I've just opened my email to find the the man widely regarded as the Lib Dem Electionmeister Lord Chris Rennard is to step down from his role as Cheif Executive of the Party after the European Elections are under way. His wife has recently retied from teaching and Chris himself lists the battle to control his diabetes as two of the main contributing factors to him reaching this decision.
When I joined the party plain Chris Rennard as he was then was already spoken of in hushed tones and somewhat in awe by many party members. He really had geed up the parties electioneering machine and made us in serious challengers once again instead of merely a third party that only had the glories of the past to live on. One thing that I have noticed in the intervening years that many more in party can now think instinctively (or has that all be learnt) as far as electioneering goes. If imitation is the greatest form of flattery I watch some of the moves in elections by both Labour and the Conservatives as high praise indeed for Rennardian techniques and methods. Of course down through the years the party machine, often with Chris at the rudder, has looked to stay ahead of the game.
Chris in his email says:
"My major work as Chief Executive in recent years has been to help create new structures for the party organisation and help to recruit an extremely strong professional team to work for it. The role of Chief Executive has therefore changed significantly since I undertook this role six years ago."
This is indeed the case. The skills have been spread around, others have taken up the banner and will no doubt be more than capable of carrying things onward. The world is constantly evolving, as is communication and the electorate will constantly expect us to keep up with them. Rennard's departure while looking initially like a difficult challenge to fill has been made easier by his willingness to share with others.
My main regret is that I may not be able to gain revenge for the last round victory his team sneaked over mine in the last round of the table quiz at the 2005 Scottish candidates and agents Kick Start Training weekend.