The chair of the Federal Finance and Administration Committee, Duncan Greenland has written an article in the Conference edition of Liberator on the highly controversial issue of Conference accreditation. A Liberal Democrat Voice poll in June, consistent with every other test of party opinion on the issue, showed that a majority of respondents opposed the system, which requires conference attendees to undergo police checks.
Mr Greenland felt that the Liberator coverage on the issue had been “misleading” and wanted to put the record straight about the process by which accreditation was approved. He stated that FFAC had become involved after a request by the Federal Conference Committee and passed a motion approving accreditation with one dissenting voice. He says that their rationale was based on perceived financial and commercial risks should an incident take place and insurers not pay out because police advice had not been followed.
Although he staunchly defended the decision, he did acknowledge flaws in the process of telling members the news, in particular an article co-authored by himself, Party President Tim Farron and FCC chair Andrew Wiseman which appeared on this site on 21st May. Many people were angered by its inference that they did not care about the safety of Conference attendees, when in fact their opposition was based on there being no evidence that accreditation would make anybody safer.
The FFAC chair wrote:
The rather hastily prepared Liberal Democrat Voice article issued immediately after the decision was taken was in part clumsily worded and so unhelpful.
Although the arguments in the party about accreditation are bound to continue as many members are deeply uneasy about the system, it is good to see that its supporters may have learned lessons about the tone and language they use to defend it.
You can read the whole article by subscribing to Liberator here.
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