Who’s your Liberal Voice of 2010?

LDV wants to find out who our readers think merits the title Liberal Voice of the Year 2010, and we’ll be running a New Year poll to find the individual or group which has most inspired you in the last year. But, as is our traditional little twist, we want to look outside the Liberal Democrats – and find the greatest liberal who’s not a member of our party.

So, who would you pick? It could be a member of another political party, or one of the majority of Britons who belong to no party; or a group of people, or an organisation, which campaigns for liberal values. It could even be someone who isn’t British themselves, but has had a big impact on liberalism in this country in 2010. And what should qualify as “a liberal”? You decide …

Let us know your nominations in the comments – and feel free to start debating different candidates’ merits – and our poll will shortly be live for you to choose LDV’s Liberal Voice of the Year 2010.

Previous winners of the LDV Liberal Voice of the Year award:

2009: Peter Tatchell, international human rights campaigner.

2008: Campaigners on behalf of Jean Charles de Menezes (Justice4Jean.org) and Stockwell Shooting Inquest Jury.

2007: Shami Chakrabarti, Director of Liberty.

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This entry was posted in LDV Awards.


  • Agreed – I would nominate Clarke as well.

  • Julian Assange ofc.

  • Julian Assange is the obvious choice but I wouldn’t vote for him purely from a kneejerk pro-transparency motivation.
    Ken Clarke would be a very strong choice, he’s one of the good conservatives.

  • I’d like to nominate Bob Ainsworth as he’s the only person to have caused a stir over drug policy reform this year, but would accept others have done far more (but not in our party?)

  • Without any doubt, Julian Assange.

    With involvement in the project going back to 2006, he also deserves, ‘Liberal Voice of the Decade.’

  • Matt Downey 26th Dec '10 - 6:20pm

    Julian Assange, or perhaps the astounding Aung San Suu Kyi.

  • Simon McGrath 26th Dec '10 - 6:35pm

    Ken clarke

  • Yes Aung San Suu Kyi.

  • My nomination is also Australian, albeit someone slightly more successful.

    Andrew Wilkie is the new federal MP for Denison in Tasmania. He is a former intelligence analyst who resigned over the then government’s participation in the Iraq war. He is a campaigner on civil and human rights, the environment, euthanasia and gay marriage. He used his maiden speech to call for the withdrawal of Australian troops from Afghanistan.

    He also deserves recognition for breaking through as an Independent MP and as someone making sure that liberal (in the international sense, not the Aussie one) values are getting an airing in the current hung parliament.

  • David Cameron

  • My first thought was David Cameron, followed by Ken Clarke but I don’t want to nominate them.

    I’d second Bob Ainsworth. Drug policy is so entwined with liberty, equality, human rights – or the lack thereof – and does great harm to the disadvantaged, particularly in terms of the opportunities available to the young. Add to that the guts to ‘come out’ in public and the desire for debate and evidence-based policy and you have a winner.

    I’d also vote for Barack Obama who has done great work against a tough crowd, and George Soros who also continues to make a huge difference worldwide.

    I’m not sure about Assange. If him then why not Bradley Manning who’s destined to live an horrific life for bringing these files – such as the Reuters/helicopter video – to the world, but what message does that send out to British troops? But Wikileaks’ message that Governments will not get away with certain acts of war and human rights abuses, and that companies are better off playing nice, is a commendable one.

    I don’t think Aung San Suu Kyi has done much for Burma in 2010 (though of course that’s not her fault), let alone the UK.

  • Liberal Democrats need to support Assange. The coalition agreement called for a review of the extradition treaty with the USA. This was our contribution, and a good one. We have sacrificed a great deal to enter the coalition. This is something we can celebrate, and point to, as our contribution in government. That’s why I would nominate Assange and encourage others to do so.

  • rev simon wilson 27th Dec '10 - 9:31am

    I would like to nominate Naomi Long on the basis of her stunning victory in the GE and for the qualities and priorities she is putting into practise in the Commons, her party and her nation and community.

  • Ian Sanderson (RM3) 27th Dec '10 - 1:14pm

    I’ll second Naomi Long. She’s deputy leader of her party. She is the first liberal to be elected to Westminster from her part of the UK since 1914. ( A part that’s been historically pretty reluctant to elect women to parliament.) She’s been Lord Mayor of a major city – pretty rare at Westminster. And she defeated the incumbent – the illiberal Chief Minister of Northern Ireland – in her win in 2010.

  • Foregone Conclusion 27th Dec '10 - 3:23pm

    Naomi Long and Ken Clarke both sound like good candidates. I understand that there’s a pro-Assange feeling, but I feel uncomfortable with him, because of: (a) the rape allegations hanging over him, and (b) most of what got published by Wikileaks was just diplomatic tittle-tattle which probably had a negative effect of world peace and understanding. Still, he definitely has to go on the ballot.

  • Nick Clegg maybe?

  • The human rights activist Binayak Sen, sent to prison for publicly criticising the Indian government and its failure to try to close the gap between rich and poor .

    Or Aung San Suu Kyi!

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