Long term students of of the Liberal Democrat membership department will (a) be able to recite all the different names it has had in the last 20 years and (b) know how for years it was imminent that the party would start having the facility to take membership subs via electronic direct debits (i.e. forms filled in online rather than printed off, written on and posted – or more often, printed off, lost and forgotten).*
Hooray**. And well done everyone involved.***
* Double points if you also know during which war a piece of software was developed to military spare parts and which then mutated into the database software that was used for the previous incarnation of the party’s membership records system.
** Of course my enthusiasm is no way related to the photograph at the top of the page having “PACK” emblazoned on a banner peering over Nick Clegg’s shoulder.
*** Look, I know you’ll think my website has been hacked if I don’t include a “and one thing to do improve…” caveat, so here it is. I love the way that if you pick the option to renew your membership, you can get all the fields filled in automatically from the party’s existing records. That however doesn’t really encourage people to check and supplement them, e.g. by adding a missing phone number. So it would be good to see the next iteration of the form promoting people more to fill in relevant blank fields.