Former MP Stephen Lloyd, Lib Dem Eastbourne & Willingdon – Podcast – Episode 1 – Introduction

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CD:      Good afternoon and welcome to and and as well and today we have with us as an introductory podcast [Former] MP Stephen Lloyd who is a Lib Dem for Eastbourne and Willingdon.  Hello there Stephen, welcome.

SL:       Hello Chris, good to be here.

CD:      Great, it’s nice to see you and really this is just a simple sort of get together for you to have a chat with us, and tell everybody in Eastbourne a little bit about you because, believe it or not, I think there are some people who actually don’t know too much about Stephen Lloyd the person.  We see you everywhere, we see you in the newspapers, we see you online, we see you on the TV as well, so it’s great to see our MP in every media possible, but it would be great to just find a bit about you, so tell us a bit…

SL:       Well Chris, thank you for that.  That’s easier said than done because when you get to my age I have got a long, long hinterland.

CD:      Sure.

SL:       I actually grew up in Kenya in East Africa.  It wasn’t Eastbourne.  My father moved out to East Africa in the early 50’s, my mother was an Irish lass and she went out there as a nurse, they met and I grew up in Kenya.  The old man East Grinstead as it happens and then by incredible coincidence, and it was a coincidence, my great grandmother was Eastbourne.   So, it’s fascinating how 80 years later you kind of come back again.

CD:      You’ve come back yeah.

SL:       I was always…I had strong opinions when I was a kid.   I saw things I didn’t like and I would, you know, make my feelings clear on that.  I was very lucky to grow up in a very privileged background in Africa in those days, but I saw the way that some white people treated black people in Kenya in the old days and to me, even as a very young child, 5 or 6, I hated it.  I thought it was really wrong and unfair etc, and I now recognise looking back that that feeling, because it was then, I was too young to intellectually think it through, but that feeling I think is a key part of my personality that I have always had, which is very much around equal opportunity, treating people just basically with the respect that I like to be treated.   And as I grew up as a teenager I began to take a great interest in current affairs, in politics.  One of my original heroes really in the old days was Martin Luther King, though I was very, very young when he was around, it kind of got through to me.   It really did.  I was interested in politics then as a young man and actually was originally a member of the Labour party up in London.   And then for me Labour, as some of your older listeners will know, split into what’s called the SDP.  I joined the SDP, in fact, was one of the original joiners all those years ago, and then life intruded and I kind of dropped out of politics for 20/25 years.  First off, I was an actor for a couple of years up in London, a deeply unsuccessful actor.

CD:      An actor?

SL:       I was so unsuccessful Chris you won’t believe it.  That’s where I learnt all about how far a tin of beans or a tin of crushed tomatoes can go for a few days as your main meal, but I was hopeless at it.   I enjoyed it though and I was in a number of different series.  I did one episode of Dr Who, in the old days.

CD:      Ahhh that’s where I know you from.

SL:       Yeah, yeah, yeah but if you blink you miss me.  I also remember doing an episode of Hello Hello which was hilarious.  But anyway, I gave that up after a couple of years. I was just no good, and I went into business, originally as a radio production company.  I set up a radio production company up in London which was doing a lot of packages for the independent radio network and the BBC network.   I had a studio, ran that for a few years, that was quite successful and then the late 80s I had made a few quid and so I dropped out and got into something that I was very interested in around disability.  I am hard of hearing.  I have been all my life.  I lost my sight in my mid-twenties for six months and one of the things that came out of that for me was an interest in disability, sounds the wrong word, what came out for me was I thought that it just seemed so silly for people with a disability that society generally, certainly in those days put so many barriers in front of what people’s capabilities could be and I just thought that was wrong.   So, at the time I had made some money, so what I wanted to do was just go and work in the charity sector in those days around disability to learn and also then start advising companies and businesses about how to make their products and services accessible to disability.  The reason I needed money in those days was there was no money in that business at all.  There is now but there wasn’t then.  So, I did that for a bit and very quickly got involved with campaigning.  I got involved with something called the Disability Discrimination Act which a lot of your disabled listeners will know about.  Prior to that, a company could say I don’t care if you are in a wheelchair, you are not coming into my restaurant.  They could sack you because you were disabled.  The law came in and made that illegal.

To read the full transcript, click here – Transcript Stephen Lloyd Podcast 1

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