Tag Archives: party policy and internal matters

Managing staff – a chance to show liberalism in action

There has been much in the news about MPs and, in Scotland, MSPs behaving inappropriately towards staff – whether this be bullying or inappropriate sexualised behaviour. Many of the current examples relate to other parties but most of us will be aware that we too have had our problems and can be no more complacent than any other party. For example, I can think of one former Parliamentarian (who, to this day, I greatly admire) who, when stressed, could shout at staff in ways that fell far short of good HR practice. There are many other stories within our party of much worse behaviour from other Lib Dems towards staff and volunteers. This is simply not good enough.

This all makes me wonder if every Lib Dem who employs or engages with staff (whether at a party level, directly as their own staff or as staff of the body on which they serve) or manages volunteers should undertake a training course on how to manage staff in accordance with the law, good HR practice and, importantly, our liberal values.

The late, great Maya Angelou told us “When people show you who they are, believe them.” What we do is a showcase for what we believe liberalism looks like in practice. While no one is perfect and we all have times when we fail to live up to our ideals, how we behave shows people what we truly believe.

Posted in Op-eds | 4 Comments

Post-Christmas musings on the R word

The Queen has in her Christmas speech welcomed new members into the royal family in 2018.

Prince Harry will soon have a mother-in-law who is African American and the young couple’s future children will be of mixed race heritage. The society pages lap up the fairy-tale love story and we all cheer ourselves on how liberal we have become as a nation.

Vogue Magazine has a new editor-in-chief, Edward Enninful, and we can’t help but notice the change in the complexion of many of the supermodels that grace the glossy pages. Sir Mo Farrah has not only been knighted but has also …

Posted in Op-eds and Party policy and internal matters | Also tagged , , and | 9 Comments

Inquiries into Rennard allegations must be as public as possible

The party’s investigations into allegations against its members are traditionally internal, confidential affairs. There are good reasons for this, particularly as confidentiality can be necessary for people to be willing to given evidence and as the simple existence of an allegation can kill someone’s political career, even if the allegations are subsequently found to be groundless.

They are often so confidential, in fact, that the last time I was asked to provide evidence for an inquiry, I did not know what the precise allegations were, who was investigating them, who the range of people being investigated were, whether or not the …

Posted in Op-eds | Also tagged | 8 Comments

Opinion: The importance of party unity over the economy

There has been a rise in factionalism across the Liberal Democrats during their time in the Coalition Government – with the Liberal Left, Social Liberal Forum, Liberal Reform and other groups, all promoting their different perspectives. At Party Conference a left/right divide over economics and fiscal policy was very noticeable.

My thesis is that this divide is a serious one which is widening, not narrowing, and without measures to halt the fragmentation,

Posted in Op-eds | Also tagged | 127 Comments

Opinion: Farewell to Lib Dem News

As a former Editor, I’m sad to see that Liberal Democrat News is now compiling its final issue.

The idea of a weekly newspaper began in 1947.There were numerous attempts to axe it. I fought off at least two, and it was only thanks to the likes of David Steel, John Pardoe, and the ALC, that the treasurer was persuaded otherwise in the 1970s. Then, the party was financially bust, despite Trevor Jones delivering a string of remarkable by-election successes that

Posted in Op-eds | Also tagged , , and | 6 Comments
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  • User AvatarOld Liberal 25th Sep - 10:27am
    Sadly TonyH it is a lot more difficult in most places than it is in South Cambridgeshire or Kingston. My estimate is 40 years before...
  • User AvatarJohn Marriott 25th Sep - 10:02am
    @Ewan Hoyle @Paul Holmes I think the point about ‘Cleggmania’, a word typically coined by the popular media, was that only when ‘exposed’ to the...
  • User Avatarexpats 25th Sep - 9:25am
    To remain we just need to agree to abide by the “four freedoms” (as in the original Treaty of Rome). The free movement of goods,...
  • User AvatarNonconformistradical 25th Sep - 9:07am
    @John Marriott "It’s about time that those of us with ‘Liberal’ leanings accepted the fact that we will probably always be in a minority. I...
  • User AvatarGlenn 25th Sep - 9:04am
    Peter, I've never really been convinced by the stay in and reform argument. This is mainly because most of the people who make it usually...
  • User AvatarSteve trevethan 25th Sep - 8:28am
    When was our country last well led?