Channeling the anger part 2

Channeling the anger part 2

Since writing my post about channeling MY anger, it has become apparent that the Federal Conference Committee (FCC) of the Liberal Democrats has angered a whole other group of people (to which I also belong!) by NOT taking for consideration a resolution on nuclear disarmament. It was submitted with 157 signatures, including mine, from members of the group called “LibDems against Trident” which does pretty well what it says on the tin.

The problem seems to stem from the fact that the FCC chose to pay attention more to who submitted the resolution, rather than to the resolution itself. In the FaceBook discussion thread that is red-hot with comments as I am writing this, one commentator has put it thus…

This motion was the quintessential multilateralist motion. No sane person could not have voted for it. And it perfectly pinioned a do-nothing Tory Government for its inaction and hypocrisy. FFS Trump is more interested in nuclear disarmament than this committee!

There was no good reason to reject it. This is a truly appalling, shocking, waffle-headed decision typical of a party which by its repeated behaviour reveals itself to be full of committee sitters and time wasters who would argue how many angels can sit on the end of a pin head for days on end. This is precisely why so many Britons consider us a waste of useful oxygen.

Now that strikes me as a paragraph written with a degree of angry distaste at the Party hierarchy.

The resolution

For clarity let me just place the resolution in front of you so you know what the fuss is about. Although the Lib Dems against Trident probably can be classed as a unilateralist group since the group`s target is to get rid of Trident from UK, this resolution was really not that contentious (or so we thought!)


Conference notes that:-

(a) in July 2017 the United Nations voted on and approved the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons.

(b) The Treaty opened for signature on 20 September 2017

(c) The UK has repeatedly claimed to support multilateral disarmament

Conference regrets that despite this, the UK Government:

(i)  Has boycotted the negotiations, and

(ii) Has since insisted that Britain will never support the Treaty

Conference believes that these failures demonstrate the UK Government’s lack of commitment to ridding the world of nuclear weapons despite its repeated claims to support multilateral disarmament.

Conference commits Liberal Democrats to campaign for the UK to add its name to the list of signatories to the Treaty.


The resolution was submitted for the 2017 LD Conference and refused and has just been refused again for the 2018 Autumn conference. Jon Ball, who is on the FCC said there were some votes for it to be included but the Party`s “official position” was based upon the fact that the resolution “could be a proxy for a unilateral disarmament debate was based on the assertion made at the meeting that signing the treaty requires signatories to make a plan in a short timescale to give up their nuclear weapons.”

Frankly my thought is, “so what!”  Moving the Liberal Democrats to a position of unilateral disarmament could actually now prove to be a vote-winner, especially in our currently lowly state. Over many years before I retired from Lib Dem party politics back in 1998 and subsequently the overwhelming Party position has been that it would be self-defeating to have the Party take a unilateralist position. Whilst there may have been a bit of mileage in this viewpoint when the Lib Dems were claiming to have a position as a centralist Party I can say with certainty that it did the Liberal Party no harm back in the day.

I stood in Broxtowe in 1983 against a Tory Government Minister and was standing VERY clearly on a unilateralist position which had been the Liberal position for years, and my publicity made that clear. We came second, not having stood a Liberal in the seat since the 1950s, and achieved 25% of the vote. In these times when many constituencies are counting Lib Dem votes in low single percentages any constituency with a 25% share for the Lib Dems would be a target constituency looking to get close to winning next time!

For those who are not following the threads of discussion in FaceBook (and, frankly, who can blame you!) I have just made the point that any Liberal Democrat Party members opposed to seeing this resolution on the agenda for Brighton should consider a couple of sentences from the Preamble to the Party Constitution. The first sentence I have mentioned here recently because it is a sentence I wrote back in 1988…

We believe that each generation is responsible for the fate of our planet and, by safeguarding the balance of nature and the environment, for the long term continuity of life in all its forms.

The second sentence is as follows…

We will contribute to the process of peace and disarmament, the elimination of world poverty and the collective safeguarding of democracy by playing a full and constructive role in international organisations which share similar aims and objectives.”

In the context of a planet rapidly consuming itself with a Climate Catastrophe it is probably incumbent upon us to stop the military-industrial complex and cut back significantly on the international arms trade and the pressures to stockpile environmentally unsound nuclear weapons. So, this is not simply a unilateralist stance but a Green survivalist stance anyway.

But I must bring us back to the point that the resolution above is not actually a unilateralist position. It is after all a United Nations initiative and we should take on board the sentence from the anonymous contributor to the FaceBook discussion – “No sane person could not have voted for it.”

So, what does that say about the members of the FCC who did NOT vote for it?

I leave that to your judgement ….


Still ANGRY!


About Keith Melton - Green Lib Dem

Retired English liberal environmentalist living in Nottinghamshire; spent six years in Brazil. Author of Historical Novel - Captain Cobbler: the Lincolnshire Uprising 1536. Active member of the Green Liberal Democrats - (pressure group in Liberal Democrats) - was Founding Chair of GLD in 1988
This entry was posted in Elections, emotions, Environment & Sustainable Development, Peace, Politics, Radical Liberal. Bookmark the permalink.

1 Response to Channeling the anger part 2

  1. Jane Geraghty says:

    Very well argued. Jane

    Sent from my iPhone


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