequal, there are great signs of poverty and a lack of affordable housing. There are those on the far right of the Conservative party who find protecting the environment an inconvenient truth.
We need to acknowledge the work of our ministers like Sarah Teether, Ed Davey and Chris Huhne. More importantly we should acknowledge the hard work of Nick and his achievements. What's more is that there is more to do.
We are different from the Conservatives and we do disagree on many fundamental issues. I've noticed that this conference has seen more comments and public statements of difference, that's either bravado because it's conference or it is, hopefully, the party trying to define itself and show those differences to the public and Tim also puts forward that we need to define ourselves and vision for the future.
The Coalition has given us a chance to show the public what we stand for and what Liberalism can do for the nation and for you. As Tim said, we shouldn't seek power for the sake of it as Labour seem to be doing now, or simply because it is our turn as many Conservatives felt in 2010. There is a place for us and we're proving it in Government.
Tim's speech was very energising and talks to members and reassures them that we're still holding onto our soul in Government and reassures those who are doubting our record and role. At a time when many are writing the party off Tim is encouraging us to keep up the good work and achieve even more.
You know what? I think we can