The latest Liberal Democrat film shows the reaction of people who watched Ming Campbell’s speech in the Brighton conference hall:
Pingback: Liberal Democrat Voice » Ming’s speech: what did you think?
A really good speech! Quite right Ming we really do need someone older because that means you have the experience to see through the spin and smoke screens that are so much a part of government these days. Every action has a consequence, an obvious statement perhaps, though so many politicians have failed to give due consideration to this fact.
I thought aspects of the speech were very good. I lparticularly approved of his commitment to preventing any further nuclear power plants from being built in the UK and the need to replace the old Beveridge definition of citizenship with his Five New Freedoms and a Bill of Rights that puts the environment at its heart.
However, I also felt there was some paradox in his assertion that the Lib Dems now need to take “radical action to change things”, and the notable absence of any direct reference to tackling the social segregation of disabled and gay people, for example. Indeed, surely a truly radical agenda would also have at least given some lip service to animal rights? Instead, I felt the speech deliberately avoided any mention of these minority rights, instead featuring homilies to the homeless and former drug addicts. Of course, these long neglected and marginalised groups are equally important in the grand scheme of things, but why omit any direct reference to disabled people and **** when talking about social exclusion? I suppose a cynic might reflect that this merely reflects the party’s desire to gain favour with disaffected NHS workers? Was this, perhaps, why Mrs Campbell appeared on stage in a symbolic white coat? Perception is all in modern politics, afterall, and I am surprised that no-one editing the speech picked up on this.
Those of us who recognise the need for far reaching institutional change in healthcare delivery continue to be disappointed in the opposition parties’ attempts to score political points by exploiting this most emotive and controversial of issues, and I think that’s a shame because the Lib Dems have so much to offer in other respects. Indeed, what kind of country ignores the marginalised status and institutionalised segregation of people disabled at birth through no fault of their own? What kind of country persecutes and conspires against people due to their sexuality? And what kind of country tolerates diabolical and unimaginable cruelty towards animals in laboratories throughout the United Kingdom these days? It’s one thing paying lip service to a radical agenda for change, but it needs to be consistent and not subject to political compromise if it is to be credible in the challenging times that lay ahead for all of us.
A Constituent of Torbay
Excellent speech & as well received by such of the general media that I have seen as we could expect. Robinson of the BBC was fairly positive. Given that such well known anti Libs as Andrew Neil, The Daily Telegraph, The Daily Express and others were able to comment on air and in their papers they struggled to find serious negatives. LibDems lurch to the Left was one comment. Not true. We have simply been leafrogged by Labour & I loved the comment about true blue Labour. Camerons problem is that there is no room in traditional Toryland. Labour has occupied it all.
Outstanding speach. I am conviced that if Ming can walk the talk then he and the party will be great for our country.
Up untill yesturday I had been a strong Tory for 20 years and a Labor voter for the past 10 years. Following the speach of Sir Menzies I have been in contact with my nearest branch of your party in Bexhill and Battle East Sussex with a view to joining your party if you will have me!!
Speeches like this have value on two fronts:First they energise and encourage the party faithful and inform those in the larger community who are looking for a viable alternative to the current situation. The issues raused are important,but more important is the reality of an alternative. Simply saying ‘we are against_____’ is not enough. We must say what we are in favour of and will positively work for. This is what was on offer and even with admitted media paucity the message got out.
But we have no requirement to impress Liberal Democrats.
Dear Mr Campbell,
please refrain from phrases such as “blondest suicide note in history”. It suggests a complete ignorance and lack of sensitivity towards the many terribly unhappy people in this country who have lost loved ones due to suicide, and who on an almost daily basis hear other people using the word “suicide” in a casual and generally joking manner. I suggest that you take some time to investigate the epidemic that is suicide, particularly among young people. For example, did you know that more young people between 18 and 35 die from suicide than in traffic accidents? Are you proposing to do anything about it?
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