Former Lincoln parliamentary representative, Dick Taverne, visited Lincoln on Friday, April 30th, ahead of next week’s general election.

Taverne, who represented the Liberal Democrats in Lincoln between 1973 and 74, was in Lincoln to support current Lib Dem candidate Reg Shore, and also to attend the Lincoln candidate’s debate.

Since being granted a peerage in 1996, he has been an active member in the House of Lords.

His trip to Lincoln included a visit to election hotspots, attending the debate, and meeting with several people.

He reminisced about his time in Lincoln: “Most of the people who will remember me will be pretty old,” he said, “because it was 37 years ago that I was the MP,” adding he doesn’t expect many people to remember him.

Taverne compared his time in power to the current surge in support for the Lib Dems:  “When I was here we broke the mould. We showed the people that there was an alternative. This is just the time when you feel people are realising, yes there is another choice, the Liberal Democrats are there.”

He expressed his like of current Lib Dem candidate, Reg Shore: “I’ve met Reg before when I came for a duck race last summer, and I am delighted to see that he has been elected to the county council and is starting to pick up some pace.”

When speaking about current representative for Lincoln, Labour’s Gillian Merron, Taverne said: “She got in, in time with the great Labour surge of 1997, but things don’t quite look the same for Labour at the present time.”

Although Taverne hasn’t yet met Conservative candidate Karl McCartney, he does plan to ask him about the voting system supported by his party leader, David Cameron.

“One of the things being forecast by everyone is that Labour may get the lowest proportion of votes, and the highest proportion of seats, as an advertisement for democracy and the first-past-the-post system Cameron is very keen on keeping.”

He said that if this happens, the democratic nature of British politics has to be questioned. He also said if the result of the election is a hung parliament, keeping brown as the prime minister if he receives a low percentage of votes, the situation would be “absurd”.

“I think the best thing for the Liberal Democrats would be to give the party that has the largest number of votes a chance, but if they are going to do things that are completely unacceptable, then no we can’t support them,” Taverne said.

By Sam Long

Staff Reporter