Sunday, March 06, 2005


To the Gender Balance Task Force (GBTF) meeting which was a lot more fun that it sounded.
CK came and made a brief speech and then I had to make a rather surreal presentation but I have to provide you with some background information or all will seem very strange.

At Autumn party conference we had a GBTF meeting. I had stepped down as Chair to concentrate on Romsey but volunteered to try and extort some raffle prizes out of my parliamentary colleagues. Simon Hughes made a rather unusual offering...

I will let you have the English Boxer shorts that I wore on the day the reult of the election for party president was announced but let me reassure you that they will be washed and pressed

Pressed? Now there's a man who knows where his iron is!
Not quite sure how it happened but when they came to auction there was also a promise that they would be signed by Sandra Gidley. The killer blow is that the auctioneer was none other than Lembit Opik (defeated candidate in the presidential election). It really is the killer blow when you are forced to auction your opponent's underpants.

Lembit joked to me that he woud know that he had arrived in the party when there was a pair of his underpants bearing my name. I related this tale to a couple of people in GBTF who then decided that an ideal thank you present for Lembit (who has been a great supporter of the work of GBTF) was to award him with a pair of welsh dragon boxer shorts signed by SG.

Plot hatched and the presentation was there last night. Lembit took it in very good part and insisted that Simon Hughes sign them as well.

Evening rounded off with a short but inspirational speech by Liz Kershaw.