Jonathan Fryer

Writer, Lecturer, Broadcaster and Liberal Democrat Politician

Posts Tagged ‘Hazel Grove’

LibDems’ Liverpool Rally

Posted by jonathanfryer on Saturday, 14th March, 2015

imageWith just eight weeks to go until polling day, the opening rally at the Liberal Democrats’ spring conference in Liverpool had one clear aim: to enthuse the troops in a campaign that is all about survival. Not that I believe the LibDems face annihilation, much as the more strident sections of the Labour party might wish. But the feedback from those who have been out on the doorsteps up and down the country suggests that providing enough work is put in the party should hold far more parliamentary seats than the headline opinion poll figures imply, and could even pick up a couple. Former leader Paddy Ashdown is the campaign supremo and he gave one of his trademark performances in setting out why it is so important that there should be Liberal Democrats in government again after 7 May, to curb the cutting of the Tories or the accelerated borrowing of Labour. Unusually, he and other keynote speakers, including party president Sal Brinton and Welsh LibDem leader Kirsty William, were introduced by some tongue-in-cheek song and dance acts that certainly created a warm feeling in the hall. There were also some video links to some of the party’s key target candidates — all women — including Lisa Smart in Hazel Grove and Jane Dodds in Montgomeryshire. Any worries some people might have had that number of conference-goers this time might be down were visibly confounded. And for any who might have felt guilty about not being out on the streets campaigning, there is a phone bank operating in the main conference exhibition hall, with everyone being urged to make at least 10 canvassing calls.

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Remembering Viv Bingham

Posted by jonathanfryer on Tuesday, 6th March, 2012

Viv Bingham, President of the Liberal Party 1981-1982, who has died, was one of those politicians who never quite made it, in the sense of succeeding in getting elected . He tried often enough, standing for Parliament in Heywood and Royston (February and October 1964), Hazel Grove (1979), Derbyshire West (1983) and Stalybridge and Hyde (2005). He also had a stab at the European Parliament in 1979. In the days of the old Liberal Party Council, he was often a thorn in the leadership’s side and at later Liberal Democrat conferences he often found his natural allies among the young. He was granted an OBE in recognition of his political activities but never got the peerage he felt he richly deserved, having toiled away for decades in furthering the Liberal and Liberal Democrat cause. Despite his eye on the ermine and his experience in the business world, he was remarkably unstuffy and saw himself very much on the Left of British politics, actively supporting CND. Viv summed up his passion for Liberalism in one word: Freedom, and he raged against injustice. He could at times be a charicature of a gruff Northerner and at others the total gentleman, rooted in family and community, but with a non-Conformist compassion that embraced the whole of humanity.

RIP Vivian (Viv) Bingham 1932-2012

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