Men of honour

There comes a time when even the best of us decide in is time to exit stage left. We saw that this week with both Norman Lamb and Vince Cable announcing that they will be standing down from parliament at the next General Election. I am sure many will agree with me when I say they will be sorely missed.

It was my pleasure to meet Norman at a Lib Dem conference during his time as a Health Minister. In fact he might have thought I was stalking him given the fact that I attended and spoke at  four fringe meetings dealing with the issue of social care! He has been a consistent voice for reform of that system at the same campaigning on issues including mental health and drugs reform. He is clearly hugely popular in North Norfolk evidenced by his surviving the electoral wipeout in 2015.

Vince is also saying goodbye to parliament and although I have never met him in person I feel I know him from reading his excellent autobiography Free Radical. Like me he came to this party from Labour and what an impact he has made. Everyone remembers his brilliant from ‘Stalin to Mr Bean’ remark in the commons during the Brown premiership but there is also his prediction of the financial crash, a successful period as Business Secretary and most recently taking on the leadership at a very tough time for us. He is departing on a high following excellent electoral successes. He even found time to champion the need for reform of the law on assisted dying.

Both of these men put principle before career, hence the title of this piece. Had they been in one of the larger parties and towed the line who know how far they would have gone. Whoever comes after them have a very hard act to follow and the House of Commons will be a lesser place following their departure. It only remains for me to say thanks for the memories and I wish you both all the best in the future.

* David is a member of Horsham and Crawley Liberal Democrats

Read more by or more about or .
This entry was posted in Op-eds.


  • Richard Underhill 29th Aug '19 - 5:13pm

    David Warren: Correct me if I am wrong, I thought that Vince Cable came to us via the SDP.
    Leaving the Parliament and leaving the Commons are different things
    “On 27 August 2019, Lamb announced he would not be seeking re-election and would stand down at the next UK general election.”

  • nigel hunter 29th Aug '19 - 5:42pm

    I hope we are not going to have all women shortlists for ever.If we were we would only have women MPs. That would be sexist.
    Good luck to their future lives. I hope they have still fight in them for Liberal causes.

  • David Warren 29th Aug '19 - 7:45pm

    Richard. Vince was a Labour councillor in Glasgow in the 1970s and also fought a parliamentary election for them as candidate for the Hillhead constituency.

    He joined the SDP in 1982 which of course eventually merged into the current party the Lib Dems.

  • Lorenzo Cherin 30th Aug '19 - 2:06am

    A fine piece from you David.

    Agree on Norman, as nice a man as he’s good an mp, and Vince in person can even twinkle in his face not merely on that dance floor with those toes!

  • David Warren 30th Aug '19 - 2:40pm

    Thanks Lorenzo I had forgotten about the dancing.

Post a Comment

Lib Dem Voice welcomes comments from everyone but we ask you to be polite, to be on topic and to be who you say you are. You can read our comments policy in full here. Please respect it and all readers of the site.

To have your photo next to your comment please signup your email address with Gravatar.

Your email is never published. Required fields are marked *

Please complete the name of this site, Liberal Democrat ...?


Recent Comments

  • Graham Jeffs
    A truly excellent article. I do hope that we all do indeed cherish our candidates before and after the GE. Afterwards is so important. Meantime I also hop...
  • Andrew Tampion
    Christopher Haigh. "I always got the impression that freedom of movement would work better if people from the more economically active EU countries should retir...
  • John Waller
    I only did 3 not 5. Thank you from crazy USA. What sense....
  • Alex Macfie
    This "non-aggression" pact between us and Labour is presumably supposed to apply only to each other's Tory-facing battlegrounds (I don't think we're holding bac...
  • Robert SAYER
    Totally right. Having experienced the same stresses as described it can be lonely and you can believe that the most unwinnable seat can be won. But to those fig...