AD LIB preview – August 2013: bringing communities together, campaigning success and bringing up children in Parliament

AD LiB August 2013It’s been a few months since I’ve reviewed an AD LIB. Partly that’s because I’ve never got round to doing it, although there was one month, June, I think it was, when I almost spontaneously combusted while reading it on a train. If the dominance of articles about men wasn’t bad enough, the photographs were even worse. I counted something like 26 photographs of men to 10 containing any women at all.

And then there was the recipe. A whole crayfish and a whole lobster? Do they think we’re made of money? And apart from anything else, there was no instruction on how to deal with these creatures. I am not an expert in shellfish anatomy and I have no idea what bits are safe to eat and how you find those that aren’t.

Generally, though, AD LIB is very good. Frankly, it’s worth it for Helen Duffett’s interviews alone. I love the little glimpses she gives into life behind the scenes in the corridors of power.

This month, it’s Jenny Willott who comes under the spotlight. It hadn’t dawned on me that she’s the only Liberal Democrat MP to give birth while in office. There’s an Alistair Carmichael story that will delight and amuse, an insight into the realities of persuading often reluctant Liberal Democrat MPs to vote a particular way and an explanation of her support for the No to Page 3 campaign. It’s my favourite feature in AD LIB so far.

By the time I’d got to that, though, I was already in a good place. It’s impossible not to smile when you read Neil Fawcett and Christine Jardine on their recent by-elections and Stace Williams on the general awesomeness of the Liberal Youth campaigning machine.  A report from the Local Government conference and a debate on cycle helmets give food for thought.

I was also intrigued to see an advert for  the post of  Pastoral Care Officer, as recommended by the Morrissey Report advertised. Morrissey was clear that the person in this role should have “no other connection with the party” so advertising it in a publication that goes mainly to members is probably a bit of a waste of time.

A feature on three Liberal Democrat councillors in Hackney, 2 Jewish, 1 Muslim and how they have created links between communities that provide “friendship and protection” is a model of how life should be is particularly relevant in the wake of the hatred we have seen of late.

All this, and Kavya Kaushik turns that most liberal of ingredients, the lentil, into a sumptuous, spicy delight.

This issue shows me that AD LIB is really getting into its stride now, providing a mix of information, insight and humour that has something for everyone. You can subscribe here.

* Caron Lindsay is Editor of Liberal Democrat Voice and blogs at Caron's Musings

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