Mary Beard explains why she’s voting Lib Dem this Thursday

Mary-BeardProfessor Mary Beard (Cambridge University’s “wickedly subversive commentator on both the modern and the ancient world”) explains on her A Don’s Life blog why she’ll be voting for the Lib Dems’ Belinda Brooks-Gordon this week:

Since the Iraq War I have been a semi-floating voter. Up to then I had been Labour by default (unless tactics demanded — as they sometimes did in Shropshire — that one put one’s cross by what was back then still the Liberal Party). Since then I’ve looked afresh at each election for someone, somewhere on the left, the less Blairite the better.

This time at the up-coming County Council elections, my mind was made up for me rather early on. The excellent Belinda Brooks-Gordon, the sitting Lib-Dem councillor for Castle Ward, turned up on the doorstep asking if I would sign her nomination papers. She’s, actually, done a great job on the Council and shows every sign of going on in the same style — so I was happy to put my name to her form.

Now I suppose there is nothing to stop you nominating one candidate and voting for another, but would seem a bit perverse — so with my vote now pledged to Belinda, I looked at the other candidates with more academic detachment, and also hoping that I wouldn’t discover that I had made a grave error.

I didn’t.

If you want to find out why none of the other candidates matched up to Belinda, you can read on here.

* Stephen was Editor (and Co-Editor) of Liberal Democrat Voice from 2007 to 2015, and writes at The Collected Stephen Tall.

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  • Helen Tedcastle 29th Apr '13 - 10:03am

    Mary Beard – she’s great. Of course she’s a Lib Dem and on the left!! That’s where I like to be too.

  • Steve Griffiths 29th Apr '13 - 10:06am

    When you read her reasons for the choice she made and why she rejected the others, you will note that she made her decision on LOCAL issues and the good work put in by the Lib Dem local councillor. Are the people who designed the two last PEBs reading this?

  • Helen Tedcastle 29th Apr '13 - 10:19am

    @Steve Griffiths: Yes you are right – very sensible too. I’ll be doing the same thing though putting out leaflets for our local, hard-working Lib Dem candidate – the Thatcherite policies of the coalition Government make the GE problematic for me – I have no enthusiasm at all for that prospect – too many areas close to my heart are being trashed or certain key people look the other way ( in Education particularly).

  • Andrew Martin 29th Apr '13 - 11:09am

    Mary Beard is NOT a Lib Dem, she made that clear on Question Time last year when she said she couldn’t vote Lib Dem because you get Tories (or something along those lines), meaning she either voted Labour or (more likely) for John Hipkin.

    Belinda is a fantastic asset to the party and deserves to win.

  • Sadly national issues often take over local campaigns and all three main parties tend to exacerbate this with their election broadcasts and media strategies. I don’t get a vote in these elections, but if I did I would decide based upon local politics and how the individual Councillors and parties have behaved in my area. As such it would remain a Lib Dem candidate that would get my cross next to their name. The national party have a long way to go to secure that vote in the next general election although as there is no alternative it will be a swing to none of the above…

  • paul barker 29th Apr '13 - 2:01pm

    Can I just remind everyone that the reason we are in Coalition is that not enough people voted for us. All not voting Libdem does is weaken our bargaining position.

  • Matthew Huntbach 29th Apr '13 - 8:13pm

    john problem

    Quite right, too. Alas, a lot of people I talk to intend to vote for UKIP as a protest vote against the current unhappy state of affairs.

    That’s a bit like voting for the Socialist Worker’s Party as a protest against the Labour Party being too left-wing. When are people going to wake up to the fact that UKIP is run and financially backed by people who want economic policy to the right of the Conservative Party? If by “current unhappy state” you mean a government which is making too deep cuts to public spending while feather-bedding the very wealthy, well UKIP wants MORE of that.

  • @Paul. True, though it would have taken many more votes. However, the reason the LDs had limited negotiating power was that in a handful of Con-Lab marginals TOO MANY people voted Lib Dem. If these few hundred had voted Labour a Lib-Lab govt was a possibility, or at least the LDs would have been able to extract more concessions from the Tories.

  • Actually, the reason for the apparent lack of influence in the coalition is that it was weighted on seats in parliament, rather than votes cast, which would have been much more balanced. More fool us.

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