Conference best bits: Fraser Graham on our party’s values

Edinburgh South Chair Fraser Graham delivered this cracker of a speech in the debate on What Liberal Democrats believe on Sunday morning. Where are the limits of free speech and how should our party deal with the boundaries?

Conference, I joined this party in 2016 because of one issue – Brexit. The reason I am still here is because of the values and principles our party upholds.

This speech is somewhat of a paradox. It should be completely unnecessary, because I’d take it entirely for granted that any true liberal would have no objection to the values put before you, either in the paper, the motion or the amendment.

But in this current climate, where members of the LGBT+ community, MY community, are facing almost constant daily attack through the media, on twitter and even here, at conference, we NEED to be bold, and firmly plant our flag as a party that is standing up for the rights of those we need to support and protect.

On Liberty, the paper states “We embrace freedom of thought and speech, and argue for stronger protection against those who abuse free speech, use it to promote division and hatred, or spread falsehoods and ‘fake news’.”

This is crucial. Free speech is not freedom to discriminate without consequence. It’s not freedom to be given a platform to espouse views which are actively harmful, or freedom to hound people on social media to the point of taking their own life. We need to be clear on this and push back against those who demand to be able to say whatever racist, transphobic, homophobic or ableist claptrap they desire without fear of consequence.

On Equality, the paper points out our proud history of legislating for equality. We need to continue this proud tradition, continuing to push for further advances in law to provide equality, such as further closing the gender pay gap, fighting for true reform of the Gender Recognition Act and fighting to protect the rights of minority voters.

This leads right into democracy. Our democracy is at threat. The Tories are attempting to use a false narrative, inspired by Trump’s republicans, of electoral fraud to make it harder for those who don’t have or can’t afford official ID to vote. Those without ID are often some of the most vulnerable in society, and should not be stripped of their democratic voice.

This is a short speech, so I don’t quite have time to cover community, internationalism or environmentalism other than to say we are a party of localism and supporting local voices, a party that is still committed to preserving ties with our European and international neighbours, and a party committed to taking urgent action to tackle the climate emergency. ~

The amendment further strengthens the motion and the paper, for equality it puts the onus on the state to actively make change and promote equality, ensuring nobody is held back.

The addition of human rights almost goes without saying, but it will mean so much to members of certain minority and disadvantaged groups to have a political party to declare loudly and clearly that we are the party of human rights, and will fight to the ends of the earth to protect them.

Conference, please support this motion and the amendment, and make it clear that we are a party of true liberal values and principles.

* Caron Lindsay is Editor of Liberal Democrat Voice and blogs at Caron's Musings

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40 Comments

  • John Marriott 22nd Sep '21 - 7:56am

    Call me a cynic if you will; but I get a little worried when any organisation has to keep reminding us of what its ‘values’ are. Mind you, if you can’t do it at ‘Conference’, where can you do it then?

  • John marriot. It is not you that is out of touch. If the supposed liberal party of this country is going to start banning people because of their t shirts then I fear it is others who are out of touch

  • Lorenzo Cherin 22nd Sep '21 - 3:14pm

    Fellows, can I explain.

    The trans sensitive phrase on that t shirt is this: Woman = adult human female.

    Do you not understand why it is contentious?

    Imagine for a moment you are at a meeting. You see several colleagues. One is a woman who wears this. Another, like you, not wearing such a t shirt, is a trans woman. Can you think of it like this. Imagine yourself as a white man. Wearing a t shirt: British man: Adult human white. Then a black man walks in.

    Can you not see both the trans woman and the black man, might feel that these symbols, these phrases, imply, they are, not human, not female, not British, respectively.

    In their making a supposedly positive or bland statement, they alienate and possibly mean to, insult the minorities who are not what is written on that t shirt.

    At a Liberal Democrat meeting, it is not that they would be banned from wearing them, they would not be regarded as suitable to become party candidates.

    Would you vote for them?! Many would not! I amongst them!

  • Nonconformistradical 22nd Sep '21 - 3:23pm

    @Lorenzo – I’m not sure your comparison is appropriate since the original contentious slogan referred solely to gender and humanity whereas you’ve introduced nationality and ethnicity into your comparison example.

    Isn’t the issue really why someone would choose to wear such a slogan? In the wearing of it iss there an implication of intention to cause offence – for no good reason?

  • Katharine Pindar 22nd Sep '21 - 3:37pm

    The section on Equality in the What Liberal Democrats Believe motion was extended in an amendment, mentioned by Fraser in his article, which also brought into the motion the new section on Human Rights. The amendment, submitted by my local Copeland and Workington party, was written by myself and Michael Berwick-Gooding. In Equality, we emphasised as Fraser notes that Equality ‘requires an active state’, and it continues, ‘to: ensure that no-one is held back by poverty, poor health or discrimination on the basis of personal characteristics or beliefs …’.

    The Human Rights section states – ‘Human rights: providing, defending and promoting equal rights for everyone to pursue their lives according to their abilities, wishes and means, with no discrimination on the basis of religion or belief, gender, sexuality, age, ethnicity, disability, or minority status in their country of birth or permanent residency.’
    Nobody opposed the dual-focus amendment, which we hope members will feel helps to reinforce this very useful and much-needed motion.

  • Barry Lofty 22nd Sep '21 - 4:11pm

    [email protected] It says a lot about our country that so many people thought Johnson was a suitable person to become our Prime Minister!

  • @Barry – I have doubts about Johnson too.

    The election was about a single issue. After about two years of all the other major politicians doing everything possible to deny the voters the result of their democratic referendum it was not exactly a normal election. The other politicians did not cover themselves in glory either.

  • John Marriott 22nd Sep '21 - 4:40pm

    I have read Lorenzo Cherin’s comments on many matters over several years, which, while sometimes hard to flow, do always offer a sincerity that one has to admire. I sometimes wonder whether English is his first language. He certainly has a unique, slightly idiosyncratic, style, where his sentence construction sometimes leads the reader astray, which may make getting his point across that bit more difficult. That all probably sounds very patronising on my part. If so, I apologise. As someone, who sometimes over complicates his grammar and syntax, in a Johnsonian attempt to be entertaining, perhaps I need to examine more carefully some of my own offerings!

  • William Francis 22nd Sep '21 - 5:02pm

    @David.

    Ever heard of a dog whistle?

    A seemingly innocuous term used to communicate views that are reprehensible and direct hatred against a disempowered group?

    For example, if someone attended a party meeting with the words “Enoch was right” on a t-shirt, they certainly aren’t referring to the prophecies of the scribe of judgment from the book of Genesis, nor the former Wolverhampton MP’s views on controlling inflation.

  • Lorenzo Cherin 22nd Sep '21 - 6:31pm

    John

    No harm caused, funny thing is, it’s my inability to type at the speed I think and chat! One of my role models Sir Peter Ustinov said, ” my mind works at the speed of a pen, if I could type well I’d rather play a harpsichord! “I think if you Knew me, or saw me on a zoom meeting you’d know the me at my syntax best! As a seminar leader, adviser, writer, of years, I make the impact without the need to type !Thanks for the compliment evident also!

  • Denis Mollison 22nd Sep '21 - 8:21pm

    @William Francis
    If you could look at it the other way round, perhaps it isn’t “hatred” or a “dog whistle”, just a defensive reaction from someone who feels equally disempowered

  • Mark Valladares Mark Valladares 22nd Sep '21 - 8:30pm

    @ Denis,

    Maybe. But, if you knew that a phrase was one used by people in support of a contention that a group within the community simply shouldn’t be able to exist, would you use it yourself?

  • I don’t see anything distinctively liberal about this speech. Of course we are opposed to people being discriminated against but that isn’t a USP and this speech could have been given by a Labour or Green member.

    I balk at the idea of talking about the “consequences” of freedom of expression and making it conditional rather than seeing it as something that is a fundamental part of democracy.

    Of course it is right there are laws against hate speech but “spreading division and fake news” does not come under that category at all.

  • Denis Mollison 22nd Sep '21 - 10:36pm

    @Mark V
    Sorry, but that’s more over-the-top hype. I know no-one, simply no-one, who is anti-trans per se.
    But we ought to be able to debate freely whether there are special situations where the distinction
    between `cis women’ and `transwomen’ matters. I believe Natalie Bird’s wearing that t-shirt was
    simply an expression of frustration at such debate being censored; in other words, its use was defensive
    not aggressive.
    But say if you disagree – it’s good to be having a polite discussion of this topic.

  • William Francis 22nd Sep '21 - 11:35pm

    @Denis Mollison

    That is the very heart of reactionary politics. The insecurity of status causes people to lash out at others who are perceived to cause said insecurity but are usually much more oppressed than themselves.

    This was the reason why so many Italian white-collar workers and shopkeepers supported Mussolini’s Blackshirts in the 1920s, and the same group voted for Hitler’s nazis into power and why many artisans backed the xenophobic and antisemitic populism of Pierre Poujade.

    Such impulses take different forms yet remain essentially the same. Whilst they can be understood and analyzed they do not deserve our sympathy.

  • @Mark
    “shouldn’t be able to exist” – that’s a strong statement. Have you actually engaged with any of those people?
    To my mind it’s no more than asserting a woman’s right to sex-segregated spaces, services etc. as enshrined in the Equality Act.

  • Dennis

    Would you support my freedom of expression right to attend a LIb Dem meeting wearing an ‘Enoch Was Right’ badge?

    Yes or No?

  • John Marriott 23rd Sep '21 - 9:24am

    @Hywel
    Yes, I would; but I would advise you to wear full body armour for your own safety! It’s the same argument the anti PR brigade make about its allowing far right parties to squeeze into Parliament. Well, if they can get, say, 5% of the popular vote, why not? Then at least their policies would receive proper scrutiny and be exposed for all to see.

    On the subject of Enoch Powell, that fox hunting classical scholar, who turned himself into an Ulster Unionist, it was interesting that much of his initial support came from the London dockers and other members of the Trades Union movement. It was Powell, I believe, who, as a minister back in the 1950s, actively recruited workers from the West Indies to come over and take up the jobs that many of our population were reluctant to undertake.

  • Not a bad speech in general, but to my mind badly let down by the paragraph, “This is crucial. Free speech is not freedom to discriminate without consequence. … and push back against those who demand to be able to say whatever racist, transphobic, homophobic or ableist claptrap they desire without fear of consequence.“, which reads a bit like, we support free speech provided you agree with us.

    Saying you shouldn’t have freedom to espouse views that are actively harmful is problematic because it’s a value judgement whether something is harmful or not. Saying you shouldn’t be able to say something racist or transphobic etc. sounds reasonable at first sight – until you factor in the tendency of many on the left (and sadly, ISTM, at least some people within the LibDems) to brand almost anyone they disagree with on cultural/identity politics issues as either racist or something-o-phobic.

    There certainly are limits to free speech. I fully agree with the statement that it shouldn’t allow hounding people online. I’d also say that free speech shouldn’t extend to telling lies, spreading fake news, or actively promoting hatred or violence against groups of people. But there’s a difficult line between that and ending up trying to prevent people from saying things just because you strongly disagree with them, and I fear that Fraser’s speech, as quoted here, crosses that line.

  • It is so sad to see so many Lib Dems once again almost immediately getting into such entrenched combative positions (on both sides) about sex and gender issues. As we all know the Preamble to the constitution still says “in which we seek to balance … ” Sadly, a lot of people here are not seeking any sort of balance by exploring differing views and answering questions on their beliefs, but are simply saying “I am right,” (but of course in various erudite and circumlocutory ways), and avoiding consideration of their views by instead asking yet another question.

    What we all have got to come to terms with here is that this is a very important, very contentious issue which cannot be reconciled without give and take on all sides, and the one area where all need to give is by engaging in real debate as Lib Dems and not simply acting like an authoritarian inquisitor.

    So far we have had references linking this to Enoch Powel and Racism, people who shouldn’t be able to exist, Blackshirts, Hitler and Pierre Poujade. We have leading questions such as “Do you not understand …” and “Have you ever heard of …”

    Let’s be honest with each other. Such approaches are not the best examples of liberal debate.

    The problem as I see it is not either of the two sides where one is absolutely right and the other is totally wrong that most people seem to be getting dragged into, but whether we as a party can engage in debate and discussion over a problem.

    If good Lib Dems can’t do this and most of the people here I know are good Lib Dems, we have a much bigger problem and that is that if we can’t behave like Lib Dems and discuss and debate and try to understand each other, but instead fight based on dog whistles and well-meaning slogans:

    We won’t be one small party, we will be two or more totally inconsequential parties.

    And who will build and safeguard that fair, free and open society when that happens?

    The Tories? (personal Dog Whistle)

  • I’m grateful to all those who are challenging the incredibly dangerous narrative of “freedom of expression has to be conditional on whether it is deemed to be harmful by the appropriate authority”.

    I find it pretty terrifying, in its complete failure to recognise that the same arguments are used by authoritarian and repressive regimes to justify closing down liberal and democracy-supporting organisations, and attacking and oppressing people, who stand up for LGBT+ rights or against anti-democratic activities.

    I’m thinking of Poland, Hungary and Russia, but of course there are others.

    Most oppressive regimes permit free speech “so long as it is not harmful”.

    By going down this path, endorsing it in principle and perhaps even applying it in government, we seem to be blind to the reality that it legitimises the actions of those governments; and potentially future British governments.

    It shows an appalling lack of imagination – and awareness of the world beyond liberal democracies.

    We can always assert that a particular argument is harmful if we assume the worst motives of those making that argument and draw inferences that may never have been intended.

    Some people – and some governments – would dearly love to see all LGBT+ people (including me) imprisoned or worse – or forced to hide away where we cannot cause offence by our visible existence.

    However, if you assert that anyone who says that they should be able to discuss their identity in terms of their sex or gender, and to do so using language such as “man” or “woman”, or “biological sex”, is demonstrating that they want trans people to be wiped out, this is a grotesque false inference – and it’s a false inference that can all too easily incite hatred.

  • ……………………..“This is crucial. Free speech is not freedom to discriminate without consequence. … and push back against those who demand to be able to say whatever racist, transphobic, homophobic or ableist claptrap they desire without fear of consequence.“,…………

    Rather a strange staement when, just days ago, an LDV headline ( “Shaffaq Mohammed’s splendid defence of freedom”) supported the right of a so called comedian to spout “racist, transphobic, homophobic or ableist claptrap”.

    Perhaps, Simon R 23rd Sep ’21 – 10:09am, “we support free speech provided you agree with us.” should read “when it suits us”

  • Jaz Sakura-Rose 23rd Sep '21 - 12:29pm

    @David Evans

    One side simply wants to live in peace, with the same rights to legal recognition as every other person, access to healthcare on a parity to cis people, and live without discrimination

    The other side wants the right to demand that they have the final say in allowing a trans person the right to recognised as ourselves, demand the end of rights to legal recognition, demands that any rights we have to legal recognition are made so onerous as to be impossible to gain, to strip away our rights to healthcare let alone parity of access to healthcare, and to remove discrimination laws that stop service providers from discriminating against trans people when we access services

    Would you be so kind as to tell me where the middle ground between those two points are, please?

  • Is a display for Holocaust memorial day a “dog whistle” to upset someone who has been accused of anti-semitism? This was a genuine report to the police in January 2020.

    We have got to think where this stuff might lead.

  • Lorenzo Cherin 23rd Sep '21 - 12:55pm

    David Evans

    You’re on a roll, often! A terrific piece, thanks for the mainstream, moderate, common , no, uncommon sense.

    I tried being and doing as you said, here, often, yes, on this issue too, here. Either my typing has let me down, or my genuine beliefs in the sort of politics you describe, working to heal and reach out, is of less interest than the polarised stance. In my view it is the essence of what this party, perhaps in an almost unusually special way, could, or should be, but sometimes at times, isn’t.

    We , those who believe this, ought to push for it.

  • @Jaz Sakura-Rose “The other side wants the right to demand that they have the final say in…. ” That paragraph is not an accurate description of where most people in the UK stand in this argument.

    Ironically, by taking such a combative position and and so badly misrepresenting those you disagree with, you’ve perfectly illustrated @David Evan’s point about “It is so sad to see so many Lib Dems once again almost immediately getting into such entrenched combative positions (on both sides)

  • Caron Lindsay Caron Lindsay 23rd Sep '21 - 1:33pm

    @simon B

    The other side wants the right to demand that they have the final say in allowing a trans person the right to recognised as ourselves, demand the end of rights to legal recognition, demands that any rights we have to legal recognition are made so onerous as to be impossible to gain, to strip away our rights to healthcare let alone parity of access to healthcare, and to remove discrimination laws that stop service providers from discriminating against trans people when we access services

    Simon, please read what Jaz has said. She is right that anti-trans activists demand, often in very aggressive terms, that all these things happen. In addition, they depict trans women as predators. It’s the exact same process of demonisation that we have seen in the past for gay men, immigrants, Muslims, benefit claimants and disabled people and it is not ok.

    How would you feel if you were in Jaz’s position, facing that level of toxic aggression and negativity on a daily basis.

  • Jane Mansfield 23rd Sep '21 - 1:54pm

    @ Ruth Bright,
    ‘ We have got to think where all this stuff might lead’.

    I have had two posts rejected because as far as I am concerned it is obvious where this sort of thing lead. One sees it in authoritarian societies , and one sees it in this country where women fearful of male violence argue for the retention of ‘safe spaces’ , receive death threats. All the more disgraceful because the ones I can name have all been on the receiving end pf male violence. The woman in this case being someone who has experienced the reality of needing to seek safety in a woman’s refuge.

    I have yet to see where they have shown ‘hate’ towards transgender people. Perhaps someone can point me towards the evidence because there are laws against people who spread hate.

    Whether one agrees with the argument or not , why is there a reluctance, refusal even to acknowledge and condemn their treatment, the hate shown to them for having a different opinion and argument? Not being a member of the Liberal Democrat Party or standing for this Liberal Democrat Party is the least of the problems they face for asserting what they believe to be their rights as a group.

  • Toby Keynes 23rd Sep '21 - 1:54pm

    Caron, Jaz,

    Not everyone is an uncompromising “trans right activist”, or”anti-trans activist”.

    Whichever side you’re on, the “other side” includes some extremely unpleasant people who are quite happy to make violent threats under a cloak of anonymity, to shout abuse, to silence you if they’re in a position to do so, to misrepresent your position as being the same as the very worst people on “your side”, and to mischaracterise your position as extremist if you even suggest that there might be a reasonable alternative viewpoint.

    The great majority of us are capable of having a reasonable discussion that is free of all these things – given half a chance.

  • Peter Hirst 23rd Sep '21 - 2:05pm

    Surely all Lib Dems can get behind the principle of freedom to cast your vote, without undue impediment, for who you want to represent you without the fear that it will allow someone who you don’t to sneak in.

  • @Caron Lindsay “She is right that anti-trans activists demand, often in very aggressive terms, that all these things happen” I guess the issue for me here is that, I’ve tried to follow this debate for a few years, and I cannot ever recall in that time seeing any argument in any mainstream media or in mainstream politics that looks like what Jaz is describing.

    To take one example, you say, “they depict trans women as predators“. I assume this is a reference to the issue of womens’ spaces. As I understand it, the main argument is that, if any trans man is allowed to enter any women’s space, simply by saying that he is trans, then you have no way of preventing cis men from abusing that by pretending to be trans, in order to enter spaces that they should not be in. Now you can agree or disagree about whether that’s an important issue (I imagine that’s a debate for a different thread), but the point here is that argument does not imply anything bad about trans people: Rather, it points out (quite correctly) that some cis men are predators. So when you say, “they depict trans women as predators“, that looks to me like a misrepresentation of what most people are saying. If I’m wrong and mainstream people are actually routinely saying that trans people are predators (which I stress I think would be an awful and completely wrong thing to say), then perhaps you could point me to examples of that?

    Of course, probably there’s an extremist minority who actually are expressing some kind of prejudice or making out bad things about trans people. To my mind, that’s completely wrong, and it must be incredibly unpleasant if you’re on the receiving end of that. But you’re never going to resolve arguments if you tar most of your opponents with whatever the most extreme minority are saying. The sense I’m getting is that that’s roughly what lots of people keep doing in this debate.

  • Denis Mollison 23rd Sep '21 - 3:24pm

    @Hywel 23rd Sep ’21 – 9:02am
    Yes, of course, and you wouldn’t need to wear body armour.
    I might ask you whether you had come to the wrong meeting, or I might be more constructive and ask you what Enoch was right about – I’m sure he was right about some things.

    Your question reminds me that I was in a room with Enoch Powell once, when he visited my college at university. It was before his

  • Denis Mollison 23rd Sep '21 - 3:31pm

    @Hywel 23rd Sep ’21 – 9:02am
    Yes, of course, and you wouldn’t need to wear body armour.
    I might ask you whether you had come to the wrong meeting, or I might be more constructive and ask you what Enoch was right about – I’m sure he was right about some things.

    Your question reminds me that I was in a room with Enoch Powell once, when he visited my college at university. It was before his `rivers of blood’ speech but he was already one of the politicians I most disliked. I listened for a minute or two out of curiosity (he was just in conversation, I don’t recall the subject) and then moved away – a silent protest but nothing aggressive.

  • Lorenzo Cherin 23rd Sep '21 - 4:10pm

    I reckon if more did as David and Toby suggest, we might get progress.

    Both sides are indeed capable of hatred being expressed, but only at the vey edge of each of those sides.

    My point above is that Liberal Democrats ought to be far more, on style of argument, if not on substance of policy, be in the centre ground. It is during these years when even in this party, and on this site, the centre has been denigrated, that such entrenched and hateful tendencies have run their course. I think most people feel little that is negative in this country, about minorities. Even our party became far to obsessed with the idea that being pro Brexit, meant those personal views, political ideas, meant an automatic association with, nationalism, or bigotry. Actually one or two of our best members, Matt on here, Norman Lamb in Parliament, without any doubt, were, on that issue, people to listen to.

    We need those who are involved in these issues, to lead, but those of us who care, to feel able to debate. I think one aspect is the fear trans women feel of being demonised as violent. They missed the bit though, often, that is expressed, is not about trans women, but, rather, criminal men, pretending to be trans, in order to access safer spaces for women. Of course that is not a common thing, but it has taken place. It is precisely we men, who know the level of deviousness in violent criminal activity, we men who loathe it. trans women need to understand that for every hating arch radical feminist, and they do make themselves very heard, that there are many who know that a few men with awful agendas, might pretend to be trans women to avoid a certain treatment in prison or to prey on women . Trans women are aware of the need to bond and share with women in general, but must realise that they indeed have nothing in common with those few who pretend, and in knowing that, not be accused of defending it potentially, by the extremists on the anti trans side.

    this debate becomes about, really, mostly good people, having to listen to arguments that also involve a small number of bad people who do or seek to do harm. It is the fear of association that we need to allay. And the defeat of harm we need to achieve.

  • Simon R, David Evans, Toby Keynes, I absolutely agree.

  • I feel that what should be exercising liberals at the moment is the way tech giants such as Twitter arrogate to themselves the right to censor Trump but not the Taliban, the hounding and ostracising of people like Suzanne Moore or JK Rowling for expressing what are basically traditional feminist opinions and the growing intolerance of different viewpoints.

    Having said that I would like to pay tribute to the fact that most users on here do seem to believe in free speech and challenging opposing views through debate. Only once have I seen anyone call for no-platforming on here.

  • Jaz Sakura-Rose 24th Sep '21 - 12:44pm

    @Simon R

    I can point to a major document signed by multiple transphobic organisations and individuals in the UK that calls for the elimination of people like myself, alongside a whole host of other things, all of which I’ve detailed in my post. That’s not the “hardline anti-trans” position. That’s just “the anti-trans” position

    Although I’m willing to be shown I’m wrong. Could you show me where anti-trans activists haven’t called for at least one of the things I’ve detailed in my first reply, please?

  • Stephen Howse 24th Sep '21 - 12:45pm

    If your starting point is “you have the freedom to say the things that I think you should say”, then you evidently do not believe in free speech for all, much the same as those on the political right who hide their anti freedom views and policies behind pro-freedom rhetoric. And if that’s your starting point, all you are doing is handing moral and intellectual justification for the stifling of your own views to those who, lest we forget, are currently running the country.

    That this is seen as a “highlight” of conference by Liberal Democrat Voice is concerning, to say the least, and justifies quite nicely my decision not to spend my money on a conference ticket this year.

  • Jaz, The problem with your stance “One side simply wants to live in peace … The other side (wants) the final say in allowing a trans person the right to (be) recognised as ourselves … ” is that it is a false dichotomy. The vast majority of people do not accept that these are the only two options and Liberal Democrats in particular know there are many more facets to this problem than you portray as the two sides.

    No one person or group should ever have the power to absolutely control the definition of a problem as two extremes and no middle ground for balance (a key word in our preamble) debate and decision.

    I am sure a few extremists consider it acceptable to attempt to define people who don’t totally accept that their personal view as being that of the angels as people who are pure evil, but that is never acceptable to Lib Dems. We know life is much more complex than that and all that the “If you aren’t with us you’re agin us” view does is steadily alienate fair minded people and ultimately drive them against the cause of those who try who try to force people into their camp.

    I wouldn’t want that to happen to your cause and I am sure you wouldn’t either. If i would give one short piece of advice it would be ‘Never underestimate the power of the uncommitted.’ They are often the ones who decide who wins and who loses.

  • Denis Mollison 26th Sep '21 - 8:31am

    @Jaz – You say “I can point to a major document signed by multiple transphobic organisations and individuals in the UK that calls for the elimination of people like myself, ,,,”
    Can you please give us this link?

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