Politically Correct Distraction

So at the Scottish Liberal Democrat Spring Conference in Edinburgh this weekend the party passed the motion to bring in all women short lists in target seats by 75% to 25%. This is all being done in the name of diversity.

There have been huge debates over the weekend on Liberal Voice, Facebook and Twitter with many differing views and opinions being expressed. I must admit, having been one of those voices debating over the weekend, that the social media debate has been carried out mostly with a great deal of respect and says a lot for those interested in this issue.

My views on this policy are very clear; I am against all women shorts lists because I believe that you do not end perceived or real discrimination against women or minorities by discriminating against men. I will not vote for any candidate that has been imposed on my local party by the Leadership or selection.

However, what focusses the mind for myself today, and demonstrates that debates about diversity are not the big issue just now for the party was the latest Survation polling that puts the Scottish Liberal Democrats potentially behind UKip and the Greens in Holyrood Voting intentions.

So while we have been wasting time debating diversity motions which are all about political correctness and come from the Leadership and not the members from what I have seen (remember motions at Conference are passed by those who can afford to attend so therefore may not represent the broader memberships view) we are now bottom of the pile. The party is at serious risk of becoming insignificant in Scotland, even behind the right-wing and hate filled UKip. How did we get to this! I know many out there will say standing with the Tories, the Referendum, Clegg, Carmichael and Rennie being the most unpopular leader of any party in Scotland but I suspect that there is more to it than this. We have lost our way and maybe our Liberalism.

To be a Liberal for me means that you are allowed to make as many decisions on your own as you can, that power should be devolved to the lowest possible level, that we fight for democracy and against inequality but through education not discrimination. I believe in opportunity for all, I believe in protecting the environment and I believe in an independent Scotland. I hate poverty and the abuse of privilege and I hate discrimination.

So at a time when we are fighting for our very future as a party, we are embarking on the I-Liberal policy of discriminating against men with all women short lists when the focus should be on actually saving the party. Right now we are drifting towards oblivion and the priorities are all wrong.

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7 comments

  1. tris

    Exactly. You don’t end discrimination by discriminating.

    Like you I would be very unlikely to vote for someone who was standing based on discrimination.

    I think the Liberal Democrats lost the way by joining with the Tories. Clegg said it was for the best of reasons; I wonder. Had it been surely he would have held out for at least PR. It was, I think, more that he wanted to be deputy prime minister. It seems to me that Tavish lost 11 seats mainly because of the way that the UK party behaved.

    I think Willie Rennie, who I’m sure is a nice bloke, is a poor choice for leader. he doesn’t inspire me at all.

    The English leader is pretty hopeless too.

    Finally Carmichael is the kind of story you really couldn’t make up. Odder than fiction. A cheat and a liar who whines about being hard done by. Bloody idiot.

    I very much doubt it the LibDems will come behind UKIP. Despite all the publicity for them in the campaign which has wiped Scottish, Welsh and Irish elections off the face of the map, they are such a repulsive bunch of racists and nut jobs that I doubt very much they will get 7 seats.

    • Anonymous

      Tris

      I won’t vote for a candidate who is imposed on the local party, that’s a def.

      I think the party is a bit of a mess right now, people like Willie Rennie are doing what they think is best but I feel it just moves the party closer to becoming unelectable. I agree with you that I think Clegg wanted the trappings of state, this was about him and certain others in the party and not about the national interest. Being a part of the government with the Toriea and voting through what they did has effectively killed the party in many ways.

      I am not hopeful for the future given the recent decisions like aws and penny on income tax, neither show any understanding of the current state of play. Aws came in because Alison McInnes was placed second in the list in the North East and certain people don’t like it.

      Thanks for commenting.

      Bruce

  2. lanark

    Well said, I think you have summed it up really well – the Party has lost its Liberalism.
    I sincerely hope that Ukip do not find a way into the Parliament in May. That may sound undemocratic but they resemble the BNP/National Front too closely for me.

    As I’ve mentioned before, I hope the Labour Party vanishes and a pro independence Liberal/Liberal Democratic Party would make a welcome alternative to the SNP. Rennie will stand down this year and Carmichael will hold on until 2020 and then skulk off to the Lords.

    I am hopeful that Rennie or his successor keeps the promise to allow LibDem members to campaign for a Yes vote in a future referendum, that would perhaps create the situaton for the Party to move in the direction yourself and others are hoping for. Although with a bit of luck it will happen before then!

    • Anonymous

      Lanark

      I don’t see a future for the Scottish Liberal Democrats under Rennie and his hangers on. Just today Rennie and the Policy Committee have overruled a vote passed at conference at the weekend. He is a joke of a leader, he might be a nice guy as many say but he is becoming i liberal to my mind.

      I don’t think UKIP will get any seats , I suspect their vote is too spread out to have an impact. I don’t know who will be the opposition to push the SNP and ensure good governance to be honest. Labour like you say are pretty much dead, the Tories are the scum of the earth and the Lib Dems don’t have a clue. The best chance is looking like the Greens and they are a bit all over the place at times. We are very ill served by too many of our elected representatives now.

      Thanks for commenting.

      Bruce

  3. bjsalba

    How are the political classes going to get more even numbers of candidates and representation? You haven’t said.

    Some of us have been waiting for decades. Or is it OK with you that women are treated as second class in UK politics?

    • Anonymous

      Bjs

      Are women treated as second class in politics, I don’t know if they are but my point is not about women in politics it’s about the discrimination that is aws. Discrimination is still discrimination no matter which way you look at this. I know many women who are against this due to the fact it’s discrimination and the feeling that women will be perceived as only getting parity if they are helped, I think more of women than that.

      This issue is about a democratic vote of members in the North East that Willie Rennie and others didn’t like ie Alison Mc coming second on the list after a democratic vote of members. That’s democracy , it’s far from perfect but the price we have to pay if we believe in democracy.

      I don’t know why women in greater numbers don’t get involved in politics but I have never voted for anyone on the basis of gender and don’t believe that many people do. This policy does nothing to enhance women or minorpties and politic posturing.

      I am against democracy and will never vote for any candidate imposed on me whatever their gender. What has been shown to make a difference, and one we should all get behind, is proportional representation as this creates more parity and every vote counts and thus more people from minorpties and women tend to be elected due to the nature of the lists that candidates are selected on as higher numbers.

      Thanks for commenting as always.

      Bruce

      • Anonymous

        Please excuse the typos above I used my phone to respond. Sorry about that if the reply does not make sense.

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