Helena Morrissey's well written report makes me want to cry in parts in a good way - pointing out that it's "simply not credible" to say there aren't good women candidates, and also that the modern world is a good place for liberal democracy to thrive - I believe both of these statements. I will and have made these points again and again, and will do until more people listen.
I think she has taken time to understand the culture and think she has done admirably well - the famous organogram is definitely the bewildering experience of many a new activist to the party - it was mine!
The report begins by saying we should tie our values to our actions which I am 100% behind, that we shouldn't lose this focus to focus on campaigning at the loss of everything else, this is completely true. It points to items within the culture and the expenditure of the Lib Dems which seem to regard campaigning as the be all and end all, at least at times, and that I have observed as well
The practical recommendations she makes are good, and also clear that most of the things done to increase female participation have been focused on women, and that these should be extended to educating men as well - correct. It says it was disappointing that senior figures commented that women should "toughen" up, again correct - I blogged on this at the time.
It's hard reading at times but I think it is fair and sensible, definitely worth reading. However will everyone read it that needs to? I note the concerns raised about local party structure and complaint's procedures not being like HQ - this is true and symptomatic of the disconnect between HQ and LP structure. There have been initiatives to both improve diversity and also have a member of Liberal Youth in every local party exec - I'm not too sure these are happening everywhere, well-intentioned as they are.
I think it would be good for recommendations to be implemented in full, I think it's good that Helena will come back to measure progress. I await with interest the next developments.