After last week’s success, thinking of absent friends…

Richard Gadsden tweeted last Friday:

That’s a sentiment most of us can agree with.

I’m particularly thinking also of David Rendel. Here in West Berkshire last week, we saw our representation on West Berkshire Council almost quadrupled, with three Green party members elected. We also regained control of the town councils in Newbury and Thatcham, winning 34 seats, with the Greens having three and the Tories left with only four. The Tories had 32 seats on both councils combined before last Thursday. How the mighty hath fallen! I know that David Rendel would have been thrilled by this. Indeed, he would have worn out another pair of shoes in the campaign. It is such a shame that he is not here to see it and be part of it.

Please use the comments fields for any thoughts on “absent friends” which you would like to share.

David Rendel 1949 – 2016

Charles Kennedy 1959 – 2015

Paddy Ashdown 1941 – 2018

Photo of Charles Kennedy is by Liberal Democrats, Flickr CCL. Some rights reserved. Credit to Alex Folkes/Fishnik Photography
Photo of Paddy Ashdown is by Helen Duffett, Flickr CCL Some rights reserved.

* Paul Walter is a Liberal Democrat activist. He is one of the Liberal Democrat Voice team. He blogs at Liberal Burblings.

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This entry was posted in Op-eds.


  • David Becket 6th May '19 - 3:34pm

    It was through David that I was elected to Berkshire County Council in 1993 for a very safe Tory Division. It is particularly pleasing to see that, as a result of West Berks Lib Dems working with Greens, the Tories have been thrown out of part of my old patch. David would have been proud.

  • Very nice post, thanks for writing this Paul.

    There have been quite a lot of comments on the local news programmes etc which I watched on iplayer about Somerset being “Paddy country” and Lib Dems working hard in his memory and people voting because of him there this time.

    I had a lot of time for David Rendel and voted for him in the leadership contest. I was active in Winchester in 97 and was impressed that he came without fuss to deliver leaflets very early on in the by-election. Clearly he helped lay down incredibly strong roots for the Lib Dems in West Berkshire from what you say, Paul.

    And of course many were inspired by Charles Kennedy’s leadership over the Iraq War to join the Lib Dems and many of those were no doubt working hard for the Lib Dems last Thursday.

    We all have unfortunately a very short time on this planet but what we do lays down roots that others build upon and means something of us lives on.

    So go and do something amazing tomorrow! Pick up a bit of litter. Deliver a thank you focus. Recruit a new member. Start a campaign. Do a random act of kindness. It will be your immortality!

  • I was talking about Charles Kennedy when I was telling with a lovely Labour guy on Thursday. I joined originally when he was leader and I’m definitely on that wing of the party. He inspired me to take baby steps into politics. We elected three new libdem councillors in my ward, one only 21 years old. Raising a cup of coffee to Charles going to Westminster at 23.

  • Here in South Somerset DC we won every seat in Yeovil itself, unseating all Tories and gaining 12 seats in total across the district. This was an amazing effort and achievement given that the most recent election (GE 2017) saw the Tories get twice as many votes as Lib Dems in the Yeovil constituency.

  • Matthew Huntbach 7th May '19 - 4:15am

    Michael 1

    And of course many were inspired by Charles Kennedyā€™s leadership over the Iraq War to join the Lib Dems and many of those were no doubt working hard for the Lib Dems last Thursday

    Actually Charles Kennedy did not take leadership over the Iraq War. It was the party’s democratic decision to oppose the Iraq War, and Charles Kennedy had to be persuaded by party members to be active on this aspect.

  • Richard Underhill 7th May '19 - 11:16am

    While serving in the army in Northern Ireland Paddy Ashdown knocked on the door of the local commander of the Provisional IRA.
    This was courageous, unauthorised and earned him a reprimand.
    In Sarajevo he did not wear a flak-jacket because others with him did not have access to them.

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