Tuesday, 9 August 2011

Ex-party business

Leaving aside for the moment the situation in London, I will turn my attention to something of far more limited interest: namely The Libertarian Party.

Much later than most, I have come to the conclusion that there's nothing worth saving within the party. All that is worth saving can and will be salvaged, but the party name and the party vehicle cannot.

The reasons for this lie in the constitution of the party. Not only does it contain clauses that are virtually bullet-proof from amendment, which need amendment, but it has prove utterly ineffectual when faced with a crisis.

That crisis is well-known to bloggers. No resolution was found, and the leadership have managed to barricade themselves in position and keep hold of the financial records, preventing anyone from seeing what happened to the money.

At this point, it no longer matters whether the so-called leader did anything wrong prior to the crisis. It is his actions, and the actions of his lieutenants, since the crisis emerged that have lain the party low. It boggles the mind that this little cabal imagine that ordinary members will tolerate their behaviour.

From the very start, all I wanted was openness. I wanted the financial records to be examined, and I wanted a Special General Meeting to be called, so that party members could judge for themselves. Some time back, I thought that we were winning. The chairman resigned. The leader also resigned. They tried to de-register the party, but that was prevented, and new people were appointed to those positions, with the new leader promising to call the necessary SGM.

However, through a behind-the-scenes campaign, which I can only guess at, the old leader and chairman have managed to hold on to the party and the positions they'd resigned from, and are now emerging from hiding, intending to sally forth, with no mention of all the unfinished business, other than snide remarks aimed at those who tried to get answers. I can only advise members and non-members alike to steer well clear of the party in its present form.

It's not been all bad, though. I'm glad I joined because through it I've met a lot of decent people, who I hope will help build the libertarian movement in London and England in ways that are not possible with that busted flush of a party, and will find innovative ways to advance the agenda, campaign on specific issues and support libertarians who want to stand in elections, whether as members of a party or as independents.

One part of this new direction is the website Libertarian Home, which has been set up by a couple of my friends from the London party. I haven't started writing there yet, but I will do, God willing, as soon as London stops burning around me.