Sometimes I’m too trashy even for my liking. How on earth can I have been an active Liberal Democrat for over a quarter of a century without knowing that one of the most famous Liberals of all time, four time Liberal Prime Minister William Ewart Gladstone, shared the same birthday as my beloved Granny, 29th December? Obviously not the same year, as the GOM (Grand Old Man, or God’s Only Mistake as Disraeli rather snippily put it) was born on 29th December 1809.
The eagle eyed amongst you will have spotted that this means that come next Tuesday it’s 200 years since Gladstone was born. Scottish Liberal Democrat Nigel Lindsay has organised a wreath laying ceremony for 10 am at the statue of Gladstone in Coates Crescent, Edinburgh.
Yes, I know it’s horrendously early and it’s probably going to be freezing cold, but this is history, and an event worth commemorating. David Steel is going to be speaking at the ceremony and that’s definitely worth getting out of bed for. The statue is literally a few minutes’ walk from Haymarket station and there are plenty nearby coffee houses we can go to for thawing out purposes afterwards. So, if you’re in or around Edinburgh next Tuesday, 29th, at 10 am, you are very welcome to come along and honour the life of an iconic Liberal.