Wednesday, 9 December 2009

David Penhaligon would not be backing MK

Dick Cole, Leader of Mebyon Kernow, is entering General Election mode. Nothing wrong with that. But he has quoted an outrageous statement on his blog which demands an answer.

Dick quotes and article in the Western Morning News y a Simon Parker which is disparaging about the Lib Dems and about Nick Clegg in particular. All fairly standard stuff. But he claims that David Penhaligon, the much loved MP for Truro for many years and the man who inspired me to join the Liberal Party, would today be backing Mebyon Kernow.

I am sure that, had David not been tragically killed back in 1986, he would have gone on to lead the Liberal Party and the Liberal Democrats. I am sure that, although very different in style to Paddy Ashdown, he would have had the same effect in launching the Party from the ruins of the merger to one which would command attention on the national stage. You never know, he may even have been more successful than Paddy.

But even if we don't try to re-imagine history but simply have David alive and well today, I am sure that he would be a very active and passionate member of the Liberal Democrats. When David didn't agree with Party policy he argued passionately for his case (and usually won the day).

David believed in making sure that the poorer people in Cornwall had a better quality of life. The Liberal Democrats would raise the tax threshold to £10,000 so that many thousands of Cornish residents would no longer pay any tax at all. I'm sure he would have had no truck with overly bureaucratic tax credits and other centralised means of handing a few quid to poorer people and far more to consultants, contractors and bureaucrats.

Of course MK would want David as a member. Any party would. He was immense. But to claim that David would have walked away from the Party he loved and which he helped to create is a step too far.


Paul Walter said...

Yes, just ridiculous. A sign of desperation by MK, I feel. A bit like the BNP suddenly claiming the support of Churchill!

By coinky-dinky, I was also inspired to join the Liberal Party by David Penhaligon - however in the sad circumstances of his death, when I was jarred into action and wrote to David Steel, enclosing a cheque asking to join the party in DP's memory. A few weeks later David Rendel came round to my door to join me up.

You were right that DP was immense. My mother, a Fowey girl, often said, while he was alive, that Corinish people would happily vote for him to be King, if they could!

Dick Cole said...

Good morning Alex.

Please don’t misrepresent what MK and/or I might have said. In fact, I have said nothing. I simply posted a quite long (1,600 word)blog article in full by a sympathetic local journalist - the comments were his! As you know, I merely added the following introduction –“I am delighted to have found a recent entry on Simon Parker's blog on the Western Morning News website. It reports on MK's recent Conference and our campaign leading up to the next General Election. Thank you for the kind words, Simon. And for those of you who haven't read it yet, here it is reproduced below …”

I noticed that you made no comment on what he said about Labour and the Tories.

See you soon. Dick

Anonymous said...

David made the mistake of proposing support for the Conservatives. I belieive he was a Roman Catholic making support of Socialism anathema. Coincidentaly,concuurently,he was killed.