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The miserable face of Lib Dem sleaze is back…

November 12th, 2015 Posted in Liberal Democrats by

Anthropologists seeking adventure often travel to distant lands to seek out lost tribes. Groups so detached from the modern world that their customs, decisions, and rituals are entirely self-referential. Important to them, meaningful in the context of their own unique history. But uninfluenced by the morals and inhibitions regarded as normal by the civilised world.

Those academics less keen on collecting air miles might instead consider visiting Westminster and studying a group closer to home, they’re called Liberal Democrat peers.

In some ways the group resembles a traditional doomsday cult. Their highest ambition is to abolish themselves. They go to extraordinary lengths to make the public want to get rid of them, from their eye-watering comments during the Cyril Smith scandal, to playing host to a Slytherin caricature who opines on measures to protect the security services and dodgy politicians from scrutiny.

Their latest effort though is their finest yet. They have just elected Lord Rennard, one of the last Parliament’s poster-boys for sleaze, as their representative to the Party’s Board, the Federal Executive. This despite his personal conduct putting the Party through several avoidable crises, most recently a year long media shaming for hypocrisy, incompetence, and cover-ups.

For normal thinking members of humanity it should be self-evident that a man whose behaviour led the Party into one of its worst and longest ethics scandals is not a fit and proper person to sit on the Board that decides how the Party should respond to future ethics scandals. Instead, for the peers and some old campaign allies, that their inadequate procedures and dodgy officials failed to kick the man out, has evidentially been interpreted as a request for a homecoming parade.

This further despite their elected Leader, and titular Chair of the FE explaining very publicly that he wanted nothing to do with the man. And an ongoing grass-roots campaign dedicated to stopping the behaviour for which he was shamed.

Rennard’s ongoing presence and inexplicable lack of self-awareness is unpleasant for those forced to sit in a room with him. Worse it is a huge setback for Tim Farron’s efforts to move the Party away from it’s prior head in the sand attitudes. Why would any person want to commit their time to a Party in the grip of unaccountable bores who feel entitled. Or are happy to turn a blind eye to the minority that behave extremely badly, because ‘hey that’s politics’. Yuk, what a shambles.

Perhaps anthropologists will one day explain why a large subset of Liberal Democrat peers still don’t get it. The rest of us can only stare open-mouthed at the hubristic stupidity. As has been said many times before, we can only hope their more productive activities, notably the aforementioned long-standing campaign to abolish themselves, proceeds with haste.

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