Tag Archives: spring conference 2023

The Leaders’ Speech: Ed Davey, Spring Conference 2023

I never knew my dad was a Liberal. He passed away when I was four – so we never got to talk politics.

To be honest, I’d always assumed he was a Tory because mum told me he used to play snooker at the local Conservative club.

So you can imagine what it meant to me when, years later, I came across this newspaper cutting my gran had kept – I guess from the late 1950s – about a garden party held by the Mansfield Divisional Liberal Association.

With a fancy dress parade and music from something called the “Codas beat group”. The cutting quotes my dad, “Mr John Davey” – as Chair of the Mansfield Liberals – saying that, unlike the Government of the day, “Liberals were not ‘pig-headed and pie-eyed theorists’, but people dedicated to public service. “Their dedication to service was untouched by selfish motives, and that was the mark of the Liberal.” Well, Dad, I couldn’t have put it better myself!

Conference, we’re all here today for the same reason that my Dad and his fellow Liberals were in that garden in Mansfield all those years ago: Because of our deep sense of public service. Because we love our country, we love our communities, and we want to serve them. And not a pig-headed pie-eyed theorist in sight!

So, it seems I might have, unknowingly, inherited my liberalism from my dad. But I do know I learnt a lot from my mum.

Posted in News and Speeches | Also tagged and | 15 Comments
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