Lembit reveals all to the Mail (Part II)

After a year of reading about himself in the press, Lib Dem MP Lembit Opik has decided to open up to the Daily Mail about last year’s annus horribilis by writing an exclusive two-part feature article. The first part focused on Lembit’s relationship with Gabriela Irimia; the second part recounts their split-up, his unsuccessful bid for the party presidency, and how the year ended with Lembit beginning to discover himself – here’s an excerpt:

As 2008 passed into 2009, everything went quiet. Work returned to its weekly rhythm. The photos of lost loves faded from the pages of the Press – I guess my story didn’t sell papers any more. But if last year’s deluge of personal disasters had been the whole story of my 2008, I probably wouldn’t have made it through. As my world fell apart, something else had come together – something so profound I’m still trying to make sense of it. At the height of the storm, I had what I can only call a ‘religious experience’. It’s hard to describe, but it was an actual event, one

Friday afternoon. I sensed it physically and psychologically, like a big wind rushing through me. Maybe it sounds a bit mad. But it came with an unrelenting energy, as real as an electric current. If you’ve never had this experience yourself, it may sound implausible. But others will know exactly what I mean. This was the beginning of my renewal. From then on ‘it’ was just there, with me. It did nothing to remove the angst and despair that surrounded me most of the time.

But inside, something revitalising had begun its work in my psyche. I had no doubt it had to do with faith – and God. That momentous connection with some kind of Holy Spirit moved me to visit the people at Hope Community Church in Newtown, a remarkable evangelical church in the heart of Wales. Their welcome was neither judgmental nor threatening. I shared my experience before the congregation. I felt amazed to find sanctuary from the storm.

This epiphany did not make everything fine. But in my bleakest hours, I no longer felt alone. I had always harboured a personal faith but now this had become explicit, clear and compelling. There will be some who may ridicule this as a self-induced psychological reaction, or even a lie. But it is this firm sense of faith that gives me the confidence to share what happened with you now.

To read the full story, click here.

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15 Comments

  • Frankly – Who cares!?

  • Pass the sick bag purleease…

  • David Allen 9th Feb '09 - 6:17pm

    I found God – but then He gave me the slip….

  • Oh dear, oh no, oh … Lord!

    Lembit – how am I supposed to stick up for you on this forum now?

  • Martin Land 9th Feb '09 - 8:02pm

    I’m usually a fan of Lembit’s but ‘troublesome priest’ comes to mind…

  • I think you’re all being a bit harsh. I’m not Lembit’s greatest fan, but he’s clearly had a tough year and if this is how he wants to unburden himself, fair enough.

  • David Morton 9th Feb '09 - 10:27pm

    I think people are being very harsh. What are we always taught on media training ? Which news paper has the biggest LD readership ? The Daily Mail.

    There are three advantages to this sort of coverage.

    1. Control. You trade exclusivity of revelation for a generally sympathetic style which is what he gets.

    2. Drawing a line. He dollops the lot out but its actually a clever article in the subtext is “I’ve been away and I’m back now”

    3. All politics is local. Numerious mentions of wales, constituiency work etc. he’s running again, knows he may be in a bit of trouble so is emphasing his comitment to the seat. Despite some metropolitan sneering i doubt an evangelical religious experience will harm him in wales either.

    To mix metaphors he takes out the trash in his own words and puts him self back in the game.

    And he’ll have trousered a nice fee to spend on direct mail as well.

    Altogether much cleverer than many detractors will admit.

  • I realise many of the posters here are obsessive secularists, but for those with slightly less closed minds, why shouldn’t a Lib Dem MP have a religious experience – or even talk about it in the press?

    Even viewed from the most cynical angle, it’s rather more dignified than the endless tittle-tattle about his love life …

  • Mr Robinson with regards to Mr Lembit being so sorry for himself on Aug 6th 2008 ask him why he was enjoying himself on the QE2 on Aug 12th/ 22nd 2008 on cruise around the Med and dancing the night away with a woman on his armand really enjoying himself what you might call living it up goodstyle.

  • Anonymous, your (I assume deliberately provocative) claim that those us who believe that religion should not exercise power through the state suffer “closed minds” is absurd.

  • Absolutely fine with this. Glad to hear that he feels to have found some fulfillment.

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