Author Archives: Caron Lindsay

Sarah Olney’s “festival of fun” and Stephen Lloyd’s t-shirt giveaway – just two of the things happening in Lib Dem target seats this weekend

A few weeks ago, we might have thought we’d be spending this bank holiday sipping gin and tonics in our back gardens in beautiful sunshine, but Theresa May had other ideas.

Never mind, though. Lots of Lib Dem target seat campaigns are pulling out all the stops to entice you in. I am sure that others will add details of their events in the comments, but here are two that caught my eye.

Sarah Olney has this lot to get rid off and a little bird tells me that they have all sorts of fun things planned to keep visitors happy in their work. Head here  – they still have the same office as the by-election.

In Eastbourne, Stephen Lloyd’s team is trying to tempt you with some fetching yellow t-shirts, promised to the first few campaigners who show up. Stephen lost by a whisker in 2015.  His campaign office at 100 Seaside Road) will be open 10-5 for you and on Sunday evening there is a campaign rally.

But, really, how could you resist these.

Posted in Op-eds | 1 Comment

Kirsty Williams on the “divisive” political atmosphere

Former Welsh Lib Dem Leader Kirsty Williams has spoken out about the unpleasant divisiveness of our political atmosphere after one of her team was racially abused and she had the unsettling experience of a man making a shooting gesture and telling her Liberals should be shot.

From Wales Online:

Describing the change she has seen since the EU referendum, she said: “I think ever since the Brexit vote I think politics has become very divisive in a way I haven’t witnessed in all these years and I think in some ways that has unleashed something where the country is very, very, very divided and that’s to be regretted and unfortunately I don’t see how that divide is going to be healed.”

Acknowledging the responsibility of politicians to take care in the language they use, she said: “I think all politicians at all times need to be mindful about how they express their arguments.

“There are legitimate arguments to be expressed but words are powerful and the influence politicians have is powerful and therefore there is a responsibility on all of us to be very mindful about how we conduct ourselves and the language we use.

She described what had happened to her volunteer and the effect that has on people:

“Unfortunately it just seems that this kind of discourse is becoming the norm. We’ve had a volunteer racially abused this week.

“She feels that she can’t go and deliver any leaflets because she was racially abused while just out delivering leaflets.”

The volunteer was someone who wanted to “do her bit in support of the values she believed in and unfortunately feels she won’t be able to do that again”.

The AM fears such experiences will stop people from getting involved in politics.

“That’s the issue, isn’t it,” she said. “Why would people want to put themselves and potentially their families through this?

Read on to find out how she reacted to a Conservative sign being planted in her hedge.

I do agree with Kirsty that politics can be pretty vicious at the moment. I am not sure it’s any worse than when I started out back in the 80s, though. It did calm down for a while in the late 90s. It used to be Labour who were the worst. Power came too easy to them and they responded with an aggressive arrogance to anyone who tried to take it from them. 

Posted in News | Tagged | 8 Comments

Why I’ve always gone to help in target seats

This is the 9th General Election in which I’ve been politically active. Let’s not think about how old that makes me! You can also add 4 Holyrood elections to that. I missed out on the first one because I was living in England and just about to give birth. That didn’t stop me running a committee room in Chesterfield on polling day, though. Nor did it stop me doing stuff for the Newark by-election that never was.

I’ve just been reflecting on all these campaigns and maybe I should write about each one individually at some point.

In each election, I have made sure that my effort is concentrated on target seats, even if that has meant travelling on a daily basis. The reason for that is that I’ve always been very aware that I know that what matters the day after polling day is the number of bums we have on seats in whatever legislature we’re in. I could not have it on my conscience to lose a key target by a few hundred votes while I’d concentrated on getting single figures in percentage terms in my home seat. Believe me I have seen that happen several times.

Building that momentum throughout the campaign needs extra help. I will be forever grateful to the wonderful people from across the East Midlands region who travelled several times a week to Chesterfield in 1997, or the Lothian people who travelled to help us in Edinburgh South in 2001 and 2005. Martin Garnett, who’s our candidate in Erewash again today, was part of that Chesterfield support team in 1997.

That help from outside ensures that can establish ourselves as the challenger, that we can out-campaign the opposition and put ourselves in a winning position. It means that we can talk to more voters and build that all-important impression of a growing campaign. Every single day of the campaign, extra people are needed to boost local capacity and sow the seeds of victory.

I would go as far as to say that if you are spending the majority of your campaigning time in a seat that is not a target, you are actually doing the party more harm than good.

Posted in Op-eds | Tagged , and | 16 Comments

WATCH: Lib Dems replace Party Election Broadcast with personal message from Tim Farron about Manchester

Powerful stuff from Tim Farron tonight. We withdrew our scheduled Party Election Broadcast and replaced it with two and a half minutes of Tim talking about the Manchester attack and how it bringing people together, not creating the division the terrorists want.

He talked about the Manchester he loves and the experience of being at the vigil on Tuesday night.

It was a very heartfelt and moving monologue, an act of solidarity before the election campaign starts again in earnest tomorrow. It’s not going to win us seats, but it is a good thing for our country.

Watch it here. A transcript is below.

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Online Champions – an election initiative from Your Liberal Britain

Those nice people at Your Liberal Britain have already changed the way we do things as a party. Their initiatives  to help us create our vision of what a Liberal Britain could look like have been incorporated into the policy making process.

Now they are turning their hands to a new challenge for the General Election.

When you share something on social media, and it’s been liked by loads of people, have you had a look and seen whether it’s actually been liked or shared by someone who isn’t already a Liberal Democrat?

Social media can be a bit of an echo chamber. That’s why Your Liberal Britain has decided to tackle that to widen the reach of Lib Dem messages.

YLB’s founder Jim Williams told me:

The thinking behind the initiative is that thousands of Lib Dem supporters work hard every day to make the case for the Liberal Democrats online – but all too many struggle to break out of their echo chambers. And they often lack access to the party’s messages, not knowing which topic to best tackle at any one time.

The Online Champions community empowers these activists to break out of their echo chambers and speak directly to voters, not just to their friends.

Posted in Op-eds | Tagged and | 5 Comments

Feeling appreciated

My poor husband doesn’t get a lot in the way of post. It tends to be bills, or adverts for stair lifts or begging letters from the Liberal Democrats.

The latter do not please him so I tend to intercept them so he doesn’t see them. He is of the not entirely unjustified opinion that his household has more than enough disruption because of his wife’s involvement in the party that they don’t need his money as well. The begging letters, 3 issues of Ad Lib a year and an absent wife sum up his membership experience. That and every five …

Posted in Op-eds | Tagged , and | 10 Comments

National campaigning to remain suspended tomorrow – but local campaigning can resume

The party is advising candidates tonight that, while national campaigning remains suspended, local campaigning can resume tomorrow.

The  advice came in an email from Federal Campaigns and Elections Chair James Gurling who said:

 

Further to our advice this morning following the terrorist attack in Manchester, national campaigning will remain suspended tomorrow.

Like other parties we have agreed that local campaigning may resume with due sensitivity and at the discretion of local campaign managers.

We will continue to review the advice given on national and local campaigning.

So, take the lead from your local campaign manager and act accordingly.

Posted in News | Tagged and | 2 Comments
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