Wednesday, 27 February 2013

Twenty-five years a Liberal

- or rather for a fortnight a Liberal and twenty-four years and fifty weeks a Liberal Democrat. I joined the Liberal Party as a result of participating in the general election of 1987 and, before that, the Gower by-election of 1982. Why my membership started so late is probably not so much delay in the Liberal HQ but the extra push I needed from working with John Newbury and Jim Kelleher again in the Newton by-election of 1988. (The winner here, Sue Waller, later retired from active politics on the death of her husband.)

Of the two components of the SDP-Liberal Alliance, I felt most comfortable with the Liberals, but that became academic with the formation of the Social and Liberal Democrats, immediately nicknamed the "Salads" by the press. This title did not last long, thank goodness.

On the 21st anniversary, an editorial in Liberal Democrat News began: "On 3rd March 1988 this party came into being. Twenty-one years ago the political landscape was totally different - consisting of a massively unpopular Conservative Party and a Labour Party that was in the process of reinventing itself".

Plus ca change.

Deirdre Razzall's editorial concluded: "In the preamble to the Lib Dem constitution it says: 'We aim to disperse power, to foster diversity and to nurture creativity.' It is in the DNA of the Liberal Democrats" Our task as a party is to ensure this unique character is maintained through the difficult political waters of the next two years.

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