22 May 2012

Spineless bureaucrats give in to police over conference security

Lib Dem Voice reports that three party committees have agreed to police requests to allow them to vet democratically elected conference representatives at the party's autumn conference.

This was despite the previous conference rejecting the idea and a 'shotgun' consultation during the local election campaign also overwhelmingly rejecting the proposal.  The crucial part of the staement issued by the chairs of the three committees is this:
"In the unlikely circumstance that the police recommend that we do not accredit a party member, the final decision as to the attendance of any Party member rests with the Party..."
So why bother?  The party rates the chance of anyone failing this vetting process as 'unlikely'.  And even then they can still attend if the party agrees.  And I think it would be a very brave party bureaucrat to turn down a Lib Dem member elected by their local party - that's assuming they actually have the constitutional authority to do so. 

But the issue is not actually whether vetting/accreditation itself is effective (and the party committees have provided no evidence that this is the case), but about the relationship between the individual and the police.  All elected politicians (and especially Liberal ones) have a duty to question vested interests and lazy bureacracy and to support a rebalancing of the relationship between the state and the individual.  Sadly in this case the elected bureaucrats at the heart of the party have dismally failed to argue the liberal case.

As the committee places are elected I cannot imagine the party will want to reelect the spineless bureaucrats who allowed this to happen.


  1. There was one person who voted against at FFAC - want to take a guess who that might have been?

    The whole thing is a nonsense and that LDV article deeply offensive in that it implies that if you care about safety of staff you'll be against accreditation.


    FCC were actually very clever. They never actually voted for or against accreditation. They said they weren't persuaded and kicked it up to FFAC. Now, if you were looking for a certain decision to be made, would you not kick it to the least accountable (only 5 elected members outvoted by 6 MPs and loads of other party grandees) body in the entire party?

  2. Thanks Caron - I knew you would be far too sensible to fall for this rubbish.