As Treasurer of the Scottish Liberal Democrats, I am a member of FFAC.
The Chairs of the Federal Executive, FFAC & Federal Conference Committee have explained on Liberal Democrat Voice that they gave decided to bow to Police demands that party members who register for Conference must go through Police accreditation.
Last week FFAC held a special meeting to discuss the issue of accreditation. I am not going to give a blow by blow account of what was a serious, intelligent discussion. That would breach confidentiality & it would be wrong of me to do that.
The minutes, however, say that the motion to agree accreditation was passed with one dissenting voice. Do you want to take a wild guess who that was? I tried, people, but I wasn't persuasive enough.
I am, however, deeply hurt at the inference in the Liberal Democrat Voice article that those who care about the safety of others, including party staff would choose accreditation.
Some of the people I care most about in the world will be at Conference. Some are there because they have no choice. I would never, ever put them at risk. And I don't believe, given all the evidence I have looked at over the past year, that accreditation makes anybody any safer.
I've tried to make my case with fairness and authenticity and without attacking others' motives. I genuinely feel this is the wrong choice. For me, it's the physical security that keeps us safe, not a bureaucratic exercise that gives the Police unwarranted influence over our internal democracy.
I was coping with being in a minority of one. I kind of expected it. I just feel incredibly sad and disappointed at the wording of that article tonight.