A Regrettable Aggravation

I have not been keeping up with the old LIbertarian Party because I lack the motivation to do so. I regard them as a pointless distraction which is frustratingly still ongoing. It is impressive what Guy Montrose has done with the Facebook page – it’s full of energy – but that energy is being wasted.

That wastage became apparent when last week the Party officially turned down an invitation to appear on television, an opportunity which would have justified all the efforts of the party’s new tranche of supporters. The party had been invited by Andrew Neil’s team to be interviewed on the Daily Politics and they said no. The Backbencher picked up the story and described the reaction of Facebook users on it’s page: they were incandescent.

In my view, the Facebook thread and Backbencher article are both wrong, this has little to do with Chris Mounsey’s prior performance on the same program and more to do with the prior performance of the party’s leader and its former Treasurer Andrew Peter Withers who has not resolved the issue of a £4300 accounting discrepancy. To be clear, that amounted to about third of donations in a good year, i.e. a third of members’ money.

Here is my analysis, as posted on 4Liberty some years previously:

As for LPUK, yes, it trades, but it isn’t going anywhere. It has meetings and takes money, and has a pulpit from which to “note” it’s detractors. On this point James is wrong, LPUK has many detractors but zero dissenters because they have all formally left and formed the ILN up North and the PLP down South. LPUK is therefore united under the leadership of Andrew Peter Withers, who I believe will never step down, and this is why his party will not rise.

Any TV or Newspaper wishing to cover the libertarian parties will google Andrew Peter Withers and give him a worse bashing than Devils Kitchen ever got. In contrast, the backstory of the Pro Liberty Party and Independant Libertarian Network will show how completely intolerant of sleeze they are, which will be an asset for them.

The only thing going for LPUK is, frankly, Guy Montrose, but he is driving down a dead end.

I wish this was not so predictable. Sadly the ILN and PLP have fizzled out since the time of that posting, they may not have done so had the energy dedicated to LPUK been diverted their way. Withers is impressively stubborn and Guy Montrose impressively effective, but so long as those two are bound together success for either of them – and I mean success at national scale – will have to wait.

It is past the time for the LPUK to change it’s leadership or disappear. With the way clear of embarrassing tales, a Libertarian Party may eventually achieve prominence.

AGM venue announced (LPUK AGM)

It is for the sake of completeness only that I note that Andrew Withers has announced the venue for the LPUK annual general meeting. This meeting is not recommended even for the brave of heart.

Party AGM 24th March 2012 10am

Committee Room 2 Clevedon Town Council

44 Old Street Clevedon North Somerset

Membership Card required for entry and £5 towards venue costs

The choice of Clevedon as venue and the 10am start speaks volumes about Andrew’s willingness to face his critics. Since facing down the accusations made against him is a prerequisite to success for LPUK, this attitude highlights the negative outlook for the party. I continue to feel concern for those people involved in this group, they seem enthusiastic and to have good intentions. Members might have wished to received an explaination about his conduct well ahead of this meeting, but none has been received and attempts to get basic financial information via Nic Coome have also come to nothing.

In other news Wikipedia have deleted the LPUK entry, stating that the Party is not noteworthy. Part of me still wishes that this was not the case, but it is perhaps for the best that this wayward entity no longer has the status afforded by an entry in the worlds most comprehensive free encyclopedia. If it means to be noted, it must earn the privilege.

It is now Sunday. Let’s start fresh on Monday.