Thursday, 19 September 2013

Lembit, Brent Central and women only short lists

Featured on Liberal Democrat Voice

Back in the real world. Well the one where I no longer am looking at how I can get called to speak in a debate at party conference I have decided to handle the three big issues that Lib Dems have been discussing since they emerged into the Glasgow sunshine (where had that been all week) inspired by Nick Clegg's words.

The first I'd heard rumours of from within the SECC was that Lembit Öpik has written that he is considering throwing his hat into the ring for Brent Central. But in an article in which he decries dissent at party conference (I was there, there was some from the floor) and a fall in membership turning up (did anyone spot Lembit himself) it seems a bit much.

But Lembit standing for Brent Central fails to address another problem within our party the lack of female MPs.Ed Davey has said that the party should revisit the issue of women only short lists after the 2015 election to resolve that issue. 

Now women only shortlists work for Labour and their A-list partially worked for the Conservatives (although anyone remember A-lististo Louise Mensch) because they have something Lib Dems don't have in abundance; safe seats. I also think Ed is a bit premature in deciding what the party does after 2015, that is the year that our leadership programme is having its first test at, simultaneously at the same time as the party is having its first test as a party of Government. 

So where does all this leave us as Lib Dems?

Well frankly to deal with Lembit considering stepping back in Westminster I'm minded to make Brent Central a women only short list, but I fear that may not be enough to stop Lembit and he will announce he is going to transition. 

Footnote: The author in no way endorses the use of women only short-lists, does all he can to encourage good women candidates to become MPs, even being a member of Liberal Democrat Women. Now does he endorse using a method to stifle local party democracy merely to blog 'troublesome' candidates. This is a satirical piece based around real issues, it appears that some readers less familiar with my style and believes have been confused.

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