Why I’ve decided to support Mark Pack for President

I know, some of you may think that an old troublemaker like me must have had a Johnsonesque exercise – write both a ‘for’ and an ‘against’ piece and then see which one to print, But no, it’s much simpler than that. I want to pick the winner and ensure he carries the full message and excels in the role.

Comms – Some people may find Mark a bit too ubiquitous, but he is the consummate communicator? Complaining you hear too much from Mark Pack is like saying we deliver too many leaflets in a by election!

Strategy – It has taken us far too long to be unambiguously pro-European and then to align those who agree with us at the very core of our core vote. Mark has been on the core vote case for years. It is undoubtedly the right strategy and there can be no room for faint hearts in our coming endeavour.

Boiler-room – our members, activists and staff will be the essential to our success. It is the wellbeing of our staff that finally made me think I should support Mark. We need many more staff working with us and we need them all to be properly paid and supported at every level. Mark, please make sure this happens as a matter of priority.

Digital media – we must be at the forefront of all the latest techniques. We must be nimble and dynamic digital campaigners, but the media is not the message and digital remains just one form of delivery.

Money, money, money – we must seriously up our game here. Yes, we need a good network donating lots, but it must all be ‘good’ money and that need’s a watchful eye. Let’s not forget we’ve been badly let down here in the past.

A conduit of Liberalism – I trust Mark to listen, ensure the message is heard and acted upon. He has a sharp mind and a campaigning passion.

Frontline – our Councillors, MPs, MSPs, MEPs, Senedd members, are all very busy campaigning and taking our message to the people. Let’s be sure there is also a big hitter at the top of the party machine to deliver the best infrastructure for our continued success.

President of the Liberal Democrats is not a sinecure or reward for long service. We’re not just stepping up a gear and going through a bit of a good patch for a change. We are now in the business of transforming the party into the greatest Liberal movement our country has ever seen. There can be no half measures, no well-meaning, ‘oh well we tried’. With the Tories on the ropes and Labour on the fence I truly believe this is now our time, let’s be sure we are the very best we can be.

Mark Pack gets my vote for President and if you want to see our party fully equipped for the 21st Century and for government then please give him your vote too.

* Roger Hayes has been an active Liberal for 45 years. He was candidate for Kingston in 1983 and 87 and a past Leader of Kingston Council.

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This entry was posted in Op-eds and Party Presidency.


  • gavin grant 24th Sep '19 - 9:44pm

    It’s a rare day when Roger and U find ourselves in riotous unity on a Party matter, let alone and election. But here is one of those amazing dawns. “I agree with Roger!”. There, it’s said and Mark is absolutely the best choice for President for all the reasons Roger cites.

  • I have no idea who I will vote for as I have no read what each of the candidates has to say.
    However one thing I do not agree with is the concept of a core votes strategy. In recent years we have found out the reality with what any reasonable estimate of our “core” vote might be. People will vote according to how they see the world. They are influenced in this as in everything else on the views of family and friends. At present many people are looking for a party which is pro-EU to vote for. My opinion, and my first priority when looking who to vote for, is to find someone who is prepared to explain the real benefits of being in the only democratic international organisation existing.
    I have often been disappointed over the years about the unwillingness of the party to do this.
    I have always voted for the Liberal Democrats since I was allowed to vote in 1961, but would happily change to a more vigorously pro-Europe party if one existed.
    Am I a core voter?

  • Steve Comer 25th Sep '19 - 8:41am

    I was going to vote for Richard Kemp, but as he has withdrawn his nomination I think I agree with Roger. I’m impressed by Mark’s understanding on digital campaigning, and the work he did with David Howarth on the core voitre issue.

    I think we need to realise that the seats we could win at the next GE may not necessarily be the ones where we came a good second in 2015/17. John Curtice’s article on the Euro elections in the latest Journal of Liberal History shows this very clearly.

  • Nonconformistradical 25th Sep '19 - 9:06am

    @Steve Comer
    “I was going to vote for Richard Kemp, but as he has withdrawn his nomination”

    Has he? Where has he said that please.

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