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Report of launch of LIBG north west branch

April 30, 2014 3:29 PM
By Kiron Reid

The inaugural meeting of LIBG's north west England branch took place in Preston on 22 April.

Many thanks to all those who were able to come along. I know a few people couldn't make it and others sent apologies; it was good, diverse small group - eight of us for this first meeting. Howard Henshaw introduced the history and work of LIBG, and Gordon Lishman used his extensive knowledge of the standing of Liberal parties around the world to fill us in on the current situation in many countries.

Discussion ensued about history of the past decades and current situation in various African, Asian and European countries in particular. And of course we talked about the crisis in Ukraine. I enjoyed the meeting and conversation very much, with the wide variety of perspectives - including views from: studying politics; interests in social work; industry, engineering and business; banking; and from an experienced parliamentary candidate.

Interesting points of debate included Gordon's: "You learnt How to argue. Now people assert a view and other people go elsewhere on social media to assert a different view."

And Peter Hirst's provocative - "I think a religious theocracy is preferable to a military dictatorship" (and Richard Bennett putting the opposite position). We now know the next day that Tony Blair prefers the opposite position, but all of us - Peter included - of course preferred for Liberal values and parties to be successful after revolutions overthrow whatever kind of authoritarian regime.

Everyone agreed they would like to have another meeting after the elections. Howard and Karen have offered to host a summer get together in St. Anne's. Gordon has also good ideas for a future potential speaker. Several of the group themselves, and persons who couldn't make it, would also be excellent speakers to introduce particular topics for a future meeting. One idea suggested is a meeting focusing on the Middle East. Another could be the situation after the elections in Ukraine.

For details of future activities, contact Kiron Reid