By Leon Duveen in GLD Challenge magazine 2019-20
Last year, as I couldn't go to Autumn Conference, I responded to a request to represent GLD at the Nottingham Green Fest, held on September 15th and took part in a discussion that included Natalie Bennett (former Green Party Leader), Alan Simpson (former Labour MP), along with a Labour Councillor and a Labour PPC (very balanced panel!) to talk about "What actions are required to avoid runaway climate & ecological breakdown?"
Although I had prepared a few words to say the format was not quite what I expected and we were straight into answering questions from the audience. I tried to answer as best I could and where I was sure what the Lib Dem position, I relied on some wise words I was once told, if you think of the sensible solution, you won't be far off.
Even though some of the others had more experience at such events, I managed to hold my own and, even though the audience wasn't very Lib Dem friendly, I got some good reaction both during the discussions and later in chatting with some who had been listening.
The important point was that I made sure the Lib Dem voice was heard on Green issues, that the people there had a chance to here another point of view. It is vital that we take the chance to attend such events, get speakers on panels and put Lib Dem, especially Green Lib Dem, ideas to a wider audience. We cannot allow the discussions around the Environment to be dominated by the Greens & Labour.
I am always willing to talk at such events if I can but I also know there are many others in GLD & in the wider Lib Dems who can do it better than me, even if they don't know it yet themselves. Yes, it can be scary the first time you do it but with some research and preparation first, there is no reason why most of our members can't make a great job of representing us. Just remember to take a deep breath before opening your mouth and try not to speak too quickly.
By Leon Duveen
former PPC for Bassetlaw (2015 & 2019),
former Chair of Bassetlaw Lib Dem LP)