Liberal Democrat Voice Roll of Honour 2013 – Part 1

We wanted to honour those Liberal Democrats that our readers felt were true stars of 2013. Over the past few days, we have sought out  nominations and now have a rather impressive list that we’ll be publishing in instalments during this week. Here is the first part. Their names come with the comments made about the contribution they have made. Some are parliamentarians, some are councillors, most are grassroots activists. Let’s celebrate them and the many others who are fighting for Liberal Democrat values and victory. These are our Liberal Democrat stars of 2013.

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.

Cllr Stuart Bray

For his work as leader of Hinckley and Bosworth Council

Sophie Bridger

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.

Prateek Buch

For work with the Social Liberal Forum

Vince Cable

The media narrative is that Vince has had a bad year. Victory in the Eastleigh by-election secured Nick’s leadership of the party while Vince’s half-hearted backing of the official line on the economy at this year’s conference weakened his standing. As ever, there’s good reason to doubt the media presumption. The row in Glasgow was as much about tactics as policy: Nick was determined to face down his critics even at the risk of losing the vote; Vince saw no reason to manufacture a showdown for the sake of it. If anything happened to Nick this side of the 2015 election, Vince would become leader. He remains a vital voice for the party and for liberalism more generally. It is Vince who has continued to highlight the need for re-balanced economic growth, one experienced by all regions in the UK, not just London and the South-East. It is Vince who has pointed out the dangers of George Osborne’s “Help to Buy (Votes)” sub-prime mortgage scheme, stoking government-subsidised demand for housing whole doing nothing to ease its supply. And it is Vince who has continued to take the battle to the Conservatives’ over their never-ending immigration crackdowns, fighting the good liberal fight for free trade and free movement of people.

Alisdair Calder McGregor

For breathing new life into our local party.

Rachael Clarke

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 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.

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  • LOL possibly McGregor should be under M rather than C if I’ve divined the organisation correctly 😉

    You could always put him in again under M, OfC 😉

  • Caron Lindsay Caron Lindsay 5th Jan '14 - 4:08pm

    Point taken, but I’m not inclined to re-order now, to be honest:-).

  • Simon McGrath 5th Jan '14 - 6:45pm

    @geoffrey – there was a robust debate at Glasgow. The party voted to keep supporting the (increasingly successful) economic policy of the Lib Dems in Coalition.

  • Kelly-Marie Blundell 5th Jan '14 - 7:15pm

    The party also voted to support a robust and independent programme of economic policy post coalition, thanks to the SLF successful amendment, for which we can thank Prateek for all of his hard work and support.

  • Mark Blackburn 5th Jan '14 - 8:03pm

    Perhaps you haven’t noticed @Simon McGrath but with every passing day the Party gets closer and closer to the ‘differentiation’ called for by the Social Liberal Forum. Of course, the leadership had to play every trick in the book they could not to lose face at Conference, but we were right then and we’re right now. House price annual increase of 8.3% in the last year? Unsustainable. So-called bedroom tax? Untenable. Level of house building? Unacceptable. Expect party policies to more and more resemble those proposed by the SLF over the coming year. Pension policy? Just a start.

  • Eddie Sammon 5th Jan '14 - 8:43pm

    I’m not a left basher, but the Social Liberal Forum’s plan C seemed to be based on tarmacking the country and printing money. Prateek is a nice guy, but there were huge holes in the amendment even from a left-wing perspective, so people shouldn’t just get factional about it and praise it like the second coming.

  • Daniel Henry 5th Jan '14 - 11:24pm

    I think Alisdair’s section is in need of some square brackets, that is unless he’s revitalised ALL of our local parties! 😉

  • @ Brian D

    “hopefully rid us of austerity apologists ”

    What’s there to apologise for about austerity? It has to happen unless you live in fiscal La-la land and believe there is no need for cuts. Or would you rather we kept the deficit at 7% of GDP ad infinitum and end up having to be bailed out, losing any control of the UK’s financial destiny?

    As for Nick Clegg being “toxic”, if you got trashed and abused by vested interests in the press every day for three years you’d end up pretty “toxic” by now as well. I think you’ve fallen for the other two parties’ strategy of deliberately targeting our leader for this kind of treatment. Sad, but more fool you.

  • Paul Pettinger 6th Jan '14 - 1:00pm

    At Glasgow the Party decided not to criticise the Government, but to affirm an unambiguously social-liberal approach to economic policy for the future – increasing investment in people, business and infrastructure, and recognising that the provision for the most vulnerable should be improved and that the burden of fiscal consolidation should shift further towards fairer taxes, especially on wealth and land. I don’t know how you can spin it as a victory Simon McGrath – I wouldn’t change places! I think the right made some good contributions in the noughties to Party thinking, such as regarding tax, but the centre-left is in the ascendancy.

  • Alisdair McGregor 6th Jan '14 - 10:32pm

    @Daniel Henry

    Just Calderdale I’m afraid 😛

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