miss_s_b: (Politics: anti-racist)
[personal profile] miss_s_b
This makes more sense, although there's still a couple of things I don't understand.

1. If HQ staff don't want to get grief from angry members about this arrangement riding roughshod over the founding principles of the party, why not make it clear that they are doing this under the insistence of the rozzers, and not because they want to? Yet again, a lamentable failure in communication between the top brass and the grass roots, and with the level of suspicion that appears to exist on both sides now, can you blame some people for assuming that this has been done to keep non-loyalist members away?

2. How wussy are the Brummie rozzers? Because sheffield rozzers managed perfectly well without demanding passports and driving licenses and national insurance numbers, and Liverpool rozzers were absolute sweeties. Brummie rozzers are a bunch of cowardly authoritarians, clearly (whoops there goes MY approval)

So yeah... Obviously going off on one at party HQ staff is not going to achieve anything (and I know how overstretched they are at the best of times from when [personal profile] matgb worked there) but perhaps we can shame the Brummie rozzers into stopping this idiocy before too many members rip up their little yellow bits of laminated paper in disgust....

Date: Thursday, June 2nd, 2011 08:49 am (UTC)
From: [personal profile] sassy_scot
The Party should tell the Police to get raffled.

The police make their decisions based on security alone. We have to inject the liberalism. If we won't, then who the hell will?

Just think Jennie, the brummie polis (or, actually, the Greater Manchester lot who are doing it for them), might decide we are too much of a risk if they read our blogs and see that we disagree with Nick Clegg at times. Probably not, but they are more likely to be cautious.

And the Federal Conference Committee are accountable for the organisation of Conference. I think it's them we need to contact for an explanation. I've blogged here about it:


I'm still in 2 minds about Conference - but ultimately think I will probably go. Do we really want our policies to be made by people who are ok with this?

Date: Thursday, June 2nd, 2011 08:54 am (UTC)
From: (Anonymous)
I think your final point is the killer.

Date: Thursday, June 2nd, 2011 09:12 am (UTC)
po8crg: A cartoon of me, wearing a panama hat (Default)
From: [personal profile] po8crg
Yep. Can't argue with that last point.

Date: Thursday, June 2nd, 2011 11:44 am (UTC)
purplecthulhu: (Default)
From: [personal profile] purplecthulhu
If Sheffield and Liverpool can do it without these checks while Brum/Manchester can't, then the conference should be moved.

Date: Thursday, June 2nd, 2011 11:42 am (UTC)
purplecthulhu: (Default)
From: [personal profile] purplecthulhu
I'm not a Lib Dem - I refuse to join any party - but they are the party I usually vote for and have most sympathy with, and the fact that this is an issue for many of those who would be attending the conference is one of the reasons.

So I am quite appalled that this is being required and that the organisers have let the security apparatchicks dictate this to them. If these measures weren't needed last year why are they needed now?

If this issue passes by without significant protest from the party, HQ as well as members, then my respect for the LibDems will be significantly damaged since they won't be standing up for their stated principles, and I might have to look for someone else to vote for. Cthulhu knows who that might be though!

Date: Thursday, June 2nd, 2011 09:48 pm (UTC)
matgb: Artwork of 19th century upper class anarchist, text: MatGB (Default)
From: [personal profile] matgb
No one, that's part of the problem, the other two just accept this sort of thing, and a whole lot more, without any fuss at all. The reason this is a fuss now is it's the first time anyone has cared enough about conference security.

The big problem is it's been badly explained--in this case, the local party officers got sent an email briefing them about some elements to pass on to their reps. Some of the explantion in there is making me less angry (not much). But I got that email (I'm Membership officer for our borough, my job) this morning, after Jennie wrote this post.

If there's a signficant change, announce it, explain it, don't just push it live on a crappy website with no explanation and with massive questions unanswered.

Date: Thursday, June 2nd, 2011 11:49 am (UTC)
From: [personal profile] gwenhwyfaer
One thing occurs to me (belatedly). I don't have a passport, I don't drive - in fact, I hold no photo-ID of any kind, on principle - and my birth certificate bears a different name from my current one. How on earth would I be approved under such rules as these?

Date: Thursday, June 2nd, 2011 12:01 pm (UTC)
From: (Anonymous)
This one worries me too. Fortunately I now have some state-sanctioned ID in the same name as I would want to have on my conference pass, but there was a good while when that wasn't the case, and I don't see what business the conference office has in getting sight of my historic names.

I'm not sure how people too young to have an NI number would now get in without having to get a passport at great expense.

Date: Thursday, June 2nd, 2011 12:48 pm (UTC)
hollymath: (Default)
From: [personal profile] hollymath
If it's any help, I know a member of the Lib Dems' LGBT organisation has gotten in touch to ask about precisely the issue of people whose proof-of-ID names wouldn't match up with the names on their Lib Dem membership cards.

I'm a little concerned about this myself; my passport is not British; will that make it difficult? I have two NI numbers and even the DWP can't guarantee me that that's sorted out now. And I can't drive. So yeah.

Date: Thursday, June 2nd, 2011 03:54 pm (UTC)
po8crg: A cartoon of me, wearing a panama hat (Default)
From: [personal profile] po8crg
Non-UK passports are OK. It asks what nationality the passport is and which country it was issued in. If you have more than one passport, you have to put in the details from all of them.

I don't see what business it is of the British state what other national passports I might have, but I'm just reporting the questions.

Date: Friday, June 3rd, 2011 05:49 pm (UTC)
hollymath: (postmark)
From: [personal profile] hollymath
It's quite problematic, this, as explained by Stephen Glenn here.

Date: Thursday, June 2nd, 2011 03:52 pm (UTC)
po8crg: A cartoon of me, wearing a panama hat (Default)
From: [personal profile] po8crg
You need passport, driving licence or NI number. They will accept two names (the proof-of-ID name and the name-that-will-appear-on-the-conference-pass) as separate names.

Only the police (who presumably have access to your proof-of-ID name anyway) will have that name; only the conference-pass-name gets passed on to the conference office.

And yes, the form makes that clear.

Date: Thursday, June 2nd, 2011 11:52 am (UTC)
From: [personal profile] gwenhwyfaer
And one more point: When the police are OK telling a political party how to conduct itself, and the political party acquiesces with a feeble "nothing we can do, guv" whimper, that's pretty much the definition of a police state. No point in warning that it might be where we're headed any more. We've arrived.

Date: Thursday, June 2nd, 2011 04:32 pm (UTC)
From: [personal profile] auntysarah
Yes. What we have here is the police wielding a power of veto over the ability of people to associate for a political gathering. They are quite literally determining whether individuals, including elected representatives of the people, are to be allowed to participate in the political process.

A Birmingham taxpayer writes...

Date: Thursday, June 2nd, 2011 05:27 pm (UTC)
daweaver:   (pluralism)
From: [personal profile] daweaver
So, this is happening with the West Midlands police force, a group that is taking a decent chunk of dosh from me, and from which I believe I can reasonably expect some accountability.

Once I've calmed down a little (read: not before Sunday), I feel a letter to the chief constable coming on. Do (potential) fellow representatives have any direction they'd like to steer me in? "I am a liberal and I am against this sort of thing" might be a good soundbite.

Otherwise, I suspect I may be going to fringes and (open area) consultations only. And seeing about tourist trips in the locality.

Date: Thursday, June 2nd, 2011 07:24 pm (UTC)
From: (Anonymous)
(DW user here by chance- anon for this)

As a civilian employee of Brum police (in a boring and entirely unrelated department) and a Lib Dem supporter, I can assure you that this is more likely to be due to budgetary or local procedural reasons than sinister police state control. There are many examples of this kind of difference between forces, and while it's a headache to navigate (and believe me it's worse trying to deal with this on the inside!) I'm not sure that national standardisation is the answer. It's about as intrusive as an employer's CRB check, or much less so. There might even have been intelligence of a specific threat to this conference- who knows?

I and most of my colleagues are generally opposed to the creepy levels of control put in place by the Labour government (if nothing else it's created a whole lot of pointless new work to do...), but it's important not to see a police state where it doesn't exist. Asking for clarification about this might help streamline things if this is genuinely unnecessary, or you might get an explanation if it is necessary. You have every right to oppose this on principle for libertarian reasons and it's not great for non drivers or people who don't have a passport (there should be alternatives in place for that and it's bad if there aren't), but please don't assume malice where there's only bureaucracy.


Date: Friday, June 3rd, 2011 01:30 am (UTC)
From: [personal profile] gwenhwyfaer
"this is more likely to be due to budgetary or local procedural reasons than sinister police state control"

It's always easier for fascism to sneak in the back door pretending to be excessive bureaucracy than it is to trumpet its announcement at the gates.

"it's important not to see a police state where it doesn't exist"

Except that history shows that doing that is a triviality, but the far more significant problem is people not seeing a police state where it does exist.

So are you absolutely certain? Because whilst I'm not, I'm sure enough to make the call - and if I'm wrong, it doesn't even matter. Whereas if you're wrong...

Date: Friday, June 3rd, 2011 03:18 am (UTC)
From: (Anonymous)
Well, yes. I do agree. Very many examples of police state control start as 'innocent' bureaucratic steps, but not all innocent looking bureaucratic steps are examples of police state control. Being under vigilant is worse than being over vigilant, but being over vigilant isn't great either. It's an emotional drain and a waste of valuable energy.

I am absolutely certain that this example here is not creeping state control. It sounds like a standard security measure to me. This is perfectly ordinary by my standards, but I can see how iffy it might look from the outside...
But actually, even though I genuinely believe that this is nothing to worry about I think it's very healthy that people stand up and question it anyway. We have to keep a balance between security and liberty and a constantly questioning population is the best way to do that. I am also really, really glad the Coalition is rolling back the worst of Labour's excesses- IMO they stopped having any claim to the Left a long time ago.

Oh, while I'm here- if you (Miss S-B) could ask somebody in national government about the mountain of paperwork/ ID checking/ record keeping/ personal details holding the public sector have to do we would all seriously appreciate it. Much of the apparent State intrusion is just about keeping a paper trail on file for audit purposes and it's completely absurd.

(Um. I'm suddenly aware of the irony of having a 'police' voice pop out of nowhere to comment on something like this. I hope this doesn't look weird- I found this account while browsing for 'British politics' and I wanted to help stop people getting upset unnecessarily. Do tell me to go away if it bothers you!)


Date: Sunday, June 5th, 2011 07:22 pm (UTC)
purplecthulhu: (Default)
From: [personal profile] purplecthulhu
If it's local budgetary reasons then these issues can easily be escaped by moving the conference and not coming back to Brum, or wherever the local budgetary and procedural issues require
It. This wouldn't be good for the local economy but that's how a Market economy works - mess things up and you lose customers.

Even if these measures stay in place for this conference hope it is resolved that such measures are inappropriate for the future and any conference location requiring them will not get Lib Dem custom.

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