How I'll get things done in Europe
Today Catherine Bearder made a speech to Liberal Democrat members in South East England on why they should select her as their candidate for the European Parliament in the 2009 European elections. Please see the full text below:
"Thank you all for coming to these hustings today. I have met many members across this region over the years, but I realise that there are some members here today I haven't met before, and so I want to start by telling you a bit about what I've done so far, and why I think my life prepares me to get things done as our MEP."
"I married my husband, Simon, who is a ecologist and we spent our first few years together in the African bush, working with him on biodiversity and conservation projects.
"Since then, I've been a Mum three times, managed a citizen's advice bureau and worked with victims of crime and homeless people"
"I'm not necessarily someone with a posh CV from school and college who's been born to be an MP or MEP. But I have had real-life experience of getting things done for the people who've been left behind by society; on the ecological impact of climate change; on practical problems."
"I am a liberal by conviction, but also by experience. I promise more of the same: to roll up my sleeves and get stuck in; I don't think being an MEP is about talk alone, I am in this to get things done."
"Why do I want to be an MEP then? And I certainly do want to be an MEP. This is the third time I have stood in this region for the European Parliament and I am currently number 3, behind Emma and Sharon. As you may know, Emma Nicholson is standing down and I am working very hard to take her place."
"I am passionate about three key issues."
"The first, as you already know, is the environment. I've spoken at conference about the need to work with Europe for global solutions to climate challenge. You have my commitment and my record on that issue."
"Secondly, I want to work on issues of social justice. I've been closely involved in work against the illegal trafficking of women for abuse in the sex industry. I am appalled that as we meet in this nice hall, women and children are being bought and sold as commodities across our supposedly civilised Union. I will be there to protect civil liberties and prevent such abuses whenever needed."
"And thirdly, I want to make Europe more democratic, more in touch, and more popular in Britain. We need to counter the right-wing spin against the ideal of Europe, but also criticise it's failures and set out how we will put them right. Above all, I want to show people that we can get things done for them, and make their MEP relevant to their daily lives."
"That brings me to the last thing I'll say today."
"You've heard who I am and what I believe in. But here's a guarantee. You'll see me after this election - I won't just get elected as an MEP and disappear."
"I'm one of you. I'm a Lib Dem activist who's been to by-elections in almost every constituency in the South East and South Central. I've organised our conferences, I've been a councillor, I've been an agent, and I have been responsible for printing and delivering thousands of leaflets across the region!"
"As your MEP I will still work tirelessly for the Lib Dems. I will be in YOUR constituency. I will take up your campaigns, and I will champion for charities, voluntary organisations and local groups throughout our region."
"I will get things done on liberal issues and I'll get things done to win more councillors and seats and votes in the South East."
"I am Catherine Bearder."
"I don't promise what I can not deliver"
"I get things done."
"Please give me your first-preference vote."