Wounded Liberal Democrats (Canine injury branch) founded #libdemsbiteback

tony and pw2Here’s a photograph of a very special occasion on Friday evening. At Newbury’s Corn Exchange (a venue which may well go down alongside the Norbreck Castle hotel, Blackpool in Lib Dem history) there was the inaugural meeting of Wounded Liberal Democrats (canine injury branch).

Our photo shows Tony Ferguson (eve of poll dog bite in Portsmouth while campaigning for Gerald Vernon-Jackson’s highly successful team) and Paul Walter (dog bite while pushing in a “We called on you today” leaflet in Elizabeth O’Keeffe’s victorious gain from the Tories in Newbury Victoria). These two have over sixty years Liberal party/Liberal Democrat campaigning experience between them (so perhaps they should have known better before annoying my fellow hounds – Newshound)

By the way, note that all these canine incidents happened in successful campaigns. There’s a technique for ALDC to consider here…

I know what you’re thinking. These are all stupid men who allowed their fingertips to come within reach canine fangs. Where is the gender balance? – I hear you cry. Well, if women have been as stupid as us men, then please tell us about it in the comments below – along with any more stupid men.

And WLD(CIB) is looking for a high profile patron. Do you know a council leader or assembly/parliament member who might have received the displeasure of a dog and be willing to stick their bloodied finger above the parapet?

Remember if you have been bitten by a dog in the course of campaigning for the Liberal Democrats, you are automatically and immediately admitted to membership of the Wounded Liberal Democrats (canine injury branch). This entitles you to a 10% discount on tetanus booster shorts and Gold Membership of your local A&E department, which guarantees that you will be seen by a medical professional at A&E within six hours of your arrival.

* Newshound: bringing you the best Lib Dem commentary in print, on air or online.

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This entry was posted in Humour and Party policy and internal matters.


  • I claim membership although I don’t have a photo to prove it. The dog that slyly bit me a year or two ago also bit a Lib Dem colleague some months later. The owner insisted that the dog was not targeting Lib Dems.

    Have you tried the wooden spoon? Save your fingers by using one to push leaflets through the letterbox.

  • Many thanks (and apologies) to Tony who was still working very hard on polling day. The good news is that the local election results put us on track to win back Portsmouth South at the next General Election with better results for us and worse results for the Conservatives in most wards and across the seat than before the 2010 and 2005 general elections. And that is despite a very active Conservative campaign – some wards seeing both a eve of poll and a good morning leaflet from the Tories for example. The Tory MP barely stayed 5 minutes at the count.

  • Jamie Purcell 9th May '16 - 1:21pm

    I believe Alex Cole-Hamilton, our new MSP for Edinburgh Western, received a bite during the campaign and still managed to finish his round that day after getting hospital treatment.

  • It doesn’t count as an injury, but I was “knocking up” (GOTV-ing?) in Tilehurst (in Reading) on Thursday, when I encountered a household cooking dinner and not coming to the door. I used my trusty Wooden Spoon of Liberal Justice ™ to deliver a leaflet, only to have the whole thing jerked out of my hand in a flash. Cue a stunned silence, followed by a woof and a peal of raucous laughter from the house in question.

    I retreated, chastened and spoonless, but luckily still with all of my fingers.

    …we held the ward with a significantly increased vote share – our councillor Meri came within five votes of getting as many as the Tories and Labour (#2 and 3 respectively) combined.

  • Julian Swift-Hook 9th May '16 - 2:10pm

    My membership credentials date back to the 2003 local election campaign when a letterbox in my own street concealed a canine!

  • When I first started delivering leaflets at the 2010 general election the first thing I was issued with was a wooden spatula. Makes delivering leaflets a lot easier – although it was a little awkward when I had to knock on a door and ask for my spatula back as I had pushed a little to hard.

  • Sorry to introduce a bit of seriousness into this but some years ago Martin Kyrle was attacked by an German Shepherd dog while delivering and was lucky to escape life-threatening injury. I expect he would show you the scars if you asked him nicely!

  • Peter Andrews 9th May '16 - 10:37pm

    Over 15 years delivering and still not one dog bite. The trick is my fingers never go past the inside door flap

  • Fiona White 10th May '16 - 8:11am

    At the Bournemouth conference, I got a delivery spatula from the Royal Mail stall. Very useful. Worth a visit in Brighton.

  • Adrian Collett 10th May '16 - 9:45am

    Some years ago on Polling Day I called on a house where the dog was at home, and very evident, but the owners were not. I tried pushing the knock-up leaflet through the highly-sprung letterbox, but it wouldn’t go, and the dog was ready to bite. I didn’t have a wooden spoon, so I (stupidly in hindsight) used the bundle of knock-up leaflets to push one through. The dog got the lot and the owners must have been very impressed that we had called on them 50 times while they were out!

    My membership of the Wounded Liberal Democrats (canine injury branch) is claimed however for an injury sustained on Remembrance Sunday in 2013. I had half an hour spare before attending the service, so I could deliver a small round that we didn’t have a deliverer for. It was a silent but deadly dog. No idea it was there until the teeth sunk in. The injury itself was very small, but boy did the blood go everywhere. I made it to the service, but had to finish delivering afterwards having wiped most of the blood off the Focuses and I got my tetanus booster the following day.

  • Lizette van Niekerk 10th May '16 - 10:08am

    I believe Keith House might be the patron you are looking for. The dogs in Fareham are not as well trained as the Eastleigh canines and one did serious damage to his finger when helping with deliveries in the neighbouring constituency.

  • Worst injury I have ever got was at a 2011 council by election. Fingers raked by cat claws. My hand was outside the letter box at the time and the cat reached through when I flipped the cover. Met the postman down the street and he told me the house was notorious for it, and they did not deliver.

  • Sandy Walkington 10th May '16 - 10:59am

    I claim membership after taking one for the team at the Eastleigh by-election… Very impressed by Southampton Minor Injuries Unit – v quick service if you bleed over the reception desk.

  • Morwen Millson 10th May '16 - 11:56am

    I also claim membership. The first time was in my second election ever, delivering early mornings with my son. He very sensibly said ‘Mum, there’s a dog!’ Clearly, he got this caution gene from his father, as I took the leaflet, shoved it through and got a serious bite for my pains. Some years later, not having learned my lesson, I was delivering a block of flats, walked past a door, behind which a (largish!) dog was barking vigorously at my temerity. Delivered upstairs flats, walked downstairs, dog had ceased barking. Hover, on inserting leaflet into letter box, it sank its teeth into my middle finger. After what seemed like an eternity of me standing there with my hand in the letter box and the dog’s mouth, it finally let go and I was able to examine the damage. I attempted to complete the round, but since it was bleeding rather heavily onto the leaflets, I had to abandon this and drive myself seven miles to the nearest A&E. I had partially learnt the lesson, as the previous injury was ignored – it being polling day – and I ended up on antibiotics.

  • Richard Underhill 10th May '16 - 11:01pm

    Once locally, In Paddock Wood, dog lying in wait behind a translucent door.
    Once in Coldstream during the Scottish referendum, no local GP, but excellent service at Borders hospital, including free car parking.

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