Tuesday, 22 May 2012

Accreditation need not proven

When we were in opposition we had a leader who said:

"I will refuse to have an ID Card and to have my details put on the Register"

That was a principled stance. Made at a time when some were talking about bringing in compulsory ID Cards. It was a principle of civil liberties and having principles can be costly.

Look at that comment again.

Refuse to have my details put on the register.

Yet yesterday the Liberal Democrat Federal Conference Committee (FCC), announced that after seeking advice from the Federal Finance and Administration Committee (FFAC) that accreditation would take place for this Autumn's conference. This was despite and heated debate and motion passed by conference asking FCC to find alternatives to accreditation at last Autumn's conference.

FCC did 'consult' if you can call a one week deadline during the final month of a strenuous election campaign put out to readers of Liberal Democrat Voice only a consultation. Looking at comments and tweets at the time I know a lot of us went over  the arguments against accreditation once again as it appeared that we had not been listened too on the conference floor.

You see while tuition fees and the NHS can be issues we can devicive there are not issues that are inherently laid out in the preamble of our party constitution. But when it comes to fundamental freedoms that is a different matter. When the only argument being put up against us one of cost not of need. When the arguments for accreditation are rebutted as not reducing the risk but merely to met the demands of the police.

You remember the police who demanded 90 days detention without trial, but we fought them back on that and reversed things even from the 42 days they had already clawed out of Labour. Yes we can and have asked the police to give us reason to sacrifice civil liberties in the past. Some of us are still saying we need to do the same when it comes to our own door with party conference.

This argument from FCC, FFAC and Federal Executive is not proven. It is unsound, illiberal and undemocratic.

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