Tuesday, 26 February 2013

Grappling, groping and groaning

Another fantastic LibDem 'own goal' with the on-going Lord Rennard saga. I've never met him personally, but was shocked today when a friend of my mother's half-jokingly asked me if I'd ever been groped. I can honestly say the only LibDem groping I've had the pleasure of being on the receiving end of was at a  Party Conference in Blackpool way back in the 70s. It was entirely consensual and with another passionate Young Liberal who subsequently became a 'special friend'.

But on the subject of groping, I have been amazed at how poorly the party machinery seems to have reacted to these allegations, with one or two notable exceptions (Simon Hughes, Stephen Tall amongst them).

Debate within the party appears to be moving towards questioning the party's commitment to equal opportunities, and that surely will bring us right back to the issue of positive discrimination or selection of PPCs.

I have, on more than one occasion, considered putting myself through the Parliamentary candidate selection procedure, but having seen "Westminster Life" up close and personal, I'm pretty sure I wouldn't have either the stamina - or indeed the necessary ambition - to subject myself and my family to such an experience. After all, I've not even succeeded in converting my beloved hubbie of 30 years who, like me, has his own 'Tribal loyalties' and only extended politically to supporting my term as an elected Councillor in Hackney in the 80s.

With the imminent Eastleigh by-election and once again, an anticipated plummet in the polls, I wonder how long it'll be before party members start to query Clegg's competence, and even if there isn't a move to replace Clegg before the next election, who's the alternative when the time does come?

As a party, we are in serious danger of sinking into obscurity unless someone quickly gets a grip and I do therefore seriously hope that one thing Chris Rennard might have achieved when he could have, is to train up and mentor a suitable "Election Campaigning Supremo", since his reputation in that respect remains untarnished.