LDV 2008 Awards: the Lib Dem lists – your nominations, please!

by Stephen Tall on December 13, 2008

Last year, we asked Lib Dem Voice readers to nominate, and then vote for, your Liberal Voice of the Year: the winner was Shami Chakrabati. This year, the LDV end-of-the-year awards are back, and they’re bigger and better than ever before.

In total, there are eight categories for which we’re seeking nominations; the LDV Collective will draw up and publish the short-lists; and then seek your votes via a poll run according to the single transferable vote. How impeccably liberal can you get?

Today, we’re seeking nominations for the following four categories which relate directly to the Liberal Democrats:

The LDV 2008 Awards

Liberal Democrat Politician of the Year
Please nominate the elected representative you believe has had the best year: nominees may be members of any elected body within the UK.

Liberal Democrat Campaigner of the Year
Please nominate the Lib Dem you believe has campaigned most effectively in the past year, whether nationally or locally.

Liberal Democrat By-election Performance of the Year
Please nominate the Lib Dem by-election campaign, local or national, which you believe has been the most successful in the past year.

Most Desperate Press Release of the Year by a Liberal Democrat
Please nominate the most trying-too-hard press release you’ve seen issued by a Liberal Democrat, locally or nationally, in the past year.

Please submit your nominations in the comments section below, making it clear in which category your nominations belong.

Tomorrow we’ll publish the list of categories for the non-Lib Dem LDV 2008 Awards.

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Liberal Democrat Politician of the Year;

No contest here, I nominate Vince Cable for his foresight with regard to the economic crisis and his subsequent high profile and sound contribution to the national debate 🙂

by Darrell on December 13, 2008 at 11:33 am. Reply #

In that case Darrell I’ll nominate Lynne Featherstone who speaks with authority on social issues equal to that which Vince Cable speaks on economic matters.

Her contribution to the Baby P debate was incisive and insightful, while she has proved a successful campaigner in the equality brief.

I for one will be very disappointed if she doesn’t get promoted at the earliest opportunity. She is a leading light of the party.

by Oranjepan on December 13, 2008 at 11:56 am. Reply #

I too think Lynne Featherstone deserves the LD politician of the year.

by Thomas on December 13, 2008 at 12:15 pm. Reply #

Vince for politician of the year. Lynne has been utterly awesome, but Vince has got us more, and more consistent coverage.
Ros Scott for campaigner.
Most desperate press release has to be Lembit’s Gloria Gaynor impression.

by Jennie on December 13, 2008 at 12:34 pm. Reply #

Well I’m going to vote for both.
Vince for politician of the year
Lynne for campaigner of the year (narrowly edging out Ros Scott for her internal party campaign)
For by election, with no national triumphs, it’ll have to be the only one in my area – and thus the only one I had any major input on – the election of Councillor Mark Mills to Oxford City Council from Holywell ward.
Most desperate press release has to be the “proud to buy british and local” one. Silly pointless pandering. Trying to hard to please, allowing it to was over the details within the pronouncement.

by James Schneider on December 13, 2008 at 12:42 pm. Reply #

What is the date range for this? I ask because Nick Clegg’s press statement “clarifying” his agnostic, God-worshipping atheism really ought to be on the shortlist, but although it was less than a year ago it was in December 07.

by James Graham on December 13, 2008 at 12:51 pm. Reply #

For Liberal Democrat By-election Performance of the Year may I nominate St George West October 2008 in Bristol? Tony Potter for the Lib Dems came from third place in 2007 to overcome the inevitable Labour & Conservative attempts at squeeze to win by 107 votes! Everyone involved worked very hard!

by Jon Rogers on December 13, 2008 at 1:32 pm. Reply #

For most desperate press release: “Lembit: time for Lib Dems to stop the conspiracy against me

by passer-by on December 13, 2008 at 3:15 pm. Reply #

For by-elections we have to consider Linda Chung’s victory over the tories in Hampstead Town, Camden.

Beating the Tories in Hampstead as they sought to ride high across the polls. LOL

And Linda such a great character within the Lib Dems too…

by ed on December 13, 2008 at 5:33 pm. Reply #

Jon Rogers wrote: “For Liberal Democrat By-election Performance of the Year may I nominate St George West October 2008 in Bristol? Tony Potter for the Lib Dems came from third place in 2007 to overcome the inevitable Labour & Conservative attempts at squeeze to win by 107 votes! Everyone involved worked very hard!”

If this was such an important victory, isn’t it a bit strange, then, that he still isn’t listed as a councillor on the website of Bristol Liberal Democrats?

by Anonymous on December 13, 2008 at 6:10 pm. Reply #

Sorry to be Unoriginal but it really has to be

1. Vince for Parliamentarian of the Year. I can’t remember when a single politican has led for so long so well on such an important issue.

2. Although its a little navel gazing Ros Scott has to be campaigner of the Year. A genuine grass roots landslide against an opponent with mega name recognition in a contest that favours name recognition.

3. I agree with James Graham. It was just under a year ago so the God gaff over what wasn’t really a God Gaffe in the first place.

by David Morton on December 13, 2008 at 7:13 pm. Reply #

Ooops! Well spotted “Anonymous at 6:10pm”!

by Jon Rogers on December 13, 2008 at 7:20 pm. Reply #

I will have to be totally predictable with my first choice;
1/ Vince Cable should be Parliamentarian of the Year. I wonder how many other Lib Dem MPs could get way with advocating the nationalisation of Northern Rock? Not only that, the government dithered, wasting valuable time before taking his advice. I am not saying it is a great policy, but it is probably the best from a bad hand.
2/ I saw Helen Duffett today in a by-election I am campaigning in. She gets everywhere and is very positive and encouraging, just the person you want to see on a cold rainy day like today.
3/ The recent by-election victory in Waltham Forest was stunning, the Tories were convinced they would win.

by Geoffrey Payne on December 13, 2008 at 7:53 pm. Reply #

Lembit’s conspiracy theory – yes, honourable mention.

Clegg’s “vast bulk” of tax cuts, a week before Conference – well, that’s what drove this activist away from activism, so I hope you’ll excuse me giving this another honourable mention.

Looking back on that period, it seems clear that somebody (Vince?) sharply reined in our dear leader at that point. The tax cuts then became relatively modest at Conference itself. Since then they have of course changed again, partly because of the crisis, and then again because of further dithering. What will the New Year hold, I wonder….?

But my nomination has to go to that Cleggover interview with Piers Morgan. Never mind whether or not it bothers you personally to hear your leader discuss his bedroom technique in public. Ask yourself what the people who vote, most of whom seem to be pensioners, will be thinking!

by David Allen on December 13, 2008 at 10:22 pm. Reply #

David: I hate to bang on or anything, but: “discuss his bedroom technique in public” is rather stretching the truth, isn’t it? As I recall, the dialogue in question went like this:

Piers Morgan: So how many women have you slept with in your life? 10? 20? 30?

Nick Clegg: Oh, no more than 30.

Not quite “bedroom technique” (whatever that might mean), is it?

Anyway, nominations: Well, no point in mentioning Vince or Ros for the first two, and I don’t know much about by-elections, but can I nominate Don Foster as one great big human press-release-trying-too-hard?

by Andy Hinton on December 14, 2008 at 2:58 am. Reply #

Also, anecdotal, I know, but the reaction of the members of the public I run into in my job to the Cleggover “scandal” ranged from a “good on him, I say” to a not-in-the-slightest bothered shrug of the shoulders. Nobody outside of Westminster gives a flying thirty fucks…

by Jennie on December 14, 2008 at 3:01 am. Reply #

So I can nominate both, I’d suggest Lynne Featherstone for POTY for consistently talking sense and reacting well to a local crisis & Vince Cable for campaigner of the year for constantly pressing the government, supposedly strong on economics, into retreats and bad press over the world financial situation.

Most desperate press release; gotta be Lembit’s one about the Stop Opik campaign, although Nick Clegg’s Piers Morgan interview deserves an honourable mention.

by tpfkar on December 14, 2008 at 11:45 am. Reply #

For by-election campaigner of the year, it has to be Ian Robertson (Glasgow East). In an unwinnable seat he fought really hard and consistently came out as the most intelligent candidate.

by Ruaraidh on December 14, 2008 at 12:03 pm. Reply #


Sorry, this is going to be painful, but here are the facts. The transcript is at


and here it is:

PM Do you think you’re good in bed?
NC Um… er… I don’t think I am particularly brilliant or particularly bad! [Laughs]


PM How many women would actually know for a fact if you’re good in bed?
NC [Spluttering] Er… not a… not a list as long as yours, I’m sure.
PM How many are we talking: ten, 20, 30?
NC No more than 30.
PM So there are 30 women out there who could answer the question.
NC It’s a lot less than that.
PM And what would the general consensus be, do you think?
NC You’d have to ask them!
PM Ever had any complaints?
NC Oh God yes, of course.
PM Many?
NC No.

by David Allen on December 14, 2008 at 12:57 pm. Reply #

I have to admit I’m torn between the Clegg “I <3 Jesus” press statement and the “Vast Bulky” Tax cuts interview, but I suspect the latter would be technically ineligible since it wasn’t a press release.

I don’t suppose talking too loud on a plane counts either?

by James Graham on December 14, 2008 at 1:11 pm. Reply #

David: Fair enough, to be honest I’d forgotten about that bit. Which somewhat makes my point, albeit in an “I was factually incorrect in my above post” way; the bit of this that has hung around in people’s heads is the number 30, not the surrounding chat. I suspect that the pension-age voters you’re so worried about never even read the actual interview in the first place, and are unlikely to remember anything other than the headlines it generated.

Also: What Jennie said.

by Andy Hinton on December 14, 2008 at 2:37 pm. Reply #

Oh, actually, can I change my press release nomination? The one where we actually emphasized to the press our plan to robocall a whole bunch of people.

by Andy Hinton on December 14, 2008 at 3:32 pm. Reply #

Oh good call, Andy! Although I’ll probably still vote for Lembit. I feel he deserves SOMETHING…

by Jennie on December 14, 2008 at 3:42 pm. Reply #

Yes, good call Andy. This is going to be a difficult contest.

In terms of Vince, while I would happily agree that he is a leading contender for politician of the year, I don’t think he deserves the accolade of campaigner of the year. He hasn’t turned that good judgement into polling success for the party, and he fundamentally failed to prevent the thing he was warning against.

by James Graham on December 14, 2008 at 4:17 pm. Reply #

Andy, next time I make a memory error, I hope I’m as gracious about it as you’ve been.

by David Allen on December 14, 2008 at 4:50 pm. Reply #

LD politician of the year: Steve Webb for his excellent performance as energy and climate change spokesman.
LD campaigner of the year: Neil Trafford. And Kirsty Williams for an excellent campaign to become Welsh Lib Dem leader.

by Bernard Salmon on December 14, 2008 at 4:59 pm. Reply #

Press release award should surely be Steve Webb’s “we’ve got more facebook friends than the other parties” announcement

by Anonymous on December 14, 2008 at 5:37 pm. Reply #

I agree with Jon Rogers

The Bristol St George West by-election was a wonderful achievement. Both Labour and Tories poured in support from all across the region, knowing that a Lib Dem victory would take us closer to majority control next June.

Yet the Lib Dems won, coming from third place to record a comfortable majority.

by Anonymous on December 15, 2008 at 11:55 am. Reply #

Politician of the year – it has to be Vince, doesn’t it? Although I do think that Lynne Featherstone has run him close recently.

Campaigner of the Year – Ros Scott. To get the size of the vote she did in the Presidential election definately needs a good campaign.

By-election performance – there will be local elections which I’m not aware of, but the national elections have been so bad that perhaps this category should be witheld this year?

Press release – Got to be Lembit’s after the presidential election…

by KL on December 15, 2008 at 12:31 pm. Reply #

How strictly must the most desperate press release be a press release? I can see, that many have referred to interviews.

by Anonymous on December 16, 2008 at 1:49 pm. Reply #

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