Friday, 17 September 2010

Richard Livsey

I have been meaning to restart this blog for a while but the sad news of the death of Richard Livsey was the last thing I expected to be the reopening topic.

Richard was without doubt a politician from a different era. Someone who cared about his constituents not just climbing the greasy pole. I remember all too well the shock of sitting on the back step of my house in Aberystwyth in the 1992 sun learning that not only had Geraint lost his seat by Richard had as well. Yet I also remember the welcome I received from him when I moved across to Rhaayder a couple of years later and his tireless efforts over 5 years to keep the Lib Dem flag flying and retake the seat.

When he held the seat his activity didn't stop there his contribution to the yes campaign, his amazing casework load and his support for both Roger and Kirsty were amazing to see. Even after ennoblement he continued the rounds of village fetes and coffee mornings as before.

Outside of Wales his legacy will be but a footnote on history mainly remembered as a by election winner and little more. Inside Wales he will be viewed as one of the key political influences on my generation of Liberal Democrats many of whom are now in positions of influence in Westminster, Cardiff or councils across the land. Inside Brecon and Radnor he will be remembered as one of their best MPs.

In 1997 we used the slogan "everyone knows someone who has been helped by Richard Livsey" changed to the past tense it sums up his political life.

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