I don’t normally do this (in fact, I’ve never done this before), but I thought I’d tell you why I think you should vote for Rob Blackie to represent the Lib Dems at next May’s London elections for the London Assembly (obviously this only applies to those who are LD inclined). I guess the reason I feel the need to put my hat in the endorsement ring is because after May’s result, the party needs quality candidates – particularly in London as I’ve written about before – more than ever.
Why Rob? Partly it’s because I think he’s a good egg, obviously, but more objectively he’s a great campaigner; that’s what the party needs right now, possibly more than anything else. Particularly when it comes to digital campaigning, where Rob has an impressive CV to present. He knows how to recruit new members and how to keep them active within the party.
Before you retort that this must be some Orange Booker’s way of trying to keep the bloodlines pure, Rob last worked for the party back when Charles Kennedy was leader. So my endorsement of Rob is in no way part of some left-right thing within the Lib Dems (which, as you know, I find all a little silly anyhow). I just think Rob would be good at the job.
Backing up my point about Rob and new members: I recall Bournemouth, 2008, my first Lib Dem conference. I knew a handful of people already within the party, but most of them were extremely busy and not particularly able to hold my hand through it all. While Rob was busy as well, he spent more time than he needed to, introducing me to people and making me feel welcome in what was a new environment for me. I remain grateful for that, but that’s not why I bring it up – I use it as an example to demonstrate that the guy cares about nurturing the party and wants to make it an easy place to feel welcome. Now, more than ever, that’s important.
So if you are a Liberal Democrat, vote for Rob Blackie for the London Assembly. God knows the party needs to do a lot better in London and Mr Blackie is a good person to help make that happen.