Wednesday, 2 May 2012

Dai Liyanage

Rumours and whisperings are like fire. They've almost taken on a life of their own and spread over the right type of ground and catch hold. Often half of them are rubbish but that doesn't mean anything as who cares for truth over a good story?

Whisperings and rumours have passed by me over the last few weeks that sections of the Medway Conservatives are trying to link the Medway Libdems with Dai Liyanage. Is this a bad thing?

Certainly not.

Mr Liyanage was once a high ranking member of the local Libdem group, a former treasurer, Mayor of Medway and he is also a very successful member of the community who has done a lot for Medway and the people of his native Sri Lanka. Unfortunately I have never had the privilege of meeting him.

Events transpired that ended his role in the local Libdems in 2010 during the General election. Dai made some very unfortunate comments in the media in which he told voters of Gillingham and Rainham to vote for the then Labour MP Paul Clarke and not waste their vote on Libdem candidate Andy Stamp or the Conservative Reh Chishti would get in.

Well you can imagine how well that went down and how it would go down in any Political party.

The short and tall of it was that Dai resigned as a member of the Liberal Democrats. There was no enquiry, no expulsion and no black marks.

Dai has continued to play a big role in the local area but is considered somewhat controversial by some members. He is a member of DRINK who are a collection of local business people who want to see greater regeneration and investment in the Medway area and North Kent. He is also a proponent of the Hub airport being constructed here. He also supports Political Police Commissioners, something we're not too keen on but hey - everyone has their own opinion!

The point is, some groups are more than happy to use his old association with us and his standpoint to put us in the same boat. Even if Dai was a member it does not follow that his point of view would be the group's point of view.

I have corrected the odd Tweet I've seen that has said "Libdem Dai Liyanage says..." and I've seen a few more so this post is just to make it clear:

Dai Liyanage is not, at this current moment, a member of the Liberal Democrats and he does not speak for the group.

If the whisperings are true and the Conservatives are trying to forge a link that does not exist may be they're trying to discredit us in the eyes of the voters but who knows?

As I said at the beginning, whisperings and rumours are often rubbish and the Conservative group may not have said that in the first place. The point is I'm now laying out the above fact, should it change I'll let you all know!

1 comment:

  1. I have to admit that this is the first I've heard of it, so it might indeed be just a rumour as I don't miss very much that is actually going on.

    Interestingly, I have this week been invited to go along to a future DRINK event, and they have promised to notify me when it is arranged.

    I have met Dai before, am well aware of his history (which goes back a long way before 2010!) and I even surprised him with something at a Mayor's Garden Party a few years ago...

    I shall try to find out what this DRINK outfit is really trying to achieve, see what can be done, try to advise (if they'll listen) and ascertain where to go and how best to proceed from there.

    I might even cheekily ask Dai if he's thinking of re-joining the party(!)