Pizza and politics was the name of the game as Tower Hamlets Lib Dems gathered in a packed top room of the Bow Bells pub in Bow, to discuss some of the motions soon to be discussed at the upcoming Spring Conference.
Diversity, fracking and the economy where all debated with a steady flow of pizza aiding the conversations.
We discussed an amendment to the motion for ensuring diversity in MP selection (all-women shortlists): this would involve extending the remit of the 2020 diversity task force, to try and address some of the infrastructural challenges that affect the ability of candidates from under-represented groups to stand for Parliament.
The motion on fracking received a more mixed reception. Although there were concerns raised about the Tories taking money away from the green economy to subsidise another carbon industry, it was also felt that the motion was not in keeping with either our evidence-based or liberal anti-banning philosophies. It was suggested that the motion be amended to delete all after line 11.
Finally, we talked about the economy, with the suggestion of two amendments brought forward. One to give the motion more of a positive direction of travel for the Party and another to add a digital dimension to the policy proposals, possibly as a foretaste of Tower Hamlets submitting a full motion of our own to Autumn conference.
These amendments were agreed by the group, and will be sent to Conference for consideration.
The Bow Bells pub is an East End boozer in the heart of Tower Hamlets with the great bell of Bow Church just over the road. It's an area rich in political history with the likes of Sylvia Pankhurst setting up the East London suffragettes nearby and old Poplar Town hall just opposite.
The debate on all the issues was strong and fair, representing the diversity of views from around the room, and in the tradition of the activists of the East End gone by.