Esther Rantzen, founder of the child protection charity Child Line has launched a new crusade to protect Liberal Democrats – ‘Lib Dem Line’. After yesterday’s trouncing in the Inverclyde by-election and previous beatings in Barnsley, the Liberal Democrats will be able to seek help 24/7, in the new initiative.
“Lib Dem Line has been created to find better ways of detecting Lib Dem MP’s who are at risk of abuse and cruelty,” said the journalist and television presenter. “We undertook a survey of former Liberal Democrats who had themselves experienced cruelty as MP’s and the results were quite startling. Some Lib Dems have suffered years of abuse.“
Amongst those who took part in the survey was a former leader of the Liberal Party during the 1970’s who had suffered taunts of animal cruelty and gay bashing and a female who was accused of being in a gang of four. Another respondent who also wished to remain anonymous but signed himself ‘NC’ cited more recent abuse at the hands of a former public school boy.
The charity has managed to obtain funding from the Department of Health and the Variety Club of Great Britain which is helping to brand special mini-buses to take abused Lib Dems on special treats out of their constituencies.
“Unfortunately, “ said Ms Rantzen “We are having great difficulty recruiting volunteer counsellors on the helpline, but the Prime Minister, David Cameron has assured us that his Big Society initiative should start things moving pretty soon.”
When questioned about her role in the May 2010 election when she beat the Lib Dem candidate to a pulp by more than 13% of the votes, Ms Rantzen denied any charges of bullying. “It was quite a fight and one that I didn’t win in the end, but I did beat the bugger fair and square.”