Saturday, April 06, 2013

Susan Penhaligon leaves the Liberal Democrats

The Western Morning News reports that the actress Susan Penhaligon has left the Liberal Democrats:
"I feel slightly betrayed by the Lib Dems by going along with the 'bedroom tax'. And the NHS reforms seem like a step towards privatisation. More competition in the NHS would be a disaster."
She also reveals that she is the second cousin of the Liberal MP David Penhaligon, who died in 1986:
"The Liberal Democrats are not the old Liberal Party. I think David Penhaligon would be turning in his grave at some of the things that are happening. I don't like the Lib Dems being with the Conservatives, and I think other Lib Dem voters think the same."
David can't answer for himself. But one of the ironies of West Country politics is that the region's Liberals have always been fierce enemies of the Conservative localy while appearing rather right wing to Liberals in the wider party. How this plays out at the next election, we shall see.

David Penhaligon died just before Christmas when his car skidded on an icy road after he had got up early to visit local postal workers.

As my favourite Harborough Tory councillor, Bill Crane from Lutterworth, said to me at the time: "If he had given his wife a squeeze, turned over and gone back to sleep, he would still be here now."

I realise that David Penhaligon will be little more than a name to many younger Liberal Democrats. You can get an idea of the man from the Desert Island Discs programme he recorded a few weeks before he died.

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