Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Lord Bonkers' Diary: Advice to ambitious young Liberal Democrats

Advice to ambitious young Liberal Democrats

Here is a letter typical of those I receive from ambitious young Liberal Democrats; it asks me which book the writer should read to maximise her chances of becoming a Member of Parliament. My answer is always the same. In order to be selected for a half-promising seat you need a roadworthy bicycle and a copy of Wainwright’s West Country Marginals. Once you have been adopted, however, there is only one volume that will do: A Fortunate Life: The Autobiography of Paddy Ashdown (which is by Paddy Ashdown, incidentally).

I know of no book that sets out half so clearly what is needed to win an election campaign. I don’t mean the chapter on "The Winning of Yeovil" that was made available free on the electric internet recently, excellent though it is In Its Way: no, I am thinking about the section on jungle warfare in Sarawak where Ashplant explains how to mount patrols, the best way to lay an ambush and how to treat an open wound using red ants. It was no surprise to me when, armed with this knowledge, we took control of South Somerset District Council.

Lord Bonkers was Liberal MP for Rutland South-West 1906-10

Earlier this week...

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