The decision by the Liberal Democrats' Federal Executive - the top decision making body in the party - to actively discourage Lib Dem candidates for police commissioner next year is insane.
The apparent reason is that the party doesn't wish policing to become a political football. The same of course could be argued about schools, hospitals, the army, navy and airforce or most of local government. So why aren't they arguing that local Lib Dem parties back ‘appropriate independents’ to run these services?
The decision has rightly met with opposition from the more sensible parts of the party - including Lord Bonkers and Eaten by Missionaries. The latter of course has masterminded more election victories in difficult circumstances for posts that the party is sceptical about than most in the party - and probably the entire FE put together.
The FE is also the guarantor of the Party's constitution - which I suspect they forgot in taking their decision. Article 1 is clear:
The objectives of the Party shall be:
(a) to be the successor to the Liberal Party and the Social Democratic Party (“the Former Parties”);
(b) to seek to achieve the objects set forth in the Preamble to this Constitution; and
(c) in order to achieve such objects, to secure the election of Liberal Democrats as Members of Parliament, UK Members of the European Parliament and members of local and other elected public authorities.
So how do they square this nonsensical decision with their own constitution that they are there to protect?