This email went out to party members yesterday:
The Federal Policy Committee is setting up a number of policy working groups designed to develop our Party’s policies for the 2015-2020 Parliament. The Committee would like to invite any member to apply for the following groups:
- Social security – The group will look at what effects changes to the welfare state announced by the Conservative Government are likely to have, including on poverty and inequality. It will consider what a Liberal Democrat vision for social security policy should be.
- Security and privacy – The group will consider how we can protect and enhance civil liberties while maintaining and improving public safety and security in the UK. Covering threats to security, police and security service powers and accountability, online surveillance and encroachment on liberty by the media and other non-state entities
- Sex work – Following conference motion Towards Safer Sex Work (2014), the group will review party policy on sex work; covering the risks and stigma sex workers face, the impact of increased criminalisation, links to organised crime and modern slavery and the influence of developments across borders.
We would also be grateful if you could refer members who you think would be interested or qualified to apply. The FPC would like to encourage new members, in particular, to take part.
Group members will be expected to attend regular meetings, which usually take place in London outside of working hours. We try to make dial in facilities available wherever possible.
The deadline for applications is Wednesday 9 September.
Head of Policy
As you’ll see from the email, one thing I was partly but not fully successful in when discussing these policy working groups on Federal Policy Committee (FPC) is the dangers of seeing civil liberties always in a defensive light – as something to be defended in the face of attacks on them in the name of security or law and order, rather than as something to be positively promoted and improved.
Lumping together security and privacy risks once again seeing civil liberties as a matter of trying to hold the line, though as the text above does indicated, the idea which I was pushing is that we should also be looking for positive, proactive ways to improve and spread civil liberties – not just fighting the defensive rearguard actions on security. So if you also share that view, I particularly hope you’ll be applying.