General Election 2017: Statement from Stevenage Lib Dem candidate Barbara Gibson
PUBLISHED: 13:24 19 May 2017 | UPDATED: 13:27 19 May 2017
“When it comes to politics, I am an outsider. But I have become so fed up with what I see as incompetence and indifference on the part of those who are supposed to be representing our interests that I decided it was time to step up. I believe our elected leaders should represent the best interests of our country, not play political games with our future. I was outraged with the complete ineptitude of David Cameron and the lies of the Leave campaigners, and am now horrified by the direction Theresa May has taken, barrelling towards a disastrous Hard Brexit. So I am standing as the Liberal Democrat candidate for Stevenage, to stand up for our future.
What can I bring to the role? With more than 25 years of business experience, much of it working with global companies, I have a track record of getting things done. I have managed large teams and big budgets, and also worked with small businesses and non-profits on shoestring budgets with volunteer teams. A few years ago I headed back to school to earn my PhD, and I now work primarily as a university lecturer teaching international business communication.
I am an immigrant to the UK, having come here from the USA in 2002. I proudly became a British citizen in 2011. I’ve lived in Hertfordshire for more than 14 years. Originally from Oklahoma, I grew up in a family of six children, where both my parents worked hard and barely made ends meet. I left home at 17 and worked several jobs at a time to support myself and put myself through university. Among the Oklahoma values that are core to my being are hard work, self-sufficiency, stick-to-itiveness and a down-to-earth approach.
Upon settling in my adopted home, I found an affinity for what I perceived to be core values of British culture, including fairness, tolerance, and reason. It was seeing the erosion of these values - overwhelmed by the wave of nationalism, populism, racism, misogyny and homophobia that seems to be sweeping from America and across Europe -- that motivated me to take a more active role in politics. I knew I couldn’t just trust that someone else would sort things out. I knew that it was time to “be the change I wish to see in the world.”