Tag Archives: trevor jones

RIP Pratap Chitnis

In memory of Pratap Chitnis, we reproduce below Mark Pack’s tribute to an unjustly forgotten Liberal Hero. The Guardian’s obituary is here.

Pratap (later Lord) Chitnis was the post-war Liberal Party’s first grassroots campaigning mastermind, whose pioneering activities laid the groundwork for the later work of better known people such as Trevor Jones and Chris Rennard.

Born in 1936 to a family with a history of Liberal politics (his grandfather stood and lost in 1906), he was inspired by Jo Grimond to join the Liberal Party himself in 1958. Chitnis first worked in the National Liberal Club’s library and then …

Posted in News | Also tagged , , , , and | 4 Comments

Chris Rennard writes… Marking the great Sutton and Cheam by-election victory with Sir Trevor Jones

Just over forty years ago, the Liberal Party was on 8.5% in the polls. The chair of the London Young Liberals, Graham Tope, was the party’s candidate for the Sutton and Cheam parliamentary by-election. Few people believed that a Liberal win was possible.  We had come third in 1970, some 17,000 votes behind the Conservatives.

Some people prominent in the national party were dismissive of the ‘community politics’ campaign that was brought to the by-election by a Liverpool Councillor called Trevor Jones.  Possibly the first ‘Focus’ leaflets outside Liverpool were produced for that by-election promoting the local Liberal campaigning led by …

Posted in News | Also tagged , , and | 2 Comments

Forgotten Liberal heroes: Pratap Chitnis

Listen to Liberal Democrats make speeches and there are frequent references to historical figures, but drawn from a small cast. Just the quartet of John Stuart Mill, William Gladstone, David Lloyd George, David Penhaligon corner almost all of the market, especially since Bob Maclennan stopped making speeches to party conference. Some of the forgotten figures deserve their obscurity but others do not. Charles James Fox’s defence of civil liberties against a dominating government during wartime or Earl Grey’s leading of the party back into power and major constitutional reform are good examples of mostly forgotten figures who could

Posted in Op-eds | Also tagged , , , , and | 1 Comment

Recent Comments

  • User AvatarMark Goodrich 27th Oct - 7:35am
    @Ethics gradient - You are quite right that the constant refrain of Leave was the "bespoke" model. "Bespoke" in this context meant having cake and...
  • User AvatarMark Goodrich 27th Oct - 7:26am
    The idea that "soft" Brexit is a code for "no" Brexit by Remainers is cobblers. Most of use would much rather Remain and, ultimately, I...
  • User AvatarManfarang 27th Oct - 4:19am
    Hitler with the 1936 Olympics made the Olympics the great show it is today. In later years the East Germans were great Olympic medal winners....
  • User AvatarConor McGovern 27th Oct - 3:51am
    Eddie Sammon's completely right - when Parliament want to subvert the aims of the majority in a referendum, does it really hold the democratic high...
  • User AvatarGlenn 27th Oct - 3:39am
    People over complicate the freedom of movement argument. Freedom of movement is not the same thing as the right to reside permanently in the UK...
  • User AvatarTonyJ 27th Oct - 2:58am
    The fact that Labour have no clear position on this issue is extraordinary. I listened to their Transport spokesman in parliament the other day, and...