Sunday, 15 March 2009

First an apology then a retraction....

. Seems I wasn't far wrong in my last post about the insincerity of Sara Scarlett's apology. She has just issued a retraction statement which says;

"As a matter of conscience I feel like I can no longer stand by the apology I made five days ago.The words were not my own and they do not reflect how I actually feel."

So, she doesn't quite appear to know her own mind. Something which really should cast doubt on her demagogic allegations about the 'corporate incompetence' of Cowley Street. She says;

"To place the sole responsibility of all recruitment, campaign literature and political strategy, for members of the party under the age of 26, on the shoulders of unqualified individuals with no relevant experience is insanity. Had I known then what I know now I would never have put myself forward for this role. The organisation is essentially set up to fail and those who attempt to make something productive of it are tarred with the same brush."

Searching questions need to be asked of this; namely, what makes people 'unqualified'? Is it their age? It can only be presumed to be so; if the words of the apology were not 'her own' then whose were they? It is very tempting to be openly critical of somebody seeking election to a post within the party whose position seems to change so radically within the literal space of days; not a subtle change mind but radical volte-face.

Once again her retraction letter shows the complete absence of any hard politics. She talks of her personal animosity to Elaine and in a rather desperate attempt to give that some kind of political raison d' ĂȘtre says;

"Elaine has been an atrocious person to work with. The sycophancy she indulges in and the sycophants she surrounds herself with amidst a non-existent ideological cadre is a caricature of bad politics. Her leadership instincts are essentially New Labour. If this were a professional organisation someone with such poor interpersonal skills would never have made it through a human resource filter to the detriment of Liberalism's soul."

Of course, we find no substantive definition from her what she feels is 'liberalism's soul' (although the presence of both the leading lights of the now seemingly defunct Liberal Vision in her group of Facebook supporters might offer some hints). Getting to the end we see what her real agenda is;

"I think the LibDems are failing the many young people in this country who self-define as liberals. After the next General Election I will be writing a letter to the Chief Executive of the Liberal Democrats which will include my recommendations for an alternative to Liberal Youth."

As is to be expected we find no substance backing-up this serious political accusation. It would be nice if Scarlett could muster-up one specific and substantive policy point but alas it seems beyond her. What might this 'alternative' offer? Maybe we can find some clues on her Facebook group where Grace Goodlad asks;

"Why does Sara keep stifling debate by removing any posts that disagree with her? I have seen dozens go in recent days. If that is the approach she intends to take with LY her presidency would be truly Stalinist."

You may well think that given all the venom she reserves for 'ideological cadres' and being as 'in-tune' with 'liberalism's soul' as she claims to be such an approach would be anathema to her but seemingly not; if her candidacy continues in this vein then it is hard to see how it cannot be damaging both for Liberal Youth and for the wider party.


Letters From A Tory said...

You mean, real economic and social liberals don't feel comfortable in the Lib Dems, who preach about taxing the rich and remaining best buddies with the EU? Say it ain't so!!!!

Darrell G said...


It is really hard to comment on Ms Scarletts politics because from what I can tell she doesnt have any....

Anonymous said...


I was at Warwick conference and of both candidates the one who seemed most secure and proud of her politics was Sara Scarlett.

Ms Bagshaw was a card carrying member of another party and was found to have lied to a room full of Liberal Youth members.

If it is integrity that you value your ad hominem is misplaced.

Darrell G said...


Perhaps she should actually try articulating some then?

As to the rest; *previously, in the past* (asterixs to highlight the operative phrase) being a card-carrying member of another party is scarcely a capital offence...I have been myself, and I am sure I am not the only Lib Dem who can say the same, the big question is so what??

As to the 'lie to a room full of LY members' you will have to elaborate on that....

From the perspective of the wider party Sara Scarlett is a disaster; there is no commitment from her to campaign with the wider party and it barely gets a mention except in barbs.....