Wednesday, 20 August 2014

Pauline Pearce

What a pity Grace Dent did not carry out some research before writing for yesterday's Indy. If she had looked at the Hackney LibDem website she would have seen that Pauline Pearce remains a local spokesperson , with the very visible support of Nick Clegg. She is also on the Federal Conference Committee as a result of Kelly-Marie Blundell's resignation.

So far from "only Yes men and those with squeaky clean histories [being] permitted to hold the reins" all the remaining presidential candidates are female. All the candidates submitted to a Q&A from Mark Pack. The last question was as to whom the respondent would endorse as party leader. The only person who gave a ringing endorsement to Nick Clegg - so a "yes-woman"? - was: Pauline Pearce!

I can also confirm that as soon as Miss Pearce's video appeared on social media, sympathisers in the party asked for contact details so that they could reassure her. I'm glad to see that she has no intention of leaving, but I have to admit that too few people in the party outside the capital were aware of the role she played during the 2011 London riots. If nothing else, her entering the presidential race and then spectacularly leaving it has corrected that. I will be surprised if she is not elected to at least one party committee in her own right in the next round of elections, rather than having to rely on appointment as runner-up to fill a vacancy.

It is also unfair to criticise a party which put Navnit Dholakia (a former party president!), Kishwer Falkner and Floella Benjamin in the House of Lords for lack of diversity. Incidentally, the first non-white MP was a Liberal: Dadabhai Naoroji.  At the end of the nineteenth century, he represented Finsbury - another North London constituency.

[Posting updated at 11:45]

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