Saturday, 10 December 2011

North West Libertarians December Meetup

For those who haven't seen the notice on Facebook, there will be an informal meetup of libertarians in the Kro2 Bar, Oxford Road, Manchester on Sunday 11th December, starting about 1.00pm. This will be the last North West libertarian meetup of 2011, but hopefully not the last one ever.

This has been a bad year for the Libertarian Party. For those who aren't aware of what's been going on, a few months ago the Party's assets – mainly the bank account and membership records – fell into the hands of a small unelected group who have refused to hand these records over to the legitimate National Coordinating Committee. This group is headed by the former Treasurer, who failed to hand over the financial records to the incoming Treasurer. The former Treasurer had been elected Leader at last year's AGM, but later resigned following allegations of misconduct. Unfortunately he failed to register this fact with the Electoral Commission, for reasons which I can only speculate about, and gathered a group of his chronies about him to take control of the Party. In flagrant breach of the Party constitution, they have also failed to hold an AGM this year – I can only assume that this is because they don't want to face any awkward questions from the membership. At one point, they even tried to de-register the Party, but failed because they needed the cooperation of one member of the legitimate NCC, who naturally refused to do this. The situation at the moment is that, although the Libertarian Party still exists as a legal entity, there is no organisation and no internal communication.

Some people have said that this proves that a Libertarian Party is not a practical proposition. I disagree. Other countries have thriving Libertarian Parties, I see no reason for Britain to be different. The way I see it, the real problem is that we didn't give enough thought to how we should be organised when we were first setting up. There was never any real support for local activism. There was also not enough oversight of the leadership's activities. These are lessons we can learn from in the future. Because I believe that there is a place for an effective Libertarian Party in this country. It could be that the current party will end up being de-registered, in which case the way will be open for a group of ex-members with honest intentions to set up a successor organisation. Or maybe the cabal who have siezed control of our party will see sense and step aside.

Either way, a Libertarian Party of some kind will rise from the ashes.

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