Jeremy Thorpe

1. Conference resolves to ban goldfish prizes at fairs

The purest expression of Lib Dem eccentricity. The 1992 conference had a serious downer on fairground animals. Some still claim it is a myth stemming from a mischievous reading of an animal rights resolution. But the story is too good to question.

2. Surprise Jeremy Thorpe appearance while facing conspiracy to murder charges

Imagine the look on David Steel’s face when Thorpe ignored an imposed ban and turned-up to the 1978 Southport conference. The legend goes that the conspiracy to murder charges were so serious that Thorpe only received a three-quarter standing ovation. A dramatic closed-door debate also considered a motion “regretting the actions of party officers” in asking him not to come.

3. Steel tells activists to “go home and prepare for government”

Pure conference gold. A classic of British politics. Even better than Jo Grimond saying “we’ve got our teeth into the red meat of government”. Unlikely to be bettered in any leader’s speech. Surely a perfect gag line for Clegg this year? Read more >>