28/04/2012

Why LPUK will never flourish with Andrew Withers at the helm

After the debacle of LPUK last year I lost a lot of my enthusiasm but continued to read my favourite blogs but I have stayed out of the ongoing LPUK debate. Its in the past, I thought, move on do stuff you enjoy, life's far too short. So its mostly been playing golf and bridge but now I find myself working in London during the week and have to find other things to do. My interest in Libertarianism was stirred again recently with a post by Tom Paine on his Last Ditch blog pointing to a page in which Gavin Webb is trying to start a new libertarian movement. That link no longer works because of the actions of the LPUK leadership. Anyway one link led to another and I ended up reading this post on on Libertarian Home:
Despite the troubles, LPUK will always have my support. I have only recently joined the Libertarian Party, so I am not entirely involved in the history which has led to some accusations being made against its leader, Andrew Withers. I only know one side of the story, and that is the side which has made such accusations which I do not wish to dwell on, yet I think it is important for me to pledge my commitment to the Libertarian Party, not because I have some personal loyalty to its leader or his confidantes,......
It quite a good piece and I genuinely wish the author well. His heart is in the right place and I won't gainsay anyone who wants to further the cause, but it got me thinking about his chances of succeeding and sadly I rate them as nil.

On the assumption that Andrew Withers is innocent of all charges and above reproach it still isn't enough to allow LPUK to rise phoenix like because by now there is no confidence in him where it matters most: London.

Like it or not if a political party isn't active in London it hasn't got a snowball in hell's chance of making any impact in England and that is the problem LPUK faces: the most active members of the South East region have no confidence in Andrew Withers and aren't members. And when I say active I don't just mean vocal, I mean people who got of their arses and did something to raise awareness, to organise and to campaign.

Without the South East membership there will be no real funds and no activity that will drum up more membership. I haven't got the details but off the top of my head, when I was Membership Secretary the SE accounted for something like 70% of the UK membership and it may have been higher and Scotland accounted for about another 20%. Don't get me wrong there was some good people in the regions who worked valiantly, but London was and always will be, the engine room.

Reading Libertarian Home its obvious there is a still a large body of people there who want to be active and I suspect would rejoin the party under new leadership (I hope to find out next week when I go to the Rose and Crown for their open mic session).

Anyway, I wish Steven well and I hope that he will go back to Libertarian Home regularly and report on how the movement is doing and how he is making a difference. That is of course if the LPUK rules allow him to.