Sunday, April 04, 2004

Many of my friends in LDYS have been recounting why they joined the Liberal Democrats so I thought I would start my blog by doing the same and since it is just over a year it would be nice.

When I returned from Malawi in May 2002 I was a little disappointed to see that the outside world was doing very little for a very poor country which had problems with maize shortage which saw many come to death due to hunger.

Paul Marsden, Liberal Democrat MP for Shrewsbury and Atcham then announced that he would be flying to Malawi in Southern Africa for one week to raise awareness of the famine that threatened thirteen million people. This was my introduction to the Liberal Democrats.

Before I travelled to Malawi in June 2001 I had been interested in politics but had never ever thought of joining a party.

Since Paul Marsden's visit I always followed what the Liberal Democrats were up in relation the issues that interested me (Constitutional Affairs, Education, Foreign & Commonwealth Relations and International Development).

Soon after I realised that the Liberal Democrats were a serious party and that they were the real opposition to the Labour government. The Conservatives who were then under the leadership of Iain Duncan Smith (altogether now... who?) never really had any replies or alternatives to what the government were up to and just seem to disunited to be able to do anything. So then on 17th February 2003 while on the Liberal Democrats website I decided that I would join the party. I paid my £5 membership using my credit card and on Monday 24th I received my membership card and after two weeks wrote to my local party membership secretary that I had joined the party. Soon after Councillor Jon Hunt who was then a candidate for the Perry Barr ward in the council election wrote to me to say that there was a local party meeting soon, which I attended and as they say the rest is History.

Just over a year on I am very pleased I took the step that I did on 17th February 2003.

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