And it’s good-bye from me as LibDemVoice Co-Editor…

Today marks the countdown to my final day as Co-Editor of LibDemVoice. I guess I could say the past seven years and seven months have flown by, but actually it seems like a long, long time since I started here. Tony Blair was prime minister, Ming Campbell was Lib Dem leader, and I was still a councillor.

I think I officially took over as Editor (from the site’s co-founder Rob Fenwick) on 31st May, 2007, though I’d started the Golden Dozen round-up of the best of the Lib Dem blogs a few months earlier.

A couple of years later, once he’d finished being employed by the party, I was joined by the site’s other co-founder Mark Pack and we shared the role of Co-Editor. And then when Mark moved on a couple of years ago, Caron Lindsay joined me. To them I want to say a special thank you, as I’ve learned an awful lot from working alongside each of them. The party is lucky to have two such hard-working and dedicated supporters, who are also such astute critical friends.

But, after 2,746 days, it’s time for me to take a step back. No big dramas why. Simply that, if all goes well, within a few weeks I’ll become a dad for the first time and I want to dedicate my spare time to that. As I put it in an email when telling the rest of the team a couple of months’ ago: “While I’m sure there’s a way of balancing that plus my commute-heavy day-job, plus co-editing LDV, I know I’d be pretty bad at getting that balance right – so something has to give…”

I’m going to fade out gradually over the next few weeks, and, in any case, am still intending to stay semi-involved with LDV by continuing the members’ surveys. And doubtless I won’t be able to resist writing here from time to time.

If you’re missing reading my views (yeah right) I’ll be writing over at my own blog – StephenTall.org – but without feeling quite the same relentless need to keep feeding the insatiable LDV beast seven days a week. blogito ergo sum.

Its been a genuine joy and privilege to (co-)edit the site these past few years. LibDemVoice will, I’m sure, continue to go from strength to strength. It has a fantastic volunteer team which manages to produce an amazingly high-quality output, day in, day out.

We couldn’t, of course, do it without your support, particularly from those who contribute thought-provoking articles. Thank you also to those who express your appreciation for the site; we get plenty of brickbats hurled at us, which the occasional bouquet can more than make up for!

* Stephen was Editor (and Co-Editor) of Liberal Democrat Voice from 2007 to 2015, and writes at The Collected Stephen Tall.

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42 Comments

  • Good Luck Stephen and congratulations for becoming a Father.

    Though I did not always agree with your politics, I for one appreciate all the hard work and commitment that you and others put into running LDV.
    I appreciate the space that it gives me and many others like me who live with debilitating mental health illness’es who feel they do not have a voice in general society.
    LDV has given me something that the rest of society and politics tend to ignore.

    So many thanks to you, All the best for future and I hope you have a Happy Christmas and a prosperous New Year with all the joys of your new family.

    Best Wishes

    Matt

  • Thanks for all the hard work, time and dedication you’ve put into the site, Stephen. The same thanks, of course, goes to all the LDV team.

    Also, my very vest wishes to your family – sure it must be a exciting, though, exhausting time!

  • ‘Simply that, if all goes well, within a few weeks I’ll become a dad for the first time and I want to dedicate my spare time to that.’ Stephen I am laughing sooo much at this sentence! Your ‘spare time’???? Oh my, you’ll be lucky to squeeze in a cup of tea with both hands free darling! xxxxxxxxxxx

  • Jayne Mansfield 5th Dec '14 - 10:27am

    Thank you and best wishes to both , soon to be, parents..

    You are about to find out the meaning of hard work…. and great joy.

    @ Gail Bones,
    You have clearly got the tee shirt!

  • Jayne Mansfield, damn straight!

  • Like Gail Bones and Jayne Mansfield, I smiled too. My own experience of babies and bringing up children coincided with my time initially as the husband of a councillor and then as a councillor myself. In the days before generous allowances for councillors I also did a full-time job. But the reality was that I was a father first and all the rest was fitted into my spare time. Stephen Tall may need to quickly re-assess his definition of “spare time”.

  • Antony Hook Antony Hook 5th Dec '14 - 11:14am

    Well done on all you’ve achieved for LDV and for all that lays ahead for you. Hope to see you soon.

  • Julian Tisi 5th Dec '14 - 11:14am

    Enjoy being a dad – it’s great fun!

  • Sadie Smith 5th Dec '14 - 11:26am

    Enjoy being a parent.
    Disagree some of the time, but LDV has been and will continue to be very useful.

  • Thanks for all you hard effort for LDV – and enjoy being a parent..

  • You will now have the best and most rewarding job in the world

  • Very sorry to hear this – some of the sharpest analysis around on both this site and on ConHome.

    Look forward to the 3am comments from you – may the new arrival be a joy and blessing.

  • Liberal Neil 5th Dec '14 - 11:45am

    Thanks for all your work on this site over the years Stephen.

    I do hope all goes well with the birth, and I share Gail’s glee at the idea you will have any spare time, ever 🙂

    And I say that as someone who didn’t get many hours sleep last night myself due to a little one who appeared to have a bad dream involving Vikings and her Peppa Pig boots at about 2.30 am this morning 😉

  • Mark Blackburn 5th Dec '14 - 12:28pm

    Well Stephen, I certainly agreed with you on the Vince vs Danny issue! Wishing you a very happy and healthy family life.

  • Eddie Sammon 5th Dec '14 - 12:36pm

    Thanks and good look Stephen. I’ll try to send a small private email to LDV when I find the time. I had been planning a present for you all, but I’ve not got around to it and some public disputes with the editorial team has put me off.

    Hopefully others will take up your emphasis on free speech.

  • Congrats Stephen and thanks for all your hard work!

  • A real shame you’re standing down – but for one of the very best of reasons!

  • Alex Sabine 5th Dec '14 - 2:22pm

    Seven and a half years is a pretty good stint, so I reckon you’ve earned your ‘retirement’! I think I discovered the site in 2006 or 2007 (possibly via your old blog site, Stephen, the whimsically named ‘A Liberal Goes A Long Way’) and it has consistently been a stimulating, informative and lively read. Even when I have (not infrequently) disagreed with contributors or commenters – both during and after my period of party membership – by and large I’ve found it a refreshingly civilised forum bubbling with ideas and a genuine passion for politics and policy. Long may it continue that way.

    So a big thank you, Stephen, for your hard work and initiative in running the site and shaping the editorial content. I edited a website myself for several years (nothing to do with politics, a leading Formula 1 website as it happens) and I know exactly what you mean about ‘feeding the insatiable beast’!

    I’ve always found your own contributions on the Lib Dems, education policy, immigration, economic policy and the wider landscape of UK politics to be insightful, fair-minded and pithily written. Your grasp of psephology is infinitely superior to mine so I look forward to reading your analysis over the election period.

    Best of luck in your future endeavours and, above all, enjoy fatherhood!

  • David Faggiani 5th Dec '14 - 2:49pm

    Congratulations in advance, best of luck!

  • Jayne Mansfield 5th Dec '14 - 2:56pm

    He’ll be back.

    There is nothing like bringing a new life in the world or see one’s own children bring new life into the world, to sharpen one’s desire to make the world a better place in whatever way one can. Politics has the power to do this on a grand scale.

    I look forward to Stephen’s promised future ( bleary- eyed) contributions.

  • Caron Lindsay Caron Lindsay 5th Dec '14 - 4:16pm

    I am a cocktail of mixed emotions. Sad to be losing such a brilliant co-editor. who is one of the most credible political commentators in the country, delighted for Stephen and his partner and glad that he’s staying on as part of the LDV family.

    Thanks for everything, Stephen – wise words on the site and behind the scenes. It’s a huge amount of hard work, over almost 3000 days.

    Caron

  • I, too, LOLed at the “spare time” comment.
    Hope mini-Tall will enter the world healthy and happy 🙂

  • Congratulations from me too to Steven from a somewhat peripheral user. Enjoy parenthood. It can be combined with other activity as Joye and I found when she was mayor of Cambridge. Then come the joys of grandparenthood….

  • You’re doing the right thing. I was running an award-winning website at the time my first was born, but soon realised that dropping it was a no-brainer. The website, I mean. I have disagreed with you often but your posts are always thought-provoking and very well-written, so I’m glad you’ll continue contributing. All the best.

  • Leekliberal 5th Dec '14 - 7:29pm

    Goodbye Stephen. For me you always passed the acid test of good journalism. While I knew where you stood on the Lib Dem spectrum – not where I do, you viewed facts as sacred. Many thanks for your bloody hard work on our behalf!

  • Good luck, Stephen!

  • Enjoy being a dad, I’m sure it will be great. Well done.

  • Tsar Nicolas 6th Dec '14 - 11:27am

    Look, I’ve been accused of being a conspiracy theorist, but isn’t this just a cover story for slipping out of the country to avoid that embarrassing streak down Whitehall next year?

  • Tsar Nicolas 6th Dec '14 - 11:28am

    “Guido Fawkes 6th Dec ’14 – 11:15am

    Congratulations Stephen. And I don’t think it is good bye for ever…”

    In which case it’s au revoir, but your boss doesn’t like French, does he?

  • Denis Loretto 6th Dec '14 - 3:54pm

    Good luck and thanks for everything, Stephen.

  • martin hunt 6th Dec '14 - 11:23pm

    Very best wishes

  • Matt Wardman 7th Dec '14 - 11:13am

    Congratukations on lasting this list long Stephen and all the best.

    Voluntarily during a group site is a biiiigggg job.

    Have you found some replacements?

    Matt Wardman

  • Helen Tedcastle 7th Dec '14 - 1:20pm

    Good luck Stephen in your soon – to – be new role as a dad. Even though I don’t always agree with your political positions, I think you have done a great job as co-editor and brought some important issues to our attention.

    All the best.

  • Of course, if we had a proper Land Value Tax your commute might be shorter and LDV not be deprived of your services 🙂 There, had to get that in! I understood the “spare time” comment, even if the parents amongst us didn’t quite 🙂

  • Gemma Roulston 10th Dec '14 - 1:33pm

    Congratulations on the 7 years of work that you have put into LDV.
    Congratulations also on the new arrival, just in time for Christmas.
    Enjoy the parenthood. You should be proud of what you have done, and how LDV has worked.

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