Chris Rennard spoke to the Liberal Youth Conference at the weekend. Courtesy of The Libertine here is an extract from his speech:
Party youth groups were always crucial in the key by-elections that I was involved in during the 1980s and later when some of the great by-election wins that I helped to deliver rescued our party and helped it to gain many more parliamentary seats. Active Liberal youth helped to make the difference in many of the seats that we now hold at different levels.
I often talk to sixth form and university groups about young political leaders who inspired me and I say that youth is not a barrier to being anything in our party. People in other countries have been imprisoned, tortured or killed fighting for democracy. Steve Biko was just 27 when he was murdered because of his campaign to bring democracy to South Africa. Martin Luther King was only 25 when he led the march on Washington to demand civil rights enabling black people to vote and he spoke of his dream that one day people would “not be judged by the colour of their skin but by the content of their character“.
* Mary Reid is the Tuesday Editor on Lib Dem Voice.