Friday, September 17, 2010

Lord Richard Livsey

Sad to learn that Lord Richard Livsey has died. Like most people who knew Richard, I liked him. He was a very good friend to Mid Wales in particular, to agriculture and to the cause of devolution. We were political opponents throughout the time I knew him, though never directly. Hadn't seen him to talk to since he and I became political 'colleagues' last May. Always thought he had a wonderful feel for his constituency of Brecon and Radnorshire.

Funniest story I remember involving Richard (for we should always look for a sliver of humour in sad situations) concerned Paddy Ashdown, his then party leader. We met outside Charing Cross Station, and he was looking utterly crestfallen. I asked him what could possibly be the cause of such a 'hang dog' expression. (Richard was tall and had a 'longish' face which lent itself to a 'hang dog' look). "Devastating news. Tomorrow is going to be an awful day for us. The Sun is going to expose Paddy as an adulterer. Its going to destroy the Liberal Democrat vote". This was the night before the unforgettable 'Paddy Pantsdown' headline. I told him that his leader was such a sanctimonious 'know all' that such news would probably boost the Lib Dem vote. Turned out that I was more right than I thought. PP never looked back in the popularity stakes after that. I don't think Richard believed me at the time - but when I saw him a day or two later, he was back to his more jovial self.

Anyway, he was one of the really 'good guys' who cared about Brecon and Radnorshire. And I feel sad that a good friend of mine has died.


Blodyn said...

Livsey not Livesey

Glyn Davies said...

Thanks Blodyn. Corrected

James D said...

And to be utterly pedantic, the late Lord Livsey wasn't the son of a marquess either (so he should take the Alfred, Lord Tennyson, word order). But beggar that. He was a great man, and I love the Charing Cross anecdote!