The Apollo Project
Liberal Ideas for the 21st Century
Saturday, December 17, 2005
Loyalty
by Peter

I passed an anniversary sometime over the last month. Twenty five years have now passed since I joined the Liberal Party. (I would have been a member longer, but in the days before internet if you wanted to join a party you had to find someone to pay the money to - and that took some doing!)

When I joined Steel was Leader. He was pretty popular with the electorate, although the Lib-Lab pact had not been. At the end of his period as Leader he was much less popular. The negatives built up as the years went by, not least because of the way Spitting Image made him a figure of fun.

Ashdown did a tremendous job in turning the party around in a period where it looked as if might just disappear. My favourite "what if" for that period is "what if John Smith had survived?" I certainly believe that there would have been a lot more yellow on the electoral map of the West of England.

And Kennedy has taken us further, after two election results widely seen as high water marks.

But I´m struck by the thought that in two and a half decades I've only had three leaders. I could have had as many in two and half years in the Conservative Party.
posted by Peter Pigeon @ 2:50 pm  
1 Comments:
  • At 17 December, 2005 16:00, Blogger Edis said…

    It is 40 years since I actually managed to track down a Liberal and joined the Young Liberals in Warwick. Continuous membership through NLYL, ULS and the main party since then. Grimmond was leader when I joined, so I have had five leaders in my time in the trenches, standing for this that and the other councils under four of them.

     
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"What is Liberalism?: I should say it means the acknowledgment in practical life of the truth that men are best governed who govern themselves; that the general sense of mankind, if left alone, will make for righteousness; that artificial privileges and restraints upon freedom, so far as they are not required in the interests of the community, are hurtful; and that the laws, while, of course, they cannot equalise conditions, can at least avoid aggravating inequalities, and ought to have for their object the securing to every man the best chance he can have of a good and useful life." C-B.

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