Big beasts

A press release from the Liberal Democrats today announces that ‘Big beasts return to Lib Dem front line as Farron announces election campaign team‘.

I’m not sure whether Jo Swinson, Vince Cable and Ed Davey like being referred to as beasts – what sort might they be?

But here is the full list of the new General Election Campaign Team:

Leader Tim Farron
President Baroness Sal Brinton
Chancellor Vince Cable
Foreign Affairs Tom Brake
Defence Baroness Judith Jolly
Europe; International Trade Nick Clegg
Europe Baroness Sarah Ludford
Home Affairs Lord Brian Paddick
Health Norman Lamb
Education Sarah Olney
Work and Pensions Baroness Cathy Bakewell
Business Baroness Susan Kramer
Energy and Climate Change Lynne Featherstone
Local Government Baroness Kath Pinnock
Transport Baroness Jenny Randerson
Environment and Rural Affairs Baroness Kate Parminter
International Development Baroness Shas Sheehan
Culture Media and Sport Baroness Jane Bonham-Carter
Equalities Baroness Lorely Burt
Northern Ireland Baroness Alison Suttie
Young People Daisy Cooper
Europe/ALDE Liaison Catherine Bearder MEP
London Caroline Pidgeon MLA
Justice Lord Jonathan Marks
Refugees Amna Ahmad
First Secretary of State Alistair Carmichael
Election Campaign Spokesperson Ed Davey
Election Campaign Spokesperson Eluned Parrott
Election Campaign Spokesperson Jo Swinson
Leader of the Welsh Liberal Democrats Mark Williams
Cabinet Secretary for Education in Wales Kirsty Williams AM
Leader of the Scottish Liberal Democrats Willie Rennie
Leader in the House of Lords Lord Dick Newby
Chief Whip in the House of Lords Ben Stoneham

* Mary Reid is a contributing editor on Lib Dem Voice. She was a councillor in Kingston upon Thames, where she is still very active with the local party, and is the Hon President of Kingston Lib Dems.

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  • After todays “Cable” news about supporting Labour this press release is most unfortunate. We seem to be extreemely good at causing ourself major problems. The Conservatives must be laughing all the way to the ballot box.
    What is the candidate for Twickenham doing about retracting?

  • I heard Sarah Olney on Any Questions, last Friday. She cut Nigel Farage down in short order. Very impressive.

  • Bernard Aris 8th May '17 - 3:13pm

    @ theakes

    stop following “Tweety Bird facing Sylvester the Cat”-like Tory frames about what is happening in the election campaign!
    That this kind of thing should happen was always in the cards; The Economist (Print edition) talked about such manoeuvres (and the “Progressive Coalition”-option) two or three weeks ago.
    If you win with around 40% and the start whining about what parties scoring 27 and 18% do, you have NOT got a thick skin (what about the bluster of May and her team being hardnosed and tough nuts?).
    And remember, in 1997 just such a coalitition between Blair and Ashdown helped British politics as a whole get rid of corrupt and loudmouth Tories like the Hamiltons! Good riddance that was!
    I agree that Corbyns political character makes formal deals like in 1997 unwise ( and he would not be seen dead with us, he admires dictator Chavez and Mélenchon too much) ; but being pragmatic in your constituency should not be dismissed…

  • Alan Depauw 8th May '17 - 3:18pm

    Big Beasts, Heavyweights, or both? In any case, it’s an impressive list. It’s a shame Danny Alexander is not included. Now that he has a senior banking job, is he completely out of politics?

    @theakes: I agree that Vince Cable’s reported comments are a worry. It should surely be inconceivable to back someone on Corbyn’s front bench however like-minded they may appear to be. And is there really no chance of the Lib Dems performing well in Ealing, given they did so in 2010?

  • Yeovil Yokel 8th May '17 - 3:51pm

    Bernard Aris – I agree, I’m currently in SE Asia and following the GE campaign on LDV and the Beeb News website, and VC’s comments merited only a tiny mention. What he said seems quite pragmatic to me and does not contradict Tim’s firm assertion that there will be no formal alliances between parties. The Tories and their press friends will make a fuss about anything they can, warranted or not, and this election will not be suitable for those of a nervous disposition.

  • Brighton Pav voter 8th May '17 - 3:53pm

    21 women and only 13 men. Not very balanced

  • Yeovil Yokel 8th May '17 - 4:02pm

    …….oh, and Vive la France by the way!!

  • Bill le Breton 8th May '17 - 5:52pm

    How very strange – a General Election Campaign Team with no campaigners.

  • Martin Land 8th May '17 - 6:06pm

    Not so strange, Bill. It was ever thus.

  • Bill le Breton 8th May '17 - 6:36pm

    True, Martin : Whigs and Radicals

  • Tony Greaves 8th May '17 - 6:54pm

    Kath Pinnock is a campaigner. Some others too. But I don’t understand the purpose of this list, I must say.

  • Tony,
    For those less familiar with who’s who in the party hierarchy the list does shed light on where influence lies and perhaps why David Ward was summarily dismissed as Bradford East candidate at the behest of Eric Pickles.

  • Only in febrile Tory land do Vince’s comments get analysed to death and beyond. And in any case a bit of pragmatism from Vince is fine with me.

    Now, are we going to stand down and support the GP in SW Surrey. It’s a big call because we would otherwise be the opposition, but if she would be prepared to liaise with our whips I would say yes.

  • I saw some people try to get excited on social media about what Vince said, but most of the reaction seemed to be along the lines of “seems reasonable to me” and that the top secret plotting was in fact a public meeting! I’m sure Tory HQ will hope that it will upset people, but most of the outrage is put on by people who would never vote for us.

    As firm proponents of electoral reform, we know the current system is broken, and our supporters used to compromising.

    @John. If I had my way, we’d stand down for the GP against Hunt. Hunt’s seat should be safe, and he had well over 50% of the vote last time, but the attention of a single independent opponent could shift the balance, or at the very least have him sweating and keep the Tory’s very poor record on health under scrutiny.

  • Ruth Bright 8th May '17 - 8:19pm

    What Bill – not a single one of them?

  • Is there such a thing as a ‘Little Beast’?? 8=o

  • Last Thursday, I turned up at my polling-station and discovered, to my great annoyance, that there was no Liberal Democrat candidate. I had two choices: spoil my paper or vote Labour. So I voted Labour knowing that the sitting Labour County councillor had defeated a Tory by a narrow margin four years previously. Does that make me a bad Liberal Democrat or a good citizen? If more had done the same, perhaps that Labour man would have held his seat. Labour, even hard Labour, is preferable to the the Tory Mammonite megalomania that is on offer at this election.

  • Bernard Aris 8th May '17 - 11:55pm

    @ Sesewnco

    1) Walk to your bookshelves,
    2) look up the part where you store LibDem stuff,
    3) take out a Liberator Songbook from any edition (from the Conferenes’ Glee Club) and
    4) look up the song “Losing Deposits”..

    At least now you live in a time that you get informed to which party or grouping a candidate belongs…


  • Denis Loretto 9th May '17 - 12:37pm

    Apropos Vince Cable’s comment, there is a world of difference between parties making arrangements or suggesting coalitions on one hand (definitely ruled out by the Lib Dems) and on the other hand individual voters deciding to vote tactically in specific constituencies. Is it not a part of many of our own local campaigns to ask voters to recognise that their first choice has no chance of victory and they should therefore support us? This sort of decision is an inevitable consequence of our ridiculous first past the post voting system. The sooner it is reformed the better.

  • Bill le Breton 9th May '17 - 1:12pm

    Ian, yes, but where have we won, that is to say, gained and not squandered in London since 1997? [Sarah O does look a natural, however]

    Jones the vote for Tope, Williams, Tope himself, Razzall, Chegwyn for Simon, a person for many more who if I name I’ll be modded, oh and another from Kingston who’ll get me blocked, and Davey before he joined the cabinet and Hitchens what a collosal feat winning Islington was … Islington. These were the campaigners who got scores of people elected. Placed Liberalism and Liberal Democracy in control against all the odds.

    And that’s only London.

    They’d run a fearsome war-room that lot. And Crosby & Co and Milne couldn’t live with them.

    There are probably one or three decent campaigners working in the engine room and having to doff their hat and pull their forelock – but none of them allowed a hand on the tiller of strategy.

    We’ve under-performed and gone backwards since 2008.

    That is not a co-incidence?

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