Tag Archives: Violet Bonham Carter

A longer watch for the weekend: Mothers of Liberty

I blogged last month about the new pamphlet from the Liberal Democrat History Group, Mothers of Liberty: Women who built British Liberalism, a series of biographies of famous women liberals, which details the contribution of women to Liberal politics from the eighteenth century to the present day.

That was launched at a conference fringe meeting, chaired by Lynne Featherstone and featuring three excellent speakers:

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Forgotten Liberal heroes: Lady Louise Glen-Coats

Listen to Liberal Democrats make speeches and there are frequent references to historical figures, but drawn from a small cast. Just the quartet of John Stuart Mill, William Gladstone, David Lloyd George, David Penhaligon corner almost all of the market, especially since Bob Maclennan stopped making speeches to party conference. Some of the forgotten figures deserve their obscurity but others do not. Charles James Fox’s defence of civil liberties against a dominating government during wartime or Earl Grey’s leading of the party back into power and major constitutional reform are good examples of mostly forgotten figures who could

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Lynne Featherstone’s speech to conference

Liberal Democrats.

I look around and I see the faces of so many friends, colleagues, Cabinet Members. Yes – I did just say that – Liberal Democrat members of the Cabinet.

Now conference, I was pretty clear at the time as to just what I thought of having an all male all pale team sent to negotiate on our behalves in May. Often for some of us women we get frustrated when we see mediocrity promoted above us.

But in this case, they weren’t mediocre – our negotiating team did one hell of a job and I thank them all …

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