Liberal Youth ripped heart out of the diversity motion


The Ethnic Minority Liberal Democrats’ (EMLD) motion containing positive action measures to practically address the diversity of Lib Dem elected representatives was ripped to not much more than a review by amendments, mostly from Liberal Youth, with the requirement to have at least one BME candidate on shortlists where a Lib Dem MP has resigned, or within a by-election, being lost. Davina Kirwan writes about her thoughts on the grassroots LibDem Voice website.

Goodness me. I think the Liberal Democrats are the new Conservatives. Deciding not to act because doing so would be hypocritical? Is this not the worse kind of irony that has seen the ill-representative nature of the party prevail? WAKE-UP! The absence of an elected BME speaks volumes!!!!! You should be ashamed of yourselves with your non-productive preoccupation with meaningless debate!!!

I am young, black and female. Your target audience. I am disgusted. Your policies hit the nail on the head and are what this country needs but you might as well be the 20th Century Conservative Party masquerading as liberals for all I care. I am so torn between standing as a Lib Dem candidate – which I probably wouldn’t even get to do because of the local party machine – and just joining the established Labour ranks.

The BME vote is the only thing that prevents the Lib Dems from trumping the Labour party and the Conservatives to outright power. Until party members see that it will always be resigned to a junior partner in a coalition or third party obscurity.
So far the discourse among members in response to diversity proposals is heavily weighted by a presumption that a BME person would not have equal or exceeding merit. This isn’t about discriminating against a white candidate based on colour (which members are totally against by the way; but it’s okay to do it against BMEs: there are none *hello?*) it’s about opening the way for BME Lib Dem MPs – because there are none *hello?*.

One will never understand or have a proactive approach to discrimination until it one is discriminated against. I am of the left. I believe that this unites me with both the LibDems and Labour. Perhaps local members’ and activists’ dismissal of voices around them is the same reason for the dismissal of diversity measures by the party: denial.

And bin the discrimination excuse; it has already been said that this is positive action – how could something that equalises opportunity be a bad thing? You all might as well unzip your sheep’s clothing now, I can see you.

By Davina Kirwan