I’ve been elected to Federal Board – what do you want championed?

In 2022, the Liberal Democrats passed a number of reforms championed by party president, Mark Pack, which included, but were not limited to, the reforming and slimming down of the Liberal Democrat Federal Board (similar to the board of directors for a company).

The reforms, which I supported at the time, have led to genuine change in how we function as a party, and I remain of the view that we made the right decision.

However, the slight pitfall in the reforms from a personal perspective was that in the subsequent board elections, I finished fifth, missing out on a place on the board. Such is life.

I was therefore surprised when David Crowther emailed me to let me know that I had been elected following a vacancy arising on the board.

Of course, I am delighted to have a seat on the Federal Board of the party. It would however, be remiss of me not to note the circumstances that led to the vacancy on the board. A member of the governing body of our party was suspended following grossly offensive posts about Jewish people and Ukrainians.

As a result, it is important that we fight to ensure that our party is a safe environment for Jewish people and anything below that bar is not good enough.

What next?

Leaving aside the fact that the circumstances have arisen. We must look to how we can move forward. To my mind, that involves listening to members.

I am also aware that some members may be interested in what I was originally planning were I to have been successful, this mainly focused around making us government ready.

How can you get in touch?

If you have any questions, please do drop me an email on [email protected], I am keen to hear and represent members.

* Callum Robertson is a teacher and former Chair of the Young Liberals

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  • I am often ridiculed on here for my polyanish optimism about Our Party but even I think its a bit soon to be talking about being “Government Ready”. We should however be preparing to be “Opposition Ready”.
    Whatever the precise result of The Election We will at least be back to Third Place & subject to a lot more scrutiny than we have become used to. The rather limp way we reacted to the smear campaign against Ed Davey suggests that we need to toughen up.

    On the events that led to Callum joining The Board – I hope there is some sort of internal enquiry happening. Can someone with such extreme views really have hidden them so well ? Pat Marsh seemed to be quite open about her opinions & puzzled at the fuss – did she never say something to other Party members that gave a hint of what she was thinking ?

  • The party has no jurisdiction over anyone who is not a member, so nothing more can be done other than placing a flag on their membership record to warn us if they try to rejoin. If they do there will first be questions about whether this should be permitted. If they do rejoin the investigation of complaints that have already been lodged will re-open.

  • Neil Fawcett 22nd Feb '24 - 6:07pm

    @Paul Barker – she clearly didn’t hide them very well. Another member spotted that she had made some abhorrent posts on social media and put in a complaint. As a result, she was immediately suspended and subsequently chose to resign from the party.

    This is the process working properly.

  • I would like to see an examination within the party on how we can create an organisation which is a participative democracy. In the age of interactive communication we need to move away from our models designed in the nineteenth century.
    We should start with our party because we have to persuade the rest of the country that there is a better way of running our country.
    If we really want to ensure that we change our society we need to start with our party.

  • Katharine Pindar 23rd Feb '24 - 10:39am

    Thanks for asking, Callum. I believe we should champion strongly reducing poverty, getting the next government to commit to our policies which would first ensure that welfare payments are raised to a sufficient level to sustain families. More than one in five people – 22% – were in poverty here in 2021-2, a total rising with the cost of living crisis, including 4.2 million children and 2.1 million pensioners.

    More broadly, since Federal Board is concerned with our party strategy, which must evolve from our party’s vision and outlook, I hope you will foster the idea that our party is a strong force for good, in this country and the world, and that is why people should vote for us. Not a party aiming for third-party status, but for a share in power in the next government. Power earned through our well-thought-out and evolving policies, which aim at creating a Liberal society, where everyone’s well-being is considered important, and everyone is encouraged to take a share in power in their communities.

  • What Katharine Pindar said!

  • Leekliberal 23rd Feb '24 - 7:46pm

    Indeed! What Katherine Pindar said.

  • Katharine Pindar 23rd Feb '24 - 10:28pm

    Thanks for the favourable comments, chaps! But I do hope other party members will take up Callum’s offer and write here. In this Election Year. everything the Federal Board and the Manifesto Group decide is likely to be significant, as will be the decisions made at our forthcoming York Conference – just possibly the last Federal Conference before the GE. I hope the energy will be rising and adrenalin flowing for our leaders, as well as for the activists in the interesting well-fought local contests LDV is reporting for us.

  • I believe Katharine Pindar is right, so far as she goes, but I believe that is not far enough, being a ‘half-way’ suggestion. We should declare that our goal is nothing short of the still fabulous UBI. Or, to be frank and clear, we should aim at a NATIONAL INCOME DIVIDEND (NID), which will be paid unconditionally to every adult.

    The word “every” means that no army of scrutineers would have to be paid to do the expensive and depressing task of trying to exclude claimants whose applications for financial “Benefits” can be dismissed because they fail to meet the imposed requirements.

    The obvious objection — obvious but excusable — to giving handouts to one and all is easily dismissed. Let all who are getting the NID pay INCOME TAX on it, treating NID as just one more element of each recipient’s Taxable Income. The Inland Revenue will manage it all.

    And everyone receiving NID will pay Income Tax on it at the highest level appropriate to their own total taxable income, as shall be determined by the IR as Parliament will direct. I would suggest 10%, for those who have no other Income apart from the universal NID.

    All this will be much simpler, once the British have grown up and adopted PR, frustrating Labour’s refusal to
    play ball!

  • Peter Hirst 1st Mar '24 - 2:43pm

    What is needed is more focus on achieving the right balance between targeting and a more even distribution of our support accross the country. Going too far in either direction will fail the Party. I feel course corrections will be needed on an ongoing basis as the pendulum swings from one extreme to the other.

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