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Lib Dem review into why we lost the AV campaign is out now!..sort of…

The Lib Dem interim report into why we lost the YES to AV campaign  (by James Gurling) has been published.  Who knew the report had been been released? 

I picked up on the fact by a small report in the Sunday Telegraph last Sunday . I did not notice any announcement on Lib Dem Voice …did I miss it?Possibly. I did not receive an email from Tim Farron who commissioned the report. Have I been struck off the email list? Maybe. I was on holiday for a good three weeks so maybe the notifications ended up in my spam box and I failed to notice…. 

Having read the “interim report” I would not be terribly surprised if the apparent lack of publicity was deliberate.  It was hardly worth the effort of finding it. A nine page report, of which one and a half pages are dedicated to why we lost AV. It was the Labour party’s fault for not supporting it. It was the Conservative Party’s fault for getting “too” behind the No campaign. It was the media’s fault for not questioning the No campaign lies. It was somebodies fault for running it when they did (not clear where James is laying the blame from the report). Oh yes and there were “structural problems with the campaign” . (More of that in a later post).

But at least we have an interim report. What now ?

What now is that the James Gurling report will be presented at a” consultative session” at Conference. Finding out where and when the  “consultative session” is to be held has also taken a bit of work. Yes it is in the guide under “Consultative sessions”.. “May 2011 Elections”  But it certainly isn’t signposted anywhere obvious and again I do not appear to have received an email from the Party President highlighting where and when it will take place.  

So, as far as we can tell (and unless they change it at the last minute…) we are pretty sure that the “consultative session”  is to be held at the Hyatt Hotel on Saturday 17th September 10.00-1230.  Yes to be clear..

WHY WE LOST THE AV CAMPAIGN will be discussed at Lib Dem conference on Saturday 17th September 10.00 – 12.30 at the HYATT HOTEL (Andante suite)

 The report says that the Conference consultative session will form part of the final report. Unfortunately right now we don’t know exactly who will speak or be invited to speak (other presumably than James Gurling) at the session – but according to party papers we should expect to “hear contributions from party members and in some cases outside speakers” … Consultative papers are scheduled to arrive with the Directory mailing (which has yet to arrive here). So perhaps all will become clearer in the days ahead.  

I have to confess I am a bit surprised that a consultative session on such an important report should be scheduled so early on the first day when we know many delegates are yet to arrive. The scheduling of the event (and the apparent lack of notification of the report itself) might lead you to suppose that they don’t actually want anyone to turn up. That can’t be the case surely?

In any event the good news  is that  if you want to contribute to James Gurling’s review of the disastrous Yes Campaign you don’t have to turn up to the crack-of-dawn-before-conference-starts consultative session.

 The interim report states that you can make your submissions to the review by email via a dedicated email address  (by 23rd September).

(Who knew that either?).  The bad news is that you are asked to state your Lib Dem Constituency Party or membership number when emailing them. That implies you have to be a Party member to make your submission – but that would exclude those non-party members who worked on the campaign and have valuable insight to impart or donors to the Yes campaign whose experiences may well be of importance. So perhaps it is a request rather than a demand…..?

PS : For those that don’t know, the James Gurling review, the interim report and the consultative session at conference consider two items. Why we lost the national AV referendum and why we did so badly at the local elections.

UPDATE : Mark Pack has put up a post on this over on Lib Dem Voice read it here.

2 Responses to “Lib Dem review into why we lost the AV campaign is out now!..sort of…”

  1. JohnM Says:

    we should have kept it simple with an undeniable and straightforward message: “AV, because the post should be 50%”

  2. Sean Blake Says:

    I hope and expect there to be a candid look at why there was such a small communications team at the top of the AV campaign.
    James Gurling’s submission seems keener to blame Ed Miliband than his own party for its craven acceptance of a disastrous strategy based on focus groups and a tactical decision to ignore the evidence of disintegration
    The lack of a separate rebuttal unit, which in my view was key to the calamity, seems here to be confirmed as a serious executive error made by a small clique of incompetents on disproportionately high salaries.
    Two questions which could be asked on Saturday:-
    Who exactly appointed these people?
    Why did they refrain from using their influence and undoubted financial leverage to insist that the running of the campaign should change course?