Peter Tatchell’s message to LDV readers

Yesterday we announced that Peter Tatchell had won LDV’s annual Liberal Voice of the Year award (open only to non-Lib Dems) in recognition of his fearless campaigning work for international human rights. We emailed Peter to let him know the news, and here’s the message he sent to all LDV readers …

Wow! What an honour. I’m chuffed. Thanks to everyone who voted for me.

What a surprise too. A socialist Green wins Liberal Voice of the Year.
It shows that your readers are non-sectarian and inclusive, putting
values and principles above party politics, which is how it should be.

There are progressive people in all parties, apart from the BNP and
possibly UKIP. We should work together more, focusing on what we have in common rather than what divides us.

In Britain, majority opinion is broadly liberal, green and left. If
people from these three political strands cooperated more closely, and
if we had had a fair voting system, Britain never need again suffer a
Conservative government. We could move the country forward on a
progressive agenda.

At the international level, it has been a real privilege to write and
campaign in support of the freedom struggles in Iran, Russia,
Balochistan, Uganda, Iraq, Somaliland, West Papua, Sudan, Palestine
and Saudi Arabia. The democracy activists in these countries are truly
heroic and inspirational. I crawl in their shadows.

One of the things I have learned from my 43 years of human rights
campaigning is that no matter how small and weak we may feel, we can all make our mark. I do my bit for human rights, as do millions of
others like yourselves. Together, cumulatively and collectively,
slowly but surely, we are making a better world. Onward, upward,
forward!

Warmest regards,

Peter Tatchell
www.petertatchell.net

Peter has written an article for Lib Dem Voice – for our ‘The Independent View’ strand – on Uganda, which we’ll be publishing tomorrow.

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8 Comments

  • The voting system will only be changed if it becomes politically expedient for one of the big parties to go along. Clear evidence of the absurdity of the current system has been ignored for decades, especially in 1983 and 2005. Thus the only campaign which might succeed is one that aims to engineer a hung parliament, and perhaps even to ‘lock it in’ over time. This unfortunately requires people to vote cynically and to adapt to the unfair rules of the game, rather than just ignoring them.

  • “A socialist Green” hmmm possibly more thought should have gone into compilling the list?

  • the yorkshire guidon 19th Jan '10 - 5:03pm

    Perhaps there is a gap in the market for ‘Liberal Greens’ or even ‘Green Liberals’? I notice there is a Green Liberal party in Switzerland. http://www.grunliberale.ch

  • Simon, why should more thought have gone into compiling the list? You don’t have to be a member of the Liberal Democrats to do liberal things, and Tatchell’s campaigning certainly falls into that category, even if you don’t agree with his party politics.

  • the yorkshire guidon – perhaps such a gap could be filled by a new organisation, created to address it. They could have a website at http://www.greenlibdems.org.uk/ or something!

  • Dave Page is quite right; we should have the political maturity to recognise the achievement of people outside our party. There are a lot of policies that Peter Tatchell supports, that I oppose, nevertheless Peter Tatchell has been a brave and courageous Liberal voice and paid a terrible price in terms of his own physical health.

  • Malcolm Todd 20th Jan '10 - 10:17am

    Courageous and dedicated Tatchell certainly is, but not always in touch with reality. I’d be happy if there were a “broadly liberal, green and left” majority in Britain, but I don’t believe it. Still, whistling in the dark keeps us warm, I suppose.

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