Ex-NCC Joint Statement Response to Libertarian Party Press Release
Following the surprise resignation of eight members of the Libertarian Party UK NCC, in August 2020, including myself, those who left the party were surprised and disappointed by the official party response to their departure. Though disjointed, the statement released by the Libertarian Party UK insinuates a picture of the circumstances surrounding the mass resignation which were untrue. Former members subsequently put together the following statement to explain the facts of the situation:
In August 2020 we former members of the Libertarian Party UK (LPUK) NCC resigned from the NCC and the Party.
Subsequent to our resignations the LPUK issued a public statement (https://libertarianparty.co.uk/2020/08/27/onwards-and-upwards/) which presented grossly false insinuations about the circumstances of our departure. We therefore release this joint statement to address the misinformation presented in the LPUK’s statement, as well as the real reason for each of our eventual resignations from the LPUK NCC at that time.
Regarding the LPUK’s statement, we believe the assertion by the LPUK regarding a slide into populist nationalism is intended to paint a false picture of the circumstances of our resignations. In our view this assertion is not only a deflection from the truth but seeks to deliberately attack the reputations of each of us on false pretences.
In reality, our decisions to resign came in protest of the actions of certain individuals in the NCC at that time who in our opinion sought to target a fellow NCC member, Sean Finch, for removal in an unfair, unreasonable and biased manner that went utterly against core libertarian values which we believed the LPUK ought to uphold – namely, that an individual is considered innocent until proven guilty; that an allegation is not of itself evidence; that due process ought to be carried out in a fair, reasonable and impartial manner; that an investigation ought to be impartial; that decisions should be based on evidence; and that accusers cannot also be ‘judge, jury and executioner’ [the very definition of a ‘kangaroo court’].
Unfortunately such basic expectations were in our opinion rejected by some then on the NCC. Even the investigating officer engaged in behaviour that in our opinion sought to prejudice any forthcoming outcome for Sean Finch, including by publicly posting on Facebook in a manner that could prejudice any future action. A matter which itself is serious.
The former Chairman and others in the NCC sought to apply a fair, reasonable and impartial process in full compliance with the letter of the Party Constitution, and finding there was no evidence presented of conduct that should result in Sean Finch’s removal the then Chairman took no action to do so. The door was left open for any available evidence justifying such an outcome to be provided, but by the time of our resignations none was ever forthcoming.
Subsequently certain of the accusers, instead of providing evidence to support what in our opinion seemed to be their preferred outcome, supported a move to replace the Party Chairman with one of the accusers. At this the Party Chairman resigned believing he had lost the confidence of the NCC. The accusatory faction subsequently succeeded in having their preferred man elected as a temporary Chairman who continued to pursue Sean Finch, in our opinion unfairly, in spite of lack of evidence; in our opinion ignoring the strong likelihood of prejudice introduced into the process by the investigating officer; and by retaining a number of NCC accusers as ‘judge, jury and executioner’.
By the time of our resignations that temporary Chairman had failed, even after several prompts, to bring forward the matter of the Investigating Officer’s potentially prejudicial conduct on Facebook, for any kind of similar scrutiny before the NCC. In our opinion this demonstrated a clear bias and favouritism and suggested that he had no intention of challenging this conduct for which there is clear evidence, while being determined to pursue Sean Finch while lacking evidence.
We came to see the situation as follows: that an individual might join the LPUK, become an activist and candidate, commit resources, miles and a great many hours in campaigning in the Party’s name, and yet still be pursued with the intent to remove, unfairly, without justifying evidence, on the say so of a vocal few, a number of whom have demonstrated nowhere near such commitment. Not wishing to lend even tacit support to the LPUK while individuals pursuing what in our opinion was an unfair, unreasonable and biased approach sat in power over others, and being unwilling to lend our good names to what in our opinion was a corrupt vendetta by some in the NCC against Sean Finch without evidence to justify it, we each resigned as we each found the situation irreconcilable.
Based on this it is our opinion that any effort invested in the LPUK is effort that could be ultimately wasted. We therefore hold the opinion that the cause of libertarianism is best served elsewhere.
We hope that those who have been questioning the reasons for our resignations will now be more informed of our reasons. We note that were it not for the statement released by the LPUK we would not be having to set the record straight with this response of our own.
Having each made our own choices to resign based on the reasons given we harbour no ill will towards the membership of the LPUK and wish success to all individuals seeking to promote the cause of liberty. We do not believe any one individual or organisation has a monopoly on liberty and will be promoting libertarianism via other, we hope more fruitful, and in our opinion more libertarian means.