Had Maureen been nobbled? Was it perhaps the work of Percy Alleline or Toby Esterhase?
Then this afternoon, just as mysteriously, that article - or one very like it - appeared on Liberal Democrat Voice.
What is going on here? I am glad the editors of Lib Dem Voice like it too, but wouldn't it have been better if the original post had stayed on Maureen's blog and they had linked to it. Isn't that how blogging works?
Still it is a very good article. Maureen writes:
This year at Birmingham I saw something new again – machine guns being carried by police outside the conference. This wasn’t by officers patrolling the streets outside the secure zone. No, it was inside, where people had already come past three separate checks that the face on the badge was similar to the face on the wearer – I say similar because passport standard photos are notorious for not looking like the real thing! Having passed those checks we then went through an airport style security gate and bags went through X-ray.
Then, and only then, were we confronted by armed police. They didn’t look very fierce, though they certainly looked young and strong and I wouldn’t have liked to have seen them in action.
I asked them why we had armed police inside the security zone. “It’s about your safety, Ma’am,” was the response. “But I don’t feel particularly safe having to walk past men with big guns to get into the building” said I. “It’s all about keeping you safe” was the response.It seems that political conference now take place in Britain only with the indulgence of the security services.