Thursday, 21 August 2014

What did Peter Hayes say?

Well according to the Daily Telegraph he said:

[Lord Rennard's] media advisor, Peter Hayes, says "I understand that you are writing a piece about angry women." He adds that the police did not press charges and Alistair Webster did not call for a disciplinary hearing.

"The Liberal Democrat Party has now dealt with all the allegations and the matter is closed. We must advise anyone against publishing or broadcasting defamatory remarks. Accusations that were rejected by both the Metropolitan Police and an independent QC would be treated as such." 

For a press adviser is seems like something that wouldn't pass candidates' media training, but what does he mean by this?

Looking at past comments from Lord Rennard legal adviser, it would appear that the reason Peter Hayes is warning against the possibility of legal action. This seems somewhat at odds with Chris Rennard's comments about wanting to uphold the values of the party he joined as a teenager.

What about safeguarding a fair, free and open society?

What about seeking to balance the fundamental values of liberty, equality and community?

What about not enslaving others by poverty, or ignorance, or conformity?

Firstly the above does not lead to an open society, especially not within the Liberal Democrats. Far from being rejected by the independent QC he merely found there was not sufficient substance to take it to a disciplinary hearing. It would be remiss of me, as a Liberal Democrat, to allow anyone to become enslaved to the ignorance that statement outlines.

If it were a fair outcome there would still be four very capable women, who Andrew Webster QC said gave credible statements would all still be members of the party I hold dear. They would be encouraging women to join the party, and stand for election in our name. Yet the statements Alison Goldsworthy, Susan Gaszczak and Bridget Harris have made in the last 48 hours are not like that, and to be honest I too would am wary of being so encouraging as a result.

The liberty, equality and community of my party has been shattered in the recent past. I have seen people celebrating the re-admittance of one person to our party without sparing any thought for the four brave women who have felt forced to leave and the many others who have left, or are considering leaving, as a result of the way they have been treated.

The fact that many women fear that their own party may no longer be a safe space for them, that many men within the party are being called misogynists by remaining by association, means that the values of our party are being drowned out. I hate looking at my twitter feed. It shows what many people outside the Westminster bubble think of what has happened in this case.

One man does not make a party, no matter how important he thinks he is. But one man is more than capable of doing it irreparable damage. Sadly when a number of those in the Lords, or the Commons or in power in other ways fail to see this damage and continue to try and play up to that one person, giving him a glimmer of hope that he may be useful it does mean that all of us are getting tarred with the same brush.

As for threatening to sue those who "publish or broadcast" information regarding the accusations, some will be the big papers, others will be those who speak on Twitter, Facebook or through blogs. The latter groups are generally younger, less well off, but know what is inappropriate behaviour up with which they will not put. So if you go after them in courts you take away their liberty and enslave them to poverty.

So I have a question does Peter Hayes want to uphold the principles of the party that Chris Rennard loves so much, or does he just want to uphold the stature of Rennard and bugger the party?

Update 21:36
To understand the man look no further than his Facebook profile


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