Statement from Rock the Boat – Liberal Democrats against harassment

Rock the Boat – Liberal Democrats Against Sexual Harassment – today welcomed the statements from Tim Farron and Lord Rennard this morning regarding the House of Lords’ representative on the Federal Executive.

Grace Goodlad, steering group member, said:

We are saddened that it took the triggering of a Special Conference and a public plea from our Party Leader to get there, but we are pleased that good sense has now prevailed.

The petition for a Special Conference has now been withdrawn. We will instead work as broadly as possible across the Party and with the leadership on the important issues about democracy and accountability raised in recent days. We are grateful to Party President Baroness Brinton and Tim Farron MP for having shown that they understand the future of the Party lies in change and reform.

We will turn our attention to fully supporting and participating in the current Party governance review being undertaken by the Liberal Democrats and trust that the results of this will be considered by Spring Conference in March next year.

The Party has taken steps to show that our values will be matched by our actions. We must continue to work towards being an inclusive and egalitarian organisation that utilises the diversity of talent in our membership and in the country. Rock the Boat will consider itself successful when it no longer has reason to exist because it has achieved this goal.

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  • Conciliatory and very welcome. I don’t believe anyone actually *wanted* a Special Conference. The governance review is key, and all sides seem to recognise this.

  • David Garlick 17th Nov '15 - 3:50pm

    So the dialogue of the righteous deaf is over. Thank goodness we have the sort of party that can have those dialogues but some of the postings on either side might have benefitted from more thought.

  • Not priorities, John, controversy. People don’t post on threads we all agree on.

  • Mick Taylor 18th Nov '15 - 8:30am

    A pity the rock the boat statement didn’t include an acknowledgement of the many valid points of CRs statement and his welcome recognition that he cannot play any significant role beyond the HoL.
    It seems to me that many people who posted should start thinking about how they might start their own personal rehabilitation of CR. He should not remain a pariah for ever.

  • Mick Taylor

    I think Chris Rennard must bear responsibility for his own rehabilitation. Putting his name down for FE was not a good move. Let’s not forget that we lost many outstanding Lib Dems from the Party, not just the women concerned but their friends and family who in most cases had been lifelong supporters and activists. Where are the moves towards winning them back, pray?

  • Phyllis, I think Tim Farron has taken the first steps towards winning back those Lib Dems who have left the party because of its inability to deal with this problem and I also think that Chris Rennard has taken responsibility for his own rehabilitation by resigning from the FE which surely must be a first step in the process. I think a clear message has gone out that the party will not tolerate sexual harassment, indeed will not tolerate any form of touching. What seems less clear to me is what the punishment should be for those who disregard this message and I do hope that Rock the Boat will work with others to clarify this. I would like to belong to a party which demonstrates its beliefs through the diversity of its members and representatives and this will only happen if everyone feels encouraged to achieve their utmost, just as in the preamble to the constitution.
    However, in all fairness I think the lack of clarity about how transgressors should be disciplined has resulted in Chris Rennard having to bear the burden of stigma for years and to take on his shoulders the acrimony of those of us who have found the party lacking in its desire to create the equality we campaign for in society within the party itself. He has put the party before his own personal aims and I hope that sometime fairly soon we can agree that he has been punished enough.

  • Tony Greaves 18th Nov '15 - 8:24pm

    I hope the party will at some stage become a Liberal party again.

    Tony Greaves

  • lloyd harris 19th Nov '15 - 12:53pm

    Isn’t this lot the liberal party? I thought we were the Liberal Democrats and combine Liberalism with Social Democracy

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