On Iain Dale’s Top 50 Liberal Democrats list

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Over the weekend, political blogger and LBC presenter Iain Dale unveiled his list of Top Liberal Democrats in 2016.  It is generally viewed with amusement by conference-goers. While it may give people bragging rights over certain of their colleagues, it is fairly arbitrary in nature.

I was particularly happy to see some of the most energetic campaigners our party has make it on to the list. Daisy Benson has been a massive factor in galvanising the Lib Dem Newbies into quite a force within the party. Former Presidential candidate and now PPC for St Albans Daisy Cooper is another welcome addition. What is absolutely astounding, though, is that Elains Bagshaw, who has made a name for herself with her incredible campaigning in Tower Hamlets, isn’t there.

Annoyingly, Willie Rennie has leapfrogged Kirsty Williams. He has certainly had a good year with his vibrant and bright election campaign, but Kirsty, for goodness sake, is a Cabinet Minister. Along with Lib Dem Council leaders, she has much more actual power than just about anyone else. 

I was surprised, also to see that Your Liberal Britain’s Jim Williams didn’t make it on either. This young man has taken an idea right to the centre of Liberal Democrat policy making.

I’m not sure ordinary activists would make it on to  Dale’s the Top people on the right or left, which shows the extent of the opportunities available to ordinary members of the party to play key roles.

There are in fact just 17 women on that list. I squeak into the top half for the first time, but only just. I am at 24 and Mark Pack, former c0-editor of this site is at 22. The list says I rose 16, but in fact it was only 6 as I was 30 last year and 40 the year before.

Duncan Brack, vice chair of the Federal Policy Committee, is ahead of both of us at 20.

This is all a bit of fun. I guess we should be quite pleased that Iain Dale is still actually bothering to make up such a list. He suggested last year that he might not bother because we were so irrelevant. But look what he says here:

The Liberal Democrats have at least met the challenge I set them in 2015: of remaining relevant enough to warrant their inclusion in this exercise. Although they still seem stuck on 8 to 9 per cent in the polls, the EU referendum result, and Tim Farron’s immediate and instinctive reaction to it, gave them more publicity, another 20,000 or so members and a marked improvement in their local government by-election performance.

We certainly hope to keep that going and more over the next year.

 

 

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

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