Tag Archives: david penhaligon

Remembering David Penhaligon

david-penhaligonBlogs are supposed to be a topical and pithy commentary on the news of the day, so it might seem strange to be talking about a Cornish MP, who was elected 40 years ago this year. However, students at Exeter University in Cornwall are building a fascinating political history project that will record local and national memories of this famous Cornishman.

I met David only once, when I was 16, at the Knowsley North by-election, where the Liberal/SDP candidate was Rosie Cooper in a by-election caused by the resignation of Robert Kilroy-Silk. I wonder what ever happened to them… but I walked into the HQ to see the rather odd sight of a man, with his shirt sleeves rolled up with his head inside an old offset litho printing press. I assumed he was just a bloke come round to mend the thing which was clearly in a poor state of repair. You can perhaps imagine my surprise when I discovered he was the MP for Truro.

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Who are the greatest Liberal Prime Ministers who never were?

Mark Pack reviewed Francis Beckett’s new counterfactual collection, The Prime Ministers Who Never Were, on the Voice earlier this week — 14 ‘Big Beasts’ who, had the chips fallen differently, might have become premiers.

The list is mostly inevitable with a couple of intriguing outsiders: Austen Chamberlain, J R Clynes, Lord Halifax, Oswald Mosley, Herbert Morrison, Hugh Gaitskell, Rab Butler, George Brown, Norman Tebbit, Michael Foot, Denis Healey, Neil Kinnock, John Smith and David Miliband.

Voice readers will notice one evident fact: there’s not a single Liberal (or SDP) name among them. In some ways it’s not that surprising. After …

Posted in Books | Also tagged , , , , , , and | 16 Comments

Meet the Lib Dem bloggers: Alex Folkes

Welcome to the latest in our series giving the human face behind some of the blogs you can find on the Liberal Democrat Blogs aggregator.

Today it is Alex Folkes, who blogs at lansonboy.blogspot.com.

1. What’s your formative political memory?
My first memory was a mock election at my primary school during the 1979 general election when I was one of about four people to vote Liberal. My most abiding memory is of David Penhaligon driving me home after a party fundraising event in about 1983. I only lived about 100 yards from the venue but he insisted on driving a group of youngsters to their various homes and dropped me off last. During the half hour or so that it took we had a great chat about all things political and he became my political hero.

2. When did you start blogging?
I had a couple of abortive attempts but started properly in February 2008.

3. Why did you start blogging?
I wanted to write about a combination of local and national politics as well as my own interests of football, rugby and horse racing. I also thought it would be a good way of getting across to a range of people who don’t read leaflets pushed through their doors and I had it in mind to stand for election to Cornwall Council (the election took place in June 2009). Since then the local politics has taken over and it’s regrettably rare I write about much else.

4. What five words would you use to describe your blog?
Robust, local, argumentative, frequent, did I mention local?

5. What five words would you use to describe your political views?
See above.

6. Which post have you most liked writing in the last year (and why)?
Probably the one about our council leader drinking in Downing Street on a Monday evening and then saying he had flu the next day when we had a full council. All brought about because I spotted him in the background of a photo on ConHome.

7. Which post have you most liked reading in the last year (and why)?
I’m terrible about not reading very many other blogs, particularly those by fellow Lib Dems. But I like reading a good rant – particularly if it’s one attacking Ryanair.

8. What’s your favourite YouTube clip?
One of my two favourites is this one of Lloyd Cole and the Commotions. It’s Jimmy Carr, isn’t it?

Posted in Online politics | Also tagged and | 2 Comments

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