Tag Archives: paddy ashdown

LDVideo: Paddy: Don’t let other people determine your future

In a video for the European Movement, of which he is President, Paddy Ashdown urges people to make sure they vote, and vote Remain tomorrow.

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Paddy: Pooling sovereignty with our friends does not diminish our sovereignty, it increases it

Yesterday, Paddy Ashdown made a speech about Britain’s place in the world. You can watch it here. He tells a story at the very end, that’s quite chilling, about the hideously barbaric human rights abuses in the Balkans and his first meeting with war criminal Radovan Karadzic.

Here’s the text:

A senior German Minister said to me the other day “Whenever I sit down in a room to negotiate with my British colleagues in a European meeting, their first question is always the same – which way to the Exit? You Brits spend so much time trying to find the way out, that you never have the time to build the alliances which are there to be built, to succeed. But now I realise, you would rather go, then win.”

Exactly so!

Canning and Castlereagh would be spinning in their graves.

A couple of weeks ago, I heard Liam Fox on Newsnight go one further. I think I quote him precisely, for I wrote it down at the time: “If we leave, we will bring the EU to its senses”.

Leaving aside the unreality of that statement – as though, the morning after a Brexit vote, millions of European citizens would sit up startled in their beds and say to themselves “Oh heavens! the Brits have left. Now we must come to our senses”.

Leaving aside, the age-old British arrogance about our place in Europe, which lies behind that statement.

Leaving aside also what it tells us of the attitude of senior Brexiteer Tories in this Government, to negotiations with their European partners.

Leaving all these things aside, as an expression of the isolationist mind set of the Brexiteers Dr Fox’s belief that “if we leave the Europeans will come to their senses” must rank alongside the famous Times headline – “fog in Channel, Continent isolated” -.

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Tim Farron and Paddy Ashdown pay eloquent tribute to David Rendel

On BBC Radio Berkshire’s Andrew Peach show this morning there was a great tribute to David Rendel. Andrew Peach said some touching words about the many times he interviewed David. He then played a superb clip of David in full “fighting form” defending the Newbury by-pass at its 20th anniversary in January. Then Tim and Paddy came on the line and paid superb, eloquent tributes to David.

It really is a great 15 minutes of radio. You can listen to it here on BBC iPlayer at 1′ 17″.

Posted in Obituaries | Also tagged and | 1 Comment

David Rendel 1949-2016

David Rendel on Newbury Town Hall steps - Some rights reserved  by Martin TodAs we reported earlier, former Liberal Democrat MP David Rendel has died aged 67.

David was born in 1949 in Athens, Greece. His father was a foreign correspondent for The Times, and he was a great-grandson of civil engineer Sir Alexander Meadows Rendel, and a great-great-nephew of Liberal MP Stuart Rendel, the first Baron Rendel, a benefactor of William Gladstone, as noted in Roy Jenkins’ book “Gladstone: A Biography”.

David was educated first at Horris Hill school, Newtown, Hampshire, and then as a scholar at Eton College. He spent 14 months as a volunteer teacher in Cameroon and Uganda with Voluntary Service Overseas. Afterwards he went to Magdalen College and St Cross College, Oxford where he gained a degree in Physics and Philosophy and rowed in the record-breaking Boat Race crew of 1974.

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Tim Farron and Paddy Ashdown pay tribute to David Rendel

David Rendel on Newbury Town Hall steps - Some rights reserved  by Martin TodPaying tribute to David Rendel, former Liberal Democrat MP for Newbury who passed away last night, Liberal Democrat leader Tim Farron said:

I am hugely saddened by the loss of David Rendel. He was a committed, selfless individual who I will remember particularly for his unyielding campaigning over so many years. I will miss him.

He won a stunning by-election victory in Newbury where he and his team showed the Liberal Democrats had the fight and passion to deliver a fantastic result in a challenging political climate. It was inspirational then, and is inspirational today as Liberal Democrats fight to rebuild.

His continuing work with the party, standing again as a candidate in the 2010 and 2015 elections, and serving on the party’s Federal Executive typified the resilience, commitment and resolve with which he approached politics.

He was a friend and colleague who I know will be sorely missed by his friends, family and the party.

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Under Hitler, Europeans were killing each other; now they are arguing over Eurovision

 

Tim Farron has strongly condemned Boris Johnson’s extraordinary comparison of the EU with Hitler.

Tim said:

Under Hitler, Europeans were killing each other, now they are arguing over Eurovision.

The European Union is what happens when countries seek to learn from the past and work together. Boris Johnson’s latest intervention is what happens when people refuse to learn the lessons of the past and seek to spread discord by inventing conspiracies.

The EU has helped secure peace; Hitler destroyed peace and killed millions of innocent people. It is extraordinary that anyone even needs to point this out to him.

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Let’s express the passionate commitment of our united party

‘Divided parties don’t win elections.’ Those were the words of newly-elected London mayor Sadiq Khan, recorded in Saturday’s Guardian (14.05), asking his Labour Party for unity. Of course, if true the saying should equally apply to today’s Conservative Party, with its bitter infighting even at Cabinet level. Liberal Democrats can offer a saying arguably more telling – ‘A small party can help a divided major party form a governing coalition.’ A year after the Coalition Government ended, the road to 2020 may lie wide open.

We are a small party now, but we are not a minor party. Unlike other small parties we have many hundreds of councillors in England, with 45 more elected this month as our Fightback kicks in, and we have a voice and an impact beyond our eight MPs and our cohorts in the House of Lords. Liberalism has a proud history of almost 170 years of progressive service to the British people, reaching its latest peak with five years of shared power within the Coalition.

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  • User AvatarDavid-1 29th Jun - 3:46am
    Let me just remind everyone that, thanks to the Liberal Democrats, at least 434 MPs are required to vote to dissolve Parliament before the country...
  • User AvatarDavid-1 29th Jun - 2:44am
    "There are some Constitutional lawyers saying that MP’s must now vote on whether to accept the outcome of the referendum." Yes, but these are just...
  • User AvatarDavid-1 29th Jun - 1:24am
    @Alex Macfie: I agree, though for somewhat different reasons. I think it would be better for Parliament to stay out of the matter, for two...
  • User AvatarLorenzo Cherin 29th Jun - 1:11am
    David I do not get your point as the issues are so different. I am a moderate on the issue of the EU, but would...
  • User AvatarDavid-1 29th Jun - 1:09am
    @Leave EU: Perhaps then you'd like to join the Liberal Democrats in advocating for a fairer, more proportional electoral system, in which those millions of...
  • User AvatarDavid Allen 28th Jun - 11:56pm
    “No one in the LEAVE campaign has suggested that EU people already living and working in the Uk would lose any rights to continue to...