Saturday, May 26, 2012

Cut Tim Farron a bit of slack over accreditation!

As you know, I am very much opposed to accreditation for party members for our Conference. When I had the chance to vote on it as a member of FFAC, I opposed it and would do so again - every time. This afternoon, Tim posted on Liberal Democrat Voice that he had secured exemptions for those who had "identity related concerns". this would include transgender colleagues & people who needed to be sure previous identities were not revealed. I will let you into a little secret. I knew this was planned. When I was told about it, he very first thing I said was that people would have to out themselves & that the idea should be run past LGBT+. I was assured that it had been & they were happy with it. I was a bit surprised, but what do I know? LGBT+ will always know better than me and if they were happy, who was I to argue? It turns out that people are just as opposed, if not more, to this proposal, which is fair enough. Please, though, give Tim a bit of credit for trying to come up with something that would help the people who felt that accreditation would be dangerous for them. He didn't just pull the idea out of thin air. He consulted extensively with the organisation which is the party's expert on this. He may well have to go back to the drawing board, but he did the right thing. I was also much happier with the tone of today's article. Tim had the decency to apologise for Monday's which was well out of order.
Firstly let me say sorry for the tone of the original Lib Dem Voice article – reading it back last night and reading everyone’s comments for the second time in a week (I have to say I like reading but not commenting myself!) it really did strike me that the tone was very off; so let me apologise for that.
That's pretty unequivocal. Not everybody would acknowledge their mistakes (and it was only a third his) and say sorry. I'm impressed. We're not done with the accreditation process & I expect Tim will be having further discussions with people over the next few days. Watch this space. I wish we could just ditch the whole thing but I'm not hopeful of that.

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