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Threats lead to cancellation of London Region conference

By Tom Papworth
December 3rd, 2010 at 5:38 pm | 30 Comments | Posted in Liberal Democrats

News is breaking that London Region Lib Dems have been obliged to postpone the London Region conference.

Both the initial and the replacement venues asked the Lib Dems to cancel the event because they feared that it would result in violence. Demonstrators opposing university funding reform had pledged to target Saturday’s event.

The headmaster of the school originally planning to host the event asked London Region to move it; but the replacement venue also raised security fears.

The concern of the venues is understandable considering the offensive and threatening language used by the ironically named “Free Education Campaign” (free for the students; very expensive for the taxpayers). Fiona Edwards of FEC spoke of Lib Dems “running scared” and promised to “chase them down.”

Ironically, FEC was only expecting up to 1,000 demonstrators, which should have been easy for the local police to manage. Indeed, with rain, snow and fog expected to complement the freezing temperatures, it’s hard to decide whether the demonstration would have been sparsely attended or a great opportunity for some of the hot-heads to cool off.

Personally, I’m disappointed that the defenders for middle-class welfare weren’t faced down. London Region should have pushed ahead with the conference at whatever venue they could find, and let the police and the weather deal with the student reactionaries.

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