Cross-posted at Stephen’s Liberal Journal
The last campaign to elect the Lib Dem President sticks with me for a number of things, firstly there was the number of ‘I’m for Ros’ badges that made their way to Scottish autumn conference and adorned the labels of many of the platform speakers. I didn’t manage to make it down to Federal conference where they had first appeared.
The other thing was on the supporters site there was a region for Northern Ireland, which can’t have pleased her opponent Bangor born Lembit Öpik, especially as most of them at the start were the office bearers. It was what got my attention as a Northern Irishman. Seeing as I’d spent most of my adult live involved in the party in England or Scotland, even I at the time wasn’t aware that the party had a presence back home. Thankfully my knowing from that time means I’ve made new friends within the party that has made my settling back in Northern Ireland an easy transition.
But Baroness Ros Scott knew and had their backing. She served the party well as President often making it to the regional conference and other events across the country, sometime accompanied by her husband, who many of us in Lib Dem circles know affectionately as the Hon. Lady Mark (since there are no honorific titles bestowed on the husbands of working peers).
It was her boundless enthusiasm, her dedication to the grass-roots in our party nationwide and her being a bridge between the Westminster party and the grass-roots that made us support her. But it is also these attributes that we will miss dearly following her decision not to stand for a second term.
However, I’m sure I speak on behalf of all who supported her two years ago in saying a big thank you. Ros is certainly leaving behind a big pair of shoes to be filled.