Wednesday, 2 May 2012
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?
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!