Lembit to Ros: “I’m with you all the way”

Lembit Opik, the runner-up in the Lib Dem presidential election, has issued this gracious response to the result and explained his plans for the future:

I congratulate Ros for her clear victory. If Barack Obama had employed Ros Scott as his campaign manager, he’d have won by even more than he did! As a seasoned local government campaigner Ros has reflected and represented the needs of the Party. Her insights are things which she can now put into practice. I know she will do her absolute best to achieve exactly this.

Chandila Fernando ‘the Troubleshooter!’ has impressed a huge number of people with his strategic look at what the Party does well and how it could do better. His outspoken mission to introduce a more professional and externally orientated approach is tremendously valuable and we need to see how best to implement his suggestions.

I thank my team for a clear, honest and genuine campaign. We got on with the job of putting forward our proposition, and what we intend to do for the Lib Dems. We kept it positive and we ‘kept it real.’ The best way I can pay you back is by living up to your political expectations as we pursue our inspiring agenda within the Party.

As Ros embarks on her role, she can be assured of one thing: my absolute and unconditional support. She will be President and let me make this clear: I’m in her team now.

Personally, it’s been a hard year, not least because of the death of a very close friend, David Hamer in August. It knocked me back a lot, especially over summer and there’s no point pretending it didn’t. It’s also made me stronger. I feel more centred, more focussed, more ready to contribute in the public square than ever before. So for me this result is a knock back, but it’s not a knock out. I will continue to use my skills to my best ability to push the boundaries, and do what I try to do best – taking politics to people who aren’t political but who do care.

And in this spirit I’ll be working on four areas of policy I feel I have something unique and distinctive to contribute, and on which, since I am not President, I am now free to campaign. These are: promoting serious political engagement in the field of international terrorism, the prescription of hard drugs to recorded addicts, a reassessment of our attitude towards nuclear power and a commitment to positive campaigning. I will also use my profile to engage people in civic society. But no more of this today, because today is not my day. It is the day for the President-elect.

Till January 1st we continue to be guided by President Simon Hughes. He’s a great inspiration to the membership, and a great friend to me personally. You’ve done good mate, and I’m proud to have been your Second in Command.

So now we’ve got President Obama in America, and President Scott in Britain! Democrats are on the move. He’ll make it happen over there. She’ll make it happen over here. And as you do Ros, I’m with you all the way.

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This entry was posted in News and Party Presidency.


  • Grammar Police 9th Nov '08 - 12:44pm

    Is Fernando’s published anywhere?

  • Mark Littlewood 9th Nov '08 - 3:08pm


    There is a monumental thread on all this elsewhere.


    I would say my various answers and explanations run to several thousand words.

    To describe this as “cloak and dagger” is, frankly, unhinged.

  • Mark Littlewood 9th Nov '08 - 5:51pm

    No, Darrell, that is incorrect. If by “your”, you mean Liberal Vision’s.

  • Clegg's Candid Friend 9th Nov '08 - 6:17pm

    Well, the Liberal Vision domain name was certainly registered by the Director of Progressive Vision:

    Domain ID:D154046374-LROR
    Created On:11-Sep-2008 11:20:12 UTC
    Last Updated On:11-Sep-2008 11:20:16 UTC
    Expiration Date:11-Sep-2010 11:20:12 UTC
    Sponsoring Registrar:eNom, Inc. (R39-LROR)
    Registrant ID:207c4f67af6
    Registrant Name:Shane Frith
    Registrant Organization:Progrssive Vision Limited
    [Address and phone number snipped, as they are apparently Shane Frith’s private address and phone number]
    Registrant Email:[email protected]
    [more details snip]

  • Mark Littlewood 9th Nov '08 - 8:12pm

    What on Earth are you people on?

    Liberal Vision is affiliated to Progressive Vision, which includes Conservatives and Independents.

    Shane is the Director of Progressive Vision.

    He registered the website address. He doesn’t, however, run the website. At all. On any basis whatsoever. Zilch editorial control.

    I’m also Chairman on NO2ID, which includes UKIP, Respect and the breakaway Liberal Party amongst its affiliates.

    I pity those who believe we should only ever talk to and work with other LibDem members, I really do.

  • Mark Littlewood 9th Nov '08 - 8:20pm

    There’s nothing loose about the links at all. The detail is all on the Liberal Vision website.

    What’s your problem exactly?

  • James Willis 9th Nov '08 - 8:36pm

    Just to put a Lid on this
    (and to prove we are not bickering and self centred like Torys ) can I suggest we move forward with Ros and encourage her be strong in reprepsenting some home truths to the very top level within our hard working and well meaning party.

    now lets start doing issues to win votes END.

  • Mark Littlewood 9th Nov '08 - 8:37pm

    Well, I guess you have the same problem with LDEG and the European Movement. But we’ve been round this issue a million times.

    It’s all on the link I posted earlier, for anyoen else who shares your particular obsession on this topic.

  • Mark Littlewood 9th Nov '08 - 8:49pm

    Shane registered the website. He doesn’t run it.

    It is editorially controlled by LV.

    Not exactly Watergate, is it.

    I rather agree with James. Darrell, you appear to have an obsession with LV that is not shared by most other people, frankly.

    Time to move on and help Ros be a successful reforming President.

  • Mark Littlewood 9th Nov '08 - 8:59pm

    I just don’t know what “strictly speaking kosher” means in this context.

    It’s tiresome that you seem very interested in structures rather than ideas.

    Mind you, it’s a common feature for those who can’t actually frame a policy argument to simply accuse their opponents of bad faith.

    But, anyway, everything’s in the public domain on PV and LV’s websites.


  • Comrade Littlewood…

    It has come to my attention that you have been consorting with notorious Conservatives, libertarians, and assorted ‘thinking’ types that do not subscribe to Lib Dem Voice and have never delivered any Focus leaflets.

    This behaviour cannot be tolerated.

    The Liberal Democrats are a pure unitary church of the centre-left, into which there is simply no room for ideas that could be construed as ‘non-centre-leftism’… or even ‘economically liberal’… ugh!!!

    I suggest you desist immediately, or I will be forced to call you a Tory and write to your mother about your neo-Cameroonian floppyhairish-deviancy.

    I remain of course committed to the liberal pluralism that has made our party great.

  • Mark Littlewood 9th Nov '08 - 9:03pm



    But my mother is sick of receiving such letters….


  • Clegg's Candid Friend 9th Nov '08 - 9:18pm

    So, just to be clear – Liberal Vision is claimed to be an “internal” party organisation, open only to Lib Dem supporters (though curiously the form labelled “Join as a supporter” on its website has three categories – Lib Dem member, Lib Dem supporter, and “Neither”!).

    But in fact it’s a wholly owned subsidiary of an external body, whose director is a member of the Conservative Party, and who just happens to be the site owner of liberal-vision.org…

  • Mark Littlewood 9th Nov '08 - 9:30pm

    The “neither” category are knocked out of the process.

    PV wholly owns LV in the sense that its responsible for its debts.

    I love the implication that we’re entryists or the secret agents of the Tories. Priceless. (the last thing the Tories want is for us to support the cutting of taxes)

  • Clegg's Candid Friend 9th Nov '08 - 9:35pm

    Surely you can see that if you advertise something as an internal party group, open only to Lib Dem supporters, and it turns out to be owned and funded by an external body, whose director is a member of the Conservative Party, people are bound to be suspicious!

  • Clegg's Candid Friend 2 9th Nov '08 - 9:39pm

    Unclean! Unclean! burn him! burn him!

  • Mark Littlewood 9th Nov '08 - 9:40pm

    Well, it’s possible, I suppose.

    But I think whatever LV does it will come into criticism from the lefties.

    I don’t think anyone seriously thinks we’re agents of the Tories. It’s just a further reflection of how the old-style left has lost/is losing the policy arguments within the party.

  • Clegg's Candid Friend 9th Nov '08 - 9:50pm


    I thought “Left” and “Right” didn’t exist any more?

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