LDVideo: Liz Leffman: Come and help my campaign to save Oxfordshire’s NHS & bus services

I spent Monday and Tuesday in Witney helping Liz Leffman’s campaign. If it is at all possible for you to go there between now and the by-election  on 20th October, please do so. You will be worked hard – 10,000 steps a day before lunch, I found – but it is so rewarding. We are already out-campaigning both Conservative and Labour parties on the ground and there will be no let up in our activity. We really need to keep ahead of them both.

Liz is an amazing candidate. She combines a passion for the area, an anger against the neglect of the NHS and the scrapping of local bus services and what that means for people’s lives with such authority, serenity and real warmth. It is very early in the campaign for this to be happening, but people stopped us in the street and said they were voting for her – outside her own council ward. In her own council ward, she is hugely popular. She got pretty much two thirds of the vote there in May.

I spent yesterday canvassing in the village of Eynsham with Liz and her team. I was surprised by the warmth of the reception we got on the doorstep. I do feel for the poor people who had come back from a two week holiday and found themselves in the thick of a by-election at full pelt.

The campaign has a really good feel about it so I would strongly urge you to go and help. If you can’t get there physically make phone calls. I don’t like telephone canvassing either. Actually, it’s the thought I don’t like, but once I get started, I’m fine.

It’s worth remembering, too, that the County Council elections are next year and a good result in the by-election could also leave a legacy of a stronger local government base in future years.

Whatever you are able to do you can sign up here and someone from the campaign will be in touch.

Events prevent me from telling you more of my adventures in Witney right now, but they will be coming over the next few days.

However, I’ll leave you with this just now. I sat down with Liz and recorded an interview with her yesterday morning – and she also recorded this video about her campaign priorities and inviting you to go and help. Yes, that’s you she’s talking to.

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

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12 Comments

  • David Evans 28th Sep '16 - 5:36pm

    Caron is right. It has a good feel to it. Get there. Liz needs our help and we need her to succeed. You know it makes sense.

  • @David Evams: I don’t think we have ever agreed so much on anything before – and anything that can unite us must be worth doing!!t

  • An impressive candidate.

  • Sue Sutherland 29th Sep '16 - 12:26pm

    Yes she is David and she also has the human touch. I can’t be active so I gave a donation and she phoned me up herself to thank me. I was flabbergasted!

  • Liberal Neil 29th Sep '16 - 2:58pm

    William – the vast majority of voters are a lot less interested in Brexit just now than people like us are, and a lot of voters in the Witney constituency are more interested in the fact that the local NHS is falling apart at the seams and that the local Tory councils are cutting bus services, children’s centres and elderly care.

    So while our position on the EU is a big part of our campaign, it isn’t the whole of our campaign. We need to win over a lot more than just the ‘hard remainers’ to do well, and many of the people we are targeting will have voted Leave.

  • paul barker 29th Sep '16 - 4:52pm

    @Liberal Neil. What you say is true but voters, quite reasonably, expect more of us political types. The voters will get very interested in Brexit when the solids hit the fan & they will be angry with Parties that didnt warn them, even if they didnt want to be warned at the time. Brexit is only one issue but we need to get our warnings stuck in voters heads for when they do take an interest.

  • I’m not happy with Brexit either William, but it won’t do us any favours to be seen as a single issue party that talks of nothing else.

    Liz knows the area and knows the people, and knows the issues that bother them and she’s quite right to talk about them.

  • Thank you Caron. In the past there have been a number of things where we did not agree, but they are trivial compared to the one area where we wholeheartedly agree; that of the absolutely essential need for our country to have a strong, vibrant and effective Liberal Democrat voice in all aspects of government. In that, winning in Witney has to be our primary objective for the next few weeks.

    Where we do not always agree is on the priority of one liberal cause compared to another, and in particular on whether there was a need for decisive action and a change of leadership to address the continuous decline in our support between 2010 and 2015.

    The former differences will doubtless continue from time to time and so they should in a liberal party, committed to diversity. The latter is largely water under the bridge and whether we needed to do something, but were all too afraid to, or it was inevitable we had to almost destroy Liberal Democracy to save the country is for future generations of Lib Dems to reflect on and learn from.

    Perhaps I will put together an article in future for you, setting out what are the lessons I believe we need to learn, because the one thing that worries me is the almost unanimous view from those at the top of the party that, ‘It was absolutely right to do everything that we did, and so none of it was my fault.’

  • Neil – “the vast majority of voters are a lot less interested in Brexit just now than people like us are”.

    How will it be decided when they are interested enough in Brexit? And if it is a big part of the campaign it isn’t mentioned on the front of the website or as any one of Liz’s three campaigns.

    If it will be so downgraded in a constituency which voted remain what will happen in one which was strongly leave?

  • Hilton Marlton 4th Oct '16 - 11:29am

    Great video. To the point and confident. Model for us all.

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