Wednesday, September 13, 2017

The Lib Dem establishment does not want an anti-Brexit motion debated at Conference

A post on Liberator's blog yesterday began:
After 400+ party members signed a petition to trigger a special conference to debate a Stop Brexit policy, the powers that be in the Liberal Democrats agreed to a compromise where they would enable the policy to be debated at autumn conference in Bournemouth in exchange for the petition being withdrawn. 
But now, at the last minute, it seems that the party’s Federal Conference Committee (FCC) has broken a promise to remain neutral in a crucial conference vote this Saturday and will now oppose the attempt to suspend standing orders to allow a Stop Brexit policy motion to be debated in place of a scheduled “consultation” session on Brexit.
You can read the full story in a post by Andrew Hickey on his blog Sci-Ence! Justice Leak!

What all those members who joined the Lib Dems because they are against Brexit will think, I tremble to think.

It seems that even with our opinion poll rating in single figures (and low single figures across much of the country) the party establishment is still most concerned with not upsetting the votes by being too controversial.


David said...

I will be voting to suspend Standing Orders so this motion can be debated.The public know LibDems oppose Brexit. Why should we be afraid to say so ? The motion does NOT contradict the referendum-on-the-deal approach. Staying in the EU is the policy, the referendum is the method. High time we were clear that rejecting the deal means revoking the Article 50 notice and staying in. In the fantasy world of Westminster, being clear what you believe is seen as bad politics.

Frank Little said...

We did not suffer catastrophic losses in the Commons in 2010 because of our support for the EU. We lost, and in 2015 failed to regain more than a modicum of lost ground, because we were seen as shifty, prepared to ditch principles for the sake of ministerial Jaguars. Pulling a U-turn on Europe is going to reinforce that impression. So, not only would we lose the members we gained after the referendum (my own local party doubled in size), we would fail to make progress in Parliament also.

bob sayer said...

This party has agreed OMOV, so it is up to us whether standing orders should be suspended, I will use my vote to do just that

Tristan said...

I'm reminded of how hard it apparently was to convince the leadership to oppose the Iraq invasion.

It seems like there's no desire to try and shift debate to more liberal ground, the LibDems will surely do best when they have the ground war of (real) Community Politics and an air war of pushing for liberal, inclusive and tolerant ideas.

Yes, the right wing press will attack, but if you don't stand up to it the UK will end up with nothing but a right wing authoritarian echo-chamber in the media (especially as the BBC over compensates for its perceived bias by lending credence to the far right).