Tag Archives: social and liberal democrats

A bit of our party’s history remembered

1988On 29th July, exactly 26 years ago, Paddy Ashdown was elected as the first leader of the newly merged Social and Liberal Democrats (which quickly settled down to being known as the Liberal Democrats).  The leadership contest was between Paddy Ashdown and Alan Beith, who had my vote. But what a leader Paddy turned out to be!

The Guardian marks the anniversary by airing an editorial of the day, part of which was a tribute to David Steel who had decided not to enter the leadership contest. David Steel had led the Liberal Party into the Alliance with the Social Democrats and acted as one of the two interim leaders of the Social and Liberal Democrats after the merger.  He had been the baby of the House when elected at the age of 26, and was one of the youngest party leaders ever when he took up that role 11 years later.

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LibLink (Down Memory Lane Edition) | Paddy Ashdown – ‘After the conflict, a bright dawn for the Democrats’

Paddy Ashdown campaigning25 years ago, Paddy Ashdown became leader of the party then known officially as the Social and Liberal Democrats. Here’s an excerpt from what he wrote for The Guardian on his first morning as leader:

Hope, said Francis Bacon, is a good breakfast, but a poor supper. On my first morning as the new leader of a new party, standing at seven per cent in the opinion polls, I know what he meant! But at the end of a bruising and often damaging period in the fortunes of the Social

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  • User AvatarRob Parker 23rd Jun - 11:55pm
    I hate to break this to you Caron but it is absolutely a done deal and we cannot get out of it. The referendum result...
  • User AvatarDavid Evans 23rd Jun - 11:52pm
    I do think that once again some of us are looking with rose coloured spectacles at those we choose to look on as our personal...
  • User AvatarTim Hill 23rd Jun - 11:00pm
    And TonyH shows the other reason for standing. 9 votes by a paper candidate contributes 9 votes more to a national tally. Not standing, doesn't.
  • User AvatarTim Hill 23rd Jun - 10:58pm
    We should always stand a candidate. We have a duty as a party to give people the chance to vote Liberal Democrat. Those who argue...
  • User Avatarfrankie 23rd Jun - 10:45pm
    Bless are we playing be nice to Brexiteers again. Don't challenge there rants it upsets them.
  • User AvatarGlenn 23rd Jun - 8:33pm
    I don't think the country has become meaner. IMO, the version of Britain sold to the world from the Blair years up to the referendum...