Thursday, 7 March 2013

Relating the Preamble to #RockTheBoat

I've been impressed recently by my friend James Shaddock's grassroots campaign -  Rock the Boat - Lib Dems against Sexual Harassment. There are details on how to join the campaign at the bottom of this post.

Today I've been inspired by bloggers I admire (Alex Marsh, Caron Lindsay amongst others) responding to the challenge to write a blog on what Liberal Democrat values are. I think I'm a little late for the deadline to get maximum linkage, but still wanted to do it anyway. 

So, in time honoured Liberal Democrat activist fashion, I'd like to look at the preamble to the constitution. It is what we often refer to when we are thinking about what our values are, after all.

 It's on my mind as Julian Huppert wrote a thoughtful piece on LDV the other week, which inspired me to go back and look at it. Some people hold this up as a reason why we shouldn't do this or that policy, but as Jock Coats shows here, there could different interpretations of what different parts of the preamble mean.

I'd like to take the parts out that explain to me, why we should be standing against sexual harassment in our party, and not either dismissing or minimizing claims. I think it's time those of us who joined the Lib Dems for reasons about equality, dignity and fostering diversity, want this party to reflect our values, the values we joined the Liberal Democrats in support of.

Furthermore, if we want to encourage women to stand for selection, election and to help our party achieve it's aims in government, local government and opposition, we need to both support them and provide a safe place for them to achieve these aims.

I think investigating any claims properly and by having an independent body involved with this procedure is what I want to see in the party, and it's good that Tim Gordon, our Chief Executive has implemented these investigations. 

That I think is a commitment to these values and to this issue in particular.

So, to summarize - my view of what the values of the Lib Dems are about - liberty, equality, community and freedom from conformity, promoting diversity and dignity of the individual. 

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If you're a Lib Dem, there are details on how to join the #rocktheboat campaign here: 

The Facebook group is here: and you can find the Twitter account at @LDrocktheboat

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