Political

What are the English Lib Dems up to? Anders Hanson has the answer

Anders Hanson has been at it again, shedding light on what the English Liberal Democrats are up to in the name of party members.

As before, it’s well worth reading his report on the latest English Council Executive (ECE) in full, and so here is a taster to encourage you to click:

English Strategy Review – some smaller groups are going to be set up to look at what actions can be taken in the short term that fit with the priorities outlined in this paper that was agreed by last November’s English Council. Essentially, the more complicated and controversial areas that nearly led to it being referred back (such as the possible outsourcing of membership work) will be put to one side for now, but those areas which were genuinely popular will be investigated further. There’s little more to report on this at present, but more should be known on this by the time of the next meeting.

Given my views on that strategy review – some good ideas, some really not good at all ideas – that’s very welcome news.

Less welcome is the news that co-options to the low key but important regulatory body, the Regional Parties Committee, and to the body which overseas a large slice of the party’s money, the English Finance and Administration Committee, took their (lack of) diversity backwards.

What’s more, the co-options were not widely advertised in advance. So it’s not a case that we tried hard as a party to find a range of people with relevant skills who match the diversity of the membership or the electorate and failed. It’s that we didn’t even try basic measures such as advertising pending co-options widely.

Even if you’re not concerned at all about the party being dominated by older white men, that’s not good for older white men who aren’t inside the magic loop of communication and so also miss out on the chance to get their name put forward.

So credit to Anders for his frankness and practical action:

The additions to these committees have not exactly improved diversity or gender balance, indeed it’s made it worse, (which is particularly unfortunate given the attendance at this ECE was the first time in a while that was almost 50:50 on gender), but without other names to suggest and knowing that they were all on an individual basis good additions I didn’t object. The party (and in this I include all of the party) is generally quite poor about advertising party committee vacancies and co-options with the result that it’s often the same faces who appear everywhere. I will attempt to rectify that for ECE posts in the future. Read further down for two current vacancies.

You can read about the previous report from Anders here: New body created to help run the Lib Dems, and other news you may not have been told.

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