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Ros Scott replies…

By Sara Scarlett
July 23rd, 2009 at 8:06 pm | 9 Comments | Posted in UK Politics

The reply to the email I sent to Ros Scott earlier in the week is as follows:

The expense claims of all Liberal Democrat MPs and Peers have been checked out by teams from the Whips offices. The Leader of the Liberal Democrats in the Lords has given an assurance that all claims are within the Parliamentary rules for the House of Lords. Whilst you haven’t mentioned MPs, I can report that the Chief Whip in the Commons has reported that no Liberal Democrat MPs have been found to have phantom mortgages, manipulated their claims for council tax or capital gains purposes, or to have “flipped” the designation of their properties.

I am sure you will find this reassuring,

Ros Scott

Thus, the Whips have decided there is no wrongdoing by any LD Lords or MPs and they consider the matter closed.

I don’t find it reassuring as it happens especially considering other factors. And I’m inclined to agree with Agent Orange on this one (jesus lorraine, that’s a sentence I never thought I’d write…).

At the risk of sounding melodramatic this whole “it was all within the rules” spiel reminds me of the Nuremberg defence: “I’m just following orders,” they would say as they slammed the train doors shut!!

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By Angela Harbutt
July 14th, 2009 at 4:12 pm | 13 Comments | Posted in Uncategorized

The Lib Dem Federal Executive met last night. The contents of the meeting will (if they have any sense) be made public in double quick time.

This will be a big test for the group AND for its chair Ros Scott. Will this have been (1) a useless talking shop about do-nothing-unimportant side issues – or will they have (2) tackled the serious and important issues facing this party regarding expenses & allowances ?

I am of course, expecting clarification on what is happening with regard to the Lord Rennard, who was/is the Party’s Chief Executive – employed by the Federal Executive  and who recently resigned claiming ill health. Co-incidentally he also still has serious fraud accusations  (relating to allowance claims) hanging over him that, until now, the FE has been unwilling to deal with.

It now seems generally accepted that he is in fact away running the Lib Dem Norwich North by election campaign. IF TRUE, then how can we face the electorate with any seriousness at this or any other election? If we are willing to continue to employ somebody who has such serious question marks over them – that we leave unaddressed – we will face the consequenses sooner or later.   If it is NOT TRUE , well it just highlights how important it is for the FE to get a grip on this.

Investigate him and either clear his name, or take sanctions against him as an employee of the Party. Surely this is the ONLY option available to the FE ? And should have been item 1 on last nights agenda (if not the previous meeting).

The clock is ticking as we wait for the report from the Party President. And if it turns out that they have ducked this issue again, the clock might just start ticking on the FE itself and perhaps more importantly, its chair.

Or maybe, they will surprise us.

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President goes into hiding

By Angela Harbutt
June 2nd, 2009 at 1:46 pm | 1 Comment | Posted in UK Politics

Reports of the president’s assasination have been greatly exagerated. Not dead just gone into hiding. Why? we are told on Lib Dem Voice today its because “…the existence of my blog seems to have led some people into thinking that it is possible to keep up a running commentary on what is going on” .

Well hell yes! We need a running comentary on what is going on. Now more than ever. The reasons why have been lain before our eyes over the last couple of weeks. And the idea that by closing down her blog she will somehow stop the “running commentary” is just nonsense.

So now we are promised that “In future, minutes of FE will be published here on LDV, within the one month required by the Standing Orders”. Batten down the hatches lads the natives are restless.

Ps. Ros Scott has now admitted herself that the FE has only limited powers. That may be true. And that may be the most powerful argument we have heard so far for sorting out the Party organisation. BUT what about powers it does have ? Surely it has some powers over employees of the party? And if so why were they not used? Sadly it looks like we will never know.

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So, what did you actually decide to do?

By Mark Littlewood
May 20th, 2009 at 4:46 pm | 5 Comments | Posted in UK Politics


Pictured above are the members of the Liberal Democrat Federal Executive Committee.

Few of them are household names, but they are – by and large – committed and hard-working LibDem activists and they have been successfully elected (in most cases) to the party’s most important committee.

The committee met on Monday night at 5.30pm in the midst of the most enormous political and constitutional crisis our country has faced in a generation at least.

Newly-elected President Ros Scott predicted a full and frank exchange of views.

Exchanging views is all well and good, but what have the FE actually decided to do about the collapse in faith in British politicians and some of the allegations against our own Parliamentarians? Two days after the conclusion of the FE meeting, many members are waiting with bated breath to learn of the outcome.

Ros Scott emailed me on Tuesday morning saying the FE’s conclusions should be available in the course of the day. But there’s obviously been a hold-up. An insider tells me that members might be receiving an email from Ros later today or tonight. Let’s hope it’s a bold and forthright statement and the party can move on to the wider issues of cleaning up and reforming British politics.

P.S. We were not able to track down photos of all members of the FE – and we may even have got one or two of them wrong. A full list of FEC members is available here. English Party Chair Brian Orrell was one such member for whom we could not track down a photo. Brian’s a top bloke and as all true fans of Doctor Who will know, he played the role of a Cyberman in the 1985 classic story “Attack of the Cybermen”. We include a picture of a Colin Baker-era Cyberman in tribute to his contribution to British science fiction.

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Are the Liberal Democrat Federal Executive Commmittee a total joke – or not?

By Mark Littlewood
May 16th, 2009 at 1:55 am | 10 Comments | Posted in UK Politics, Uncategorized

The LibDems’ Federal Exec meets on Monday May 18th.

 Within the assiduously democratic constitution of the party, the Federal Exec are actually empowered to do something.

 I have long since lost track of who is on this committee.

And I can’t remember them ever doing anything – or deciding anything – of significant public impact previously.

On Monday, I hope to God this changes.

Ros Scott – our newly elected President, with a crushing majority, and an unimpeachable public record and CV – is one of very few politicians that you should be able to trust to “tell it like it is”.

 That’s why I’m very concerned that she is only really predicting that there will be a “full and frank exchange of views” on Monday.

I have just had such an exchange of views, with a few mates, down the pub tonight. And very pleasurable it was too.

 But – Federal Exec members – you’re supposed to be the people running the party.

So, I expect to hear on Monday evening who you are sacking and who you aren’t. Who you are investigating and who you are supporting 100%.

I’m guessing – and hoping – TV cameras and journalists will be gathered outside 4 Cowley Street from mid-afternoon.

 They will be there to canvass opinions of FE members on the way in, and to hear Ros Scott’s statement of your decisions at the conclusion of your meeting.

 If you merely have a nice evening “exchanging full and frank” views, then I hope you enjoy it

 But the committee on which you serve will then continue to be ignored, ridiculed and (by those who can be bothered) laughed at.

 And rightly so.

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