Lib Dem Stars of 2013 – Day 2

Thanks to everyone who has sent their suggestions for our Lib Dem Stars of 2013 Roll of Honour. There have been quite a few via comments, email and social media. We asked yesterday for you to nominate people who had done amazing work for the Liberal Democrats in 2013. It could be someone who’s delivered zillions of leaflets, or who keeps a Liberal Democrat army marching on its stomach, or a parliamentarian or councillor or campaign manager or conference motion writer, anyone you think has made an outstanding contribution to the party. Keep these suggestions coming in.

Our team have their own suggestions. Today it’s the turn of  Co-Editor Caron Lindsay:

Manchester’s Dave Page gets a nod from me for several reasons. First of all, his blog, Jazz Hands, Serious Businesss always has sensible comments to make on the issues of the day and on internal party stuff. He has also developed LGBT+’s online presence, including making it possible to join online. He’s led the way in developing good practice which other S/AOs can learn from. He and others, most notably Holly Matthies have travelled the length and breadth of the country to make sure there’s an LGBT+ presence at state and regional conferences. It was fabulous to see them in Dundee in March. Also, while many of us were whinging on social media about a horrendous conference motion on tackling internet pornography and its just-as-bad amendment, he took our concerns and made them into a snazzy leaflet for the #talknottech campaign, all from his Glasgow hotel room.

Incoming chair of Glasgow North Sophie Bridger has already made big waves. As by-election candidate for Inverclyde in 2011, she wiped the floor with the Labour candidate in a tv debate. A past president of Liberal Youth Scotland, she has campaigned tirelessly on a range of equality issues, including equal marriage. She is currently the Scottish Party’s Diversity Co-ordinator and is doing lots to make participation much more accessible. She’s helped to develop a new diversity training module which we’ll see in action in early 2014. And she taught Alistair Carmichael to use Google hangouts. That was very funny.

All Liberal Democrat staff work horrendous, unsocial hours and deliver the impossible. Their workloads are immense and we owe them a huge amount of gratitude. It’s kind of hard to pick just one, because they all deserve a special mention. I’m going to, though. Rachael Clarke is the Party’s Membership Experience Manager. Not only that, but she also has to do all the admin work for the Federal Finance and Administration Committee and Federal Executive. As if that wasn’t enough, she has to keep tabs on all the little sub-groups of these bodies. She is efficient, friendly, helpful and has unstinting patience.

Baroness Liz Barker. For this speech in the same sex marriage debate and her painstaking work to make sure the bill got through the Lords.

My Parliamentarian of the year would be someone who has done so much to put forward a liberal case in the face of a Justice Secretary who doesn’t seem to care much for those going through the justice system. Over the past two years, Alison McInnes has been tenaciously making the case for a liberal, fair approach. This year, among other things, she’s campaigned against court closures which were voted through by SNP MSPs who had spoken out against them, she’s put the case for some short-term prisoners to be allowed to vote in the Independence Referendum (sadly, the SNP wouldn’t listen), she’s taken Justice Secretary Kenny MacAskill to task over female prisoners being kept in isolation for unacceptably long periods of time, she’s spoken out against men-only Muirfield being used as the venue for the Open and she’s fighting the SNP’s removal of corroboration, a central tenet of the Scottish legal system. The SNP’s record on justice is illiberal and she’s doing a great job in highlighting where they are going wrong.

I could fill a book with people who have done the party proud this year, but I’d better stop now or I’ll get into trouble (again).


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

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One Comment

  • While not wanting to diminish the writeup of Dave’s work with LGBT+LD, joining online was an option before he joined the exec in the 2007 changeover. It was even an option before I took over the website in 2006…

    That said, do leave the link there, it might encourage people 🙂

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