It’s not often that we at Liberal Democrat Voice have cause to link to the Daily Star, but we feel the need to inject some facts into that publication’s headline which screams:
Liberal Democrats impose sex ban on randy activists
This concerns this weekend’s Liberal Youth’s Activate conference being held in Oxfordshire and it suggests that sexual activity has been banned from the shared sleeping accommodation.
So, now for the facts. It is common, because young people don’t often have huge amounts of money, for activists to sleep on the floor of a village hall or the like. In my day, my tender young bones graced the floor of the Birmingham University Guild of Students. Sexual activity in these shared rooms has never, ever been allowed. After all, sex in a public place is against the law.
Under 18s sleep separately and their arrangements are all approved by their parents. I, who am about as over-anxious a mother as you can get, would have no problem with allowing my daughter to go to Activate unaccompanied because I know she would be safe. Liberal Youth has a child protection statement on its website for all to see:
Liberal Youth takes the welfare of its members very seriously. Our events are designed to be as open and inclusive to as many members as possible. It is paramount that the safety of young people is respected so all can feel welcome at our events.
Our safeguarding policy is longstanding and continues to form the basis of all of our events.
It’s always worth noting that nobody over the age of 26 is allowed in the shared accommodation.
So, this sensational story is simply about a responsible organisation reminding attendees of long-standing policies. But then why should the Star let the facts get in the way of a good headline and a chance to use another photograph of a scantily clad young woman?
Activate itself looks to be an invigorating and enriching weekend, full of training, campaigning and policy debates on such subjects as transgender rights, financial support for those staying at school and the future of the EU. There will also be a keynote speech from Mike Thornton, the by-election winner who owes so much to Team EastLY in much the same way as the Aberdeen Donside campaign was so brilliantly supported by Liberal Youth Scotland.
* Caron Lindsay is Co-Editor of Liberal Democrat Voice and blogs at Caron's Musings