Friday, December 23, 2005

LibDem expulsion? A brief little fisking...

Not my favoured form of blogging, but that nice Mr Tim posted a link to this post by one Neil Craig, who is complaining that he's been expelled by the Scottish Lib Dems. Except, um, he hasn't:
Yesterday I received the following letter, without any warning whatsoever
Mr Craig? I've read through bits of your frontpage, and I've read the letter you've put up. You can read, I hope? You're able to tell the difference between one action and another? Oh good.

Y'see, you're complaining that you've had "no warning". Except, the thing is, the letter is the warning. Is it not clear enough for you? You haven't been purged, yet. You've been asked to explain yourself. Here, I'll quote the relevent bit for you:
I am required to inform you of the decision and advise you that you are entitled to send me a submission in writing as to why the Executive Committee should not proceed at its next meeting to expel you.
That's written in legalese, otherwise known as formal English. It means that they're going to hold a vote as to whether you're allowed to stay in the party, in which you're allowed to state your reasons why you should be. That's called due process Mr Craig, democratic parties are allowed to follow it. Here's another bit for you:
At its meeting on 21st January the Executive Committee will hold a secret ballot which will require a 2/3rds majority to terminate your membership
A two thirds majority. You need to persuade just over one third of the exec that you should be allowed to stay a member. Are you able to do that? Are you going to try? They're giving you the chance, they're giving you warning.

But, before you do Mr Craig, can I ask why you want to be a member of the LibDems? Just curious, it's just that you've referred to the man who effectively made the modern party, without whom it wouldn't exist, let alone by a party of govt in Scotland, as "Nazi Ashdown", which is a strange thing to do, to my mind. Is it because of his stand in favour of intervention to stop the violence in the former Yugoslavia? It seems to be a pet bug bear of yours. I'd love to quote his memoirs at you, but they appear to be on loan to someone at the moment, they should be sat with Major's on my bookshelf. But, y'see, I distinctly remember him being pretty condemnatory of Mr Tudjman on a number of occasions, I don't think he was a particular fan of the Croat leadership at the time of the conflicts either. In fact, I do recall he argued for an intervention to stop all the conflict at the time, all the cleansings. But, given that you've publicly called the founder of the modern party a nazi, I wonder why you're a member?

I'm not one, you don't need to be. But if you are, couldn't you manage to write them a little letter explaining why you actually do broadly support the principles of the party? You seem to like writing letters to newspapers, why not defend your opinions within the executive, elected by the members of the party, which is wondering why you're a member? If they do take the decision to expell you, then you can, perhaps, complain vituperatively. As it is, you've simply been asked to defend your public statements because, on the face of it, some of them do seem
illiberal & irreconcilable with membership of the Party
Feel free to tell me what I'm missing though. No one is seeking to muzzle you, just ask you to leave or explain why you're not illiberal.

As an aside? Can I introduce you to the concept of copyright laws and publishing? You do seem to like quoting entire articles at once. Not the done thing old chap, you're supposed to link to them, and quote extracts to comment on. Quoting entire articles isn't really on. Besides, it makes scrolling past them rather annoying to the reader if they've already read it, or follow the link you provide and read it on the source site.

Good, um, luck, writing that letter to the Executive, I'm sure you can put forward a good enough case to persuade them you're not an absolute fool with beliefs opposed to the principles of the party. That is the case, right?

I did say I'm no good at this sort of thing, right? Good.

1 comment:

neil craig said...

While it is technically true that I have not yet been expelled I think you are being a little disingenuous in not mentioning that they have already voted "unanimously" to expel me. In the circumstances I suspect the 2/3 barrier to confirm this will not be too difficult.

You can be assured that I will write to them explaining why my views (pro individual freedom, pro-free enterprise, pro-free trade, pro-science, anti-overweening state, anti-bombing small countries) which are all the values on which historic liberalism was founded are still allowable in the party.

As regards Ashdown I dispute that he treated Nazis like Tudjman & Izetbegovic the same as Milosevic or that Tudjman (a Nazi who said "Hitler's new european order can be justified by the need to be rid of the Jews" should be treated the same as Milosevic "a man to whom any form of racism is anathema" (you may check who said that under oath)