Wednesday, September 06, 2006
Vic D'Albert elected PPC for Bury South
The process of electing the candidate involves all the local party members voting for one of the three wannabe PPCs. And tonight was the big vote. And, whereas the X-Factor Grand Final took place in a massive TV studio and was watched by millions, this was held in St Margaret’s Church Hall and was peered on with suspicion by several curious members of the passing public.
Unfortunately, like all the political parties everywhere these days, Lib Dem membership in Bury South is not exactly through the roof (we are always on the look out for more!), but there were a fair number of us there to cast our votes this evening. Still, it wasn't like a Local or General Election, where thousands will vote. I could effect quite a large swing in any direction at the mere flick of my pen. Thankfully the power didn’t go to my head, and I was still able to cast a meaningful vote without laughing maniacally and stroking a fluffy white cat. Still, this is grass-roots democracy at its purest, and well worth the membership subscription!
And I am pleased to report that Cllr Vic D’Albert was duly elected the PPC!
Always one to break with tradition to impress a crowd, I will now immediately violate the sanctity of the secret ballot by confirming that he was my choice. And here’s why:
In his speech tonight Vic confirmed to me that he has all the qualities I would look for, not only to fight a good campaign, but to serve Bury South in Parliament if called to serve there. Regardless of party, I can ask for no more than that from an MP.
His commitment to Bury is decades long, and his passionate defence of what local people hold dear is as solid as the high esteem in which he is held by those he has served as Councillor for 15 years.
His support for local schools, local post offices, local people and their endeavours has marked him out for many years, and is in stark contrast to others who seem to put the interests of political parties and personal careers before those of the people who have elected them.
He is a man whose ideas are sensible yet ambitious. He speaks softly, but with a determination not to give in, and to try through persuasion and honest debate to sway the minds of his audience. He will bring dignity, honesty and good humour to political campaigns too often mired in personalities and not issues.
But there is a personal reason for my vote, which goes beyond tonight and which I think reflects why Vic D’Albert would make a fantastic local MP.
I have been a member of the Liberal Democrats since the Spring of 2005, and I joined because of Vic.
He was the candidate here at the 2005 General Election, and organised a public meeting to promote his campaign, which I attended at Prestwich Methodist Church Hall. It was scheduled to last for two hours. And I was the only person who turned up. The only one. And at the time, not only was I not a Lib Dem member, but the party probably weren’t going to get my vote!
Vic changed my mind that night. Through honest, open debate, and a willingness to stay and talk to me, the only person to turn up, for the full two hours, Vic and the other two local Liberal Democrat Councillors there that night showed me that this was a man and a local party whose commitment went way beyond the superficial.
Vic could’ve packed the whole thing in as a bad job and gone home early that night. But he stayed to talk, my one voice worth a whole evening. And it worked, because I joined the party and have been actively campaigning with Vic and the other local Liberal Democrats ever since. If Vic can affect me, and pursuade me that the ideas of the Liberal Democrats will work nationally and locally, then he can do it for the whole constituency.
His commitment to local people, and the strength of his ideals are a role model, and they are the hall mark of what I seek from an MP
And so I am glad I will get the chance to campaign for Vic at the next General Election. We have tonight elected a man willing and able to represent Bury South, and to do it well. I only hope that the party can convince the voters, and that we can work together to challenge in Bury South at the next election.
I have enabled "Comment Moderation" on the blog to stop getting spam comments. Unfortunately, I get comments posted on here sometimes which read something like
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before linking me to some rip-off site somewhere. I don't want them on the blog, because deleting them leaves a message that says "comment deleted!" and that looks like I've been going around deleting any negative comments.
Believe me or not, but I promise that every genuine comment that the blog receives, good or bad, is posted on here. And I respond where I can, if called for.