Tuesday, 11 November 2014

An answer for everything and a solution for nothing?

I've been reflecting on some recent decisions within the Liberal Democrats internal procedures and trying to unpick them from a perspective of "how did we end up here?"

Take the Regional Parties Committee decision on disciplinary matters. Putting aside whether you think it was the correct decision or not, it's very difficult to understand who is on the Regional Parties Committee, what it's remit is, how powers are devolved to it and how decision-making is done. At best it looks muddled, at worst it looks murky.

If you don't like any of those structures within the party, and wish to challenge them, how is that done? Is it just a question of "shut up and deliver leaflets"? Can one stand against these people on a platform of reform or even to raise awareness of the issues? 

But the other thing that strikes me is a number of people always have answers when any question of reform is raised. It feels at times as if the answers are reached for "off-pat" - for instance we can't have All-Women Shortlists because it is "illiberal"  - discussion over. Or because there was a process over the recent sexual harrassment scandal we should all have respect for that process (usually expressed as "having respect for due process") - discussion over.

It just seems that we often have an answer but not a solution.

Finally, I am at a loss about where to find reports of the key committees that run the Liberal Democrats. How am I to know, if for instance, we are going to have a "balance of probabilities" test for sexual harassment cases, if they occur in the future? This decision could be taken by the relevant authority (which would be....... no... don't know that either) and we wouldn't be aware. 

This question doesn't even seem to have an answer..... If I'm elected to the Federal Executive I will endeavour to find out.

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