Twenty years ago, I attended a Liberal International congress in Helsinki, and fled our delegation meeting in despair. My problem was the delegation's inability to understand the theory that, if you have nothing material to add, you should stay in your seat rather than take up valuable speaking time.
The first session of the working group on the theme resolution indicated, slightly depressingly, that we still haven't entirely absorbed the message, with multiple similar interventions, an obsession with minor drafting amendments and a lack of agreed strategy. Apart from that, it went quite well, I thought.
Gordon Lishman, a familiar name (and face) to Liberal Democrats, had led the process through which the theme resolution had been drafted, and it was, as a result, a document which was predominantly acceptable to a Liberal Democrat audience. Disagreement was, for the most part, minor, although there was a rather directionless debate on euthanasia, which will be returned to later, I suspect.
All of this thinking makes a man hungry, I find, and Allan Knox's invitation to lunch came at just the right moment...