The only issue of interest at the Lib Dem Conference seems to have been "who follows Mike German". It looks like the ambitious Kirsty Williams to me. The 'anybody but Kirsty' candidate will probably be Jenny Randerson. Peter Black says he doesn't want to do it - and I believe him (Sorry Eleanor but I just can't see it). Mike looked very relaxed during the interviews. The ermine will not be long delayed. I suggest Baron Knowall, and I mean that in the nicest possible way because whenever I served on a committee with him, he actually did know it all. So much so that sometimes I used to depend on him. If I found myself in a committee meeting, not having had time to properly read all the papers, I always tried to make sure I didn't say anything until after Mike had spoken. He always enjoyed regaling us with his comprehensive grasp of every detail - and I trusted him to be right.
But he also had an amazing capacity to generate antipathy. I could never completely understand why. This came home to me when he served as 'countryside' Minister in the First Assembly's Lib-Lab Government. For some reason, even when delivering good news he just couldn't connect. But I always liked Mike German and he made me laugh, sometimes even when intending to!. This sounds like an obituary! I'm still a bit surprised that they managed to prise him out of the Leader's Office - and I'll only really believe it when I see them handing him his gold clock.