Encouraged by new growth
I BEGIN this column by thanking defeated Councillor David Neilson for over 20 years of unstinting service to his electorate, which included being chosen as Mayor for the 750th anniversary of Macclesfield’s Borough Charter in 2011.
It is always especially sad when a national swing sweeps away those who, if judged only on their personal record, deserve better.
Local activists, especially those of us, who have experience of observing Nick Clegg, former ministers and MPs at close quarters, feel the same way about them.
We know that, confronted by an economy in even worse shape than they had expected or feared, they genuinely felt the need to make tough, even agonising, choices.
We know, contrary to opponents’ and media “spin”, that they are thoroughly decent people, motivated, not by power, but by a wish to do their best for our country.
We supported them as they risked their careers, and our party’s best interests, in the national interest.
We, and they, knew that the Tories may successfully claim the credit for popular policies that we insisted upon, such as raising the tax threshold.
Despite the outcome, they and we, believe it was the right thing to do and would do it again.
On a happier note, one of the fascinating quirks of nature is how hard pruning can lead to new growth.
Since the election over 13,000 new members have joined the party.
Encouragingly, while new members of all ages have signed up (mostly via party HQ, and mostly on line) they are, on average, younger than our existing members and those of other parties.
This is true of the new recruits in Macclesfield, where the local membership surge has been higher than the national average. Long may it continue! In conclusion, we would like to thank all readers who voted for us in the local or national elections and assure them that, behind the scenes, the fightback has begun.