The message that won the Mayor selection for Brian Paddick

Neil Stockley, one of the best Liberal Deomcrat commentators when it comes to messaging and presenting a coherent narrative, has taken a look at the message which propelled Brian Paddick to victory in the London Mayor selection contest:

Liberal Democrat selection campaigns for London mayor are strange beasts, as the party seeks out a mega-campaigner who can rally the troops and pull in more assembly members by his/her coat-tails.   This time, the dynamics were mixed up even more by the entry into the race of the former Montgomeryshire MP, Lembit Opik.  (Lembit had a defeat narrative in which he compared himself to Nelson Mandela, but that’s just too ghastly to discuss in detail.)


In winning the Lib Dem nomination, Paddick has performed an epic feat in political storytelling.  Announcing his candidacy, back in June, Paddick gave us [a] carefully crafted mea culpa.

Read about the mea culpa over on Neil’s blog.

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This entry was posted in London.


  • Paul Holmes 7th Sep '11 - 2:11pm

    Some within the Liberal Democrats have often been scathing about those activists who prefer a candidate with experience and a grounding in hard campaigning. They look for a quick way in for ‘stars’ which does not necessitate all that ‘tedious’ leaflet delivery and door knocking in the ‘old fashioned way’- and the knowledge of the reality of trying to get elected that comes with it. I disagreed with my good friend Simon Hughes when as President of the Party he talked a lot about recruiting ‘star’ candidates with absolutely no previous track record of even being a Lib Dem member let alone of campaigning experience. In a party with lots of safe seats (like Lab and Cons) where being selected as the candidate is the same as getting elected on polling day that approach works -although I still doubt the kind of candidate who is attracted in that way. But in the Lib Dems where there are a tiny handful of ‘safe’ seats it does not.

    Brian Paddick’s own ‘mea culpa’ as to his learning curve as a candidate should be compulsory reading for all would be candidates. I have always liked Brian every time I have met him and think he is now a very good and experienced choice.

  • Ed Maxfield 8th Sep '11 - 9:55am

    I wrote much the same as Paul says here back in 2007 when Brian was being built up as a potential mayoral candidate for last time. It is to his credit that he has stuck around and learned from the experience and he deserves our support.

    PS – why doesnt LDV have a ‘like’ button for comments?

  • I don’t know why Neil’s blog doesn’t get more praise. Probably the best blog no-one ever mentions 🙂

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