This is probably the most sensible decision that the Party has made since the Coalition was formed. I don't know any party members who haven't groaned at the useless patronising guff that's been landing in our inboxes as news from key party figures. They would be almost fine if they were accompanied by things that we could actually use.
One example I can think of is on tuition fees. It wasn't until late on in the debate that Nick Clegg came out with the comparison that someone on £21000 would pay £74 less per month under our scheme than under the current system introduced by Labour. That figure should have been framing the debate from the start to all of us. We could have used it to show how Liberal Democrats might not have got what we wanted, but we showed where our hearts lie by securing a better deal for the poorest.
Helen really understands the Party. She's been an ordinary member, a candidate, a member of her Regional Executive, involved in SAOs and a blogger. She totally understands what we need to be hearing.
She also understands that proper communication is a two way process and that the party should have two ears and one gob/keyboard. She also knows how to keep what she says relevant and real.
The poor woman has already had one long e-mail from me
I wish her all the best in her new role, for which she is ideally suited. I'm glad that she's also staying at Liberal Democrat Voice as it would have been very sad to lose her. The boys are great, but there are some things that they just don't get. This post, on why the obsession with leaders' wives was missing the point, is just such an example.
So, good luck, Helen. You're not going to be able to sort the whole party out on your own, but there's nobody better for this job, and I feel a lot more confident knowing that you're there.