Friday, 3 June 2011

What they are not telling you as members of LPUK

On the 19th May 2011, an ‘emergency’ meeting was called to appoint new members of the NCC and it was to be conducted in a clear open and transparent manner. It was also to be supervised by ‘impartial’ members of the Party acting as observers. Sounds great.

Except it was anything of the sort, this was a fairly unsophisticated attempt to put a thin veneer of respectability on a crude coup based on smears.

One of the officers being proposed was not actually a member of the Libertarian Party, and neither was one of the impartial observers. Yet gamely they ploughed on proposing each other as officers of the party without a shred of legitimacy or even pretending that any of the proceedings were in line with the constitution.

Everything had the blessing of the Electoral Commission it was stated. One member of the NCC actually asked direct questions as to the legitimacy of the observers and of the proceedings only to be fobbed off .

Ken Ferguson who was still under a motion to remove him as Communications Director for breaches of the Data Protection Act was acting as ringmaster and allowed to vote. Ferguson rushed the ‘good news’ of the new appointments online, before the minutes were even drafted, congratulations all round (despite nobody being willing to accept the poisoned chalice of being treasurer)

Except just one fly in the ointment, a call from the Electoral Commission allegedly saying that due to poor Parliamentary dafting (??) the registered officers remained the same, and unless the transfer of officers was in line with the procedures of PPERA, the Act that governs registered political parties, the ‘new NCC‘ would be rejected by the Electoral Commission. And they were.

The small group around Ferguson, who now sees himself as leader in waiting, have been a little shy of announcing this gaffe that they discovered for themselves after having been repeatedly told that they were acting unconstitutionally on the 20th May. So currently the LPUK is a ghost ship, with various proposals to rip up the constitution and turn it into everything from an internet party to a committee led workers collective that will certainly ensure its rapid demise.

Various requests to turn the donation button back on and put moderation on the site to prevent further defamation and harassment were met by a blank refusal by the 'communications' director.

The truth is that the NCC announced by Ferguson had no validity has been known since the 20th May.  The open and transparent ‘new leadership’ has decided not to make this public.

With no income and memberships flowing into the new unauthorised account, which is not declared as an accounting unit to the Electoral Commission, the insolvency situation has become even worse.

Faced with a blank refusal by Ferguson to stay within the constitution, together with electoral and civil law, and in line with Ferguson’s proposed ‘new constitution’ that suggests that registered officers will have no power, but are simply there to carry the can personally for breaches of of those laws, coupled with the suggestion that the party does not need more than £200 a year just to run his website, the Nominations Officer yesterday decided to call it a day and do the decent thing, and publish a public apology.

Except of course there was no way that this was ever going to be published on the LPUK website whilst under the control of the ‘Communications Director’, whose sole aim appears to be only to communicate what is acceptable to him and censor the rest.

The membership lists were handed over yesterday to the remaining registered officers and the following apology was made by Simon Fawthrop.
An Apology To Andrew Withers, the NCC, Membership and Supporters.

I want to make an apology to Andrew Withers, he is and always has been Party Leader as recognised by the EC and relevant legislation and the Party Constitution and I had no right to try to elect a new Leader and Treasurer.  I also wish to apologise to the NCC and the wider membership and supporters for misleading you all about the position of Party Leader and Treasurer, I was wrong and it was not in my power to seek to fill those positions that I thought were vacant.

It was my misunderstanding that Andrew had resigned as Party Leader and that we needed to appoint a new Leader and Treasurer to be compliant with the relevant legislation. I now know that Andrew had not resigned and, furthermore, cannot resign. This means that Andrew is and always has been Party Leader and, with the resignation of John Watson, Treasurer.

As such the NCC meeting that I convened to find replacements for Treasurer and Leader was against the letter of the Constitution and means those NCC elections are not and have never been valid.

Obviously having been so wrong I cannot continue in any capacity within the Party and I have informed Andrew that I am resigning with immediate effect as Data Officer and Membership Secretary. Furthermore, I will step down as Nominations Officer as soon as a replacement is found. I am sure there are many members willing to take on those vital roles.

Once again, I apologise to Andrew and those I have misled and I wish you all well for the future.

This is great shame as Simon has been a consistent and effective membership secretary for over two years, yet again another officer forced out by a small cabal who maintain that they are for openness, transparency and the continuance of the Libertarian Party, but act in exactly the opposite manner.  This situation has been known to them for nearly two weeks.

The South West Branch has organised a meeting of its members on the 18th June to try an map out a proposed future for the party, the Scottish branch are doing the same in July.

Clearly things cannot go on as they are, the insolvency caused by the deliberate cutting off of funds needs to be urgently addressed or the party de registered. If it is to continue it may need to be restructured into a federal model. Clearly the ‘internet party’ has to cease.

What is  certain is that the SGM to change the constitution called for 18th June 2011 has no validity constitutionally and would not be recognised by the Electoral Commission.

As the existing registered officers have only a short term intention to stay in office to either attend to funeral arrangements or to seek a more viable model for the lpuk to exist, within its constitution and comply with electoral law, the future of LPUK still remains uncertain.

Tuesday, 29 March 2011

New LPUK Website and Blog Goes Live 31st March

The new integrated LPUK website and blog goes live on 31st March 2011 at  in a more user friendly magazine version. You should redirect to this site.

Thanks to Ken Ferguson LPUK's Communication Director and the rest of the team who have put so much of their time and expertise into this project in the last three months.

Friday, 5 November 2010

Gregg Beaman To Stand In Oldham East For Libertarian Party

Following the welcome news that Phil Woolas now ex MP has been gound guilty of electoral wrong doing

Gregg Beaman has announced his decision to run for the Libertarian Party in Oldham East.

Tuesday, 5 October 2010

2010 Libertarian Conference- 27th November 2010

This will be held at the Punch Tavern, 99 Fleet Street, London EC4Y 1 DE 27th November 2010 as we rotate for the third year back to London, from York 2008 and Bristol 2009.

You will need to register and pay £10 to off set costs by Nov 1st to receive your voting card and agenda. I do not propose to take money on the day.

Please pay via our account at HSBC noting your membership number and LP2010 as the reference.

If you would like to make a donation over and above (Please) mark as Donation.

40-28-20 Sort Code  Account Number 92635313

It is envisaged that Libertarians of the non member variety can be invited but cannot obviously vote, hence the voting card.

Postal votes are obtainable from for NCC positions.

Tuesday, 7 September 2010

Tax Blunder Rebellion

Never mind the politics of whether or not William Hague is gay (not in the slightest importance to me) this is serious stuff, and should make any sensible person question why they should not be a Libertarian. I reprint in full the following from the Anna Raccoon site in the hope people are going to start waking up.


It’s been a while since there has been a story in the press that left me with my jaw so far down that it hurt. But today, I believe, we are firmly back in the deranged world of government gone completely insane:

HM Revenue and Customs could take direct control of every worker’s monthly pay cheque under plans to overhaul the error-prone income tax system.

Instead of employers deducting income tax then paying gross salaries to employees, the gross monthly payment would go to an HMRC-run tax “calculator”, which would then pass the net salary to the worker.

The reform would mean the end of traditional monthly payslips, because employers would no longer be able to tell workers how much tax they had paid each month.

The immediate thought that comes to mind is: what do we do when (and not if!) this all goes wrong? What happens when, as will inevitably happen, HMRC makes a balls up and takes your whole month’s salary? Who will you fight with? Without a payslip, how do you budget for the forthcoming month, especially if you are on highly variable wages? What about people with all sorts of different sources of income? How will this “help” them? What about people who have valid reasons for submitting an annual return to claw money back?

Inevitably, this kind of glorious “lateral thinking” is a result of the many failings of the people in HMRC. Why is the long-suffering taxpayer being exposed to this extraordinary risk? It’s not like the government exactly has a fantastic track record when it comes to grandiose computer systems.

I’m going to do something that I don’t generally do, because I’m not as erudite at campaigning as Anna: I’m going to ask you to spread the word about this as far as you can; I’m going to ask you to write to your useless MP and complain in the strongest possible terms about this insane idea; write to your local newspaper, tell all your friends and do everything you can think of to stop this insane idea from becoming reality.

Because although Anna is a wonderful campaigner, I don’t think there’s enough of her to go around to save each and every one of us!

UPDATE: I am generally loathe to update articles, especially if they have only just been published, but I feel that this information may be of great value to 1.4 million taxpayers:

The first batch of 45,000 letters demanding cash to be repaid will start to arrive on Tuesday – with the rest sent out over the next four months.

But accountants said recipients should act swiftly to use a little-known loophole which forces HM Revenue and Customs to abandon ‘out of the blue’ demands and effectively write off the money.

They also insisted many of those affected are entitled to argue that they or their employer have done nothing wrong and should not be penalised for someone else’s blunder.

Enough is enough. It is time to starve these incompetent thieves of our hard-earned money!

Sunday, 22 August 2010

Still Fighting 'them' on the beaches

The War goes on ! The war against Fascism (The marriage of the big State with big Corporations) we were told ended in 1945. Another skirmish has broken out, that the Libertarian Party is pleased to be part of-

All the links in the following article reproduced in full are to be found here on the Anna Raccoon site

70 years ago this week, Winston Churchill made his famous speech immortalising the words ‘Never in the field of human conflict was so much owed by so many to so few.’ He did so to rally every man and woman in these Isles to support the war effort:

“because we have been nurtured in freedom and individual responsibility and are the products, not of totalitarian uniformity, but of tolerance and variety.”

Sheila Martin was a fragile babe in arms when her Mother heard those words. Too young to understand the menace behind the Messerschmitts and Heinkels screaming overhead and disturbing her slumber. She was the intended beneficiary of Churchill’s words, one of the generation of children that depended on the bravery of British men such as her Father, away in France fighting for the freedom, tolerance and variety that was Britain’s hallmark.

Today, Sheila is once more fragile; she is 70 years old and was widowed 30 years ago. She tells me she has survived five heart attacks; she suffers from asthma, angina and high blood pressure. She only smokes the occasional cigarette these days, partly for health reasons, partly because her minimal state pension doesn’t stretch to any more.

70 years after Churchill’s speech was made, she has retired from a lifetime of hard work.

She was part of that unsung army of hard working, clean living, decent individuals, who cheerfully got up every morning and trudged off to put in a decent days work for a paltry wage as a ‘Mrs Mop’, raised her family, nurtured her marriage, made ends meet, saved little, but asked little in return, save the freedom, and tolerance that her older relatives had fought to provide. She is not a politically aware lady, nor insolent, nor ambitious for financial rewards.

In common with other ‘Smokers’ who may not like the new laws prohibiting them from smoking where others may be offended by the practice, she respected the law of the land, and complied. She is no campaigner against such laws.

Thus it was that she found herself standing at a bus stop, waiting for the bus which would take her home, and taking the opportunity to smoke a cigarette in the open air – there was no bus shelter. She could no longer smoke a cigarette on the top deck of the bus. She had not been able to smoke a cigarette with the cup of tea she shared with her daughter in town. Now she must stand in the road to enjoy the ‘freedom, tolerance and variety’ of the British Isles.

She only smoked half the cigarette; as the time drew close for the bus to arrive, she ‘nibbed’ the cigarette, letting the lit end fall to the ground, and thriftily stowing the other half of the cigarette in her handbag for a later occasion. It was her last cigarette until pension day.

Two of Sandwell’s famed ‘enforcement wardens’ approached her – a man and a woman. They told her that they were issuing a ‘Fixed Penalty Fine’ of £75 under Section 87 (1) of the Environmental Protection Act 1990 as amended by Section 18 of the Clean Neighbourhoods and Environment Act 2005. This mouthful of gobblygook was lost on Sheila; she had no idea what she had done wrong and put the piece of paper in her pocket.

Once home, friends and neighbours clustered round to read this piece of officialdom. Sheila still had the ‘end’ of the cigarette, with its precious inch or so of un-smoked tobacco in her handbag, so how could she be accused of littering the street – it had to be the cigarette ash they were talking about?

I have spoken to Sandwell Council, they tell me that they do not issue fixed penalty notices for cigarette ‘ash’ – I am sure they don’t. I am equally sure that Mrs Martin is telling the truth when she tells me that the half cigarette with its ‘butt’ was still safely in her handbag when she returned home. So we are left with the quandary of whether the ‘lit’ end of a cigarette, which will become cigarette ‘ash’ within seconds, constitutes parliament’s intention when they defined litter as including:

In section 98 of the Environmental Protection Act 1990 (definitions), after subsection (5) insert—

“(5A)“Litter” includes—

(a) the discarded ends of cigarettes, cigars and like products, and

(b) discarded chewing-gum and the discarded remains of other products designed for chewing.”

If a court holds that it does, then every smoker is liable for a £75 fine every time they smoke a cigarette in the street. I do not believe that to be parliament’s intention.

On Friday, the threatening ‘Final Demand’ from Sandwell Council, warning her that she now faces a £2,500 fine plus costs (and possible imprisonment if she does not pay that) expired. The next opportunity for Mrs Martin to contest this matter will come in ‘some months time’ – the council cannot tell me when her case will arrive at the top of their back log of cases to appear in the Magistrates court.

Sheila Martin is frightened, intimidated, and feels helpless in the face of this prosecution. She is in delicate health, aggravated by stress, and I have asked the council to reconsider their decision to press ahead with what may well be an interesting test case defining a cigarette end, but which will be at the expense of a frail and elderly person. They have referred me to their ‘revised Enforcement Policy’ – which makes for terrifying reading, a fine example of the totalitarian government Sheila’s Father fought so bravely to prevent. (available HERE)

Nick Hogan, who I was instrumental in rescuing from prison after similar council action, has joined with me, the Libertarian Party and the Sunday Mercury, to ensure that Sheila suffers as little as possible from the council’s intransience.

We have already arranged for some very high powered legal representation for her, to put her mind at rest, and I have promised her that she will go to prison ‘over my dead body’ – she is obviously unable to pay this fine, or incremental increases of it, and I have personally guaranteed her that somehow I will make sure that she doesn’t have to pay it herself, nor go to prison.

There is no need for money at present, all the legal beagles so far involved are kindly donating their time and expertise free of charge – although if there are any other lawyers out there who would like to join the team, this is one broth that will not be spoiled by too many cooks. My e-mail address is on the contact section of this blog.

70 years ago we were prepared to ‘fight them on the beaches’ – how appropriate that today we prepare to f’ight them on the Sandwell……’

Wednesday, 4 August 2010

Note From The Treasurer

I would like to thank everybody, Member and supporters who so generously made a donation to the Party in July, however made. We do not get the support of major companies or unions and are totally reliant on your generosity.

There is so much more that the Libertarian Party can and must do. Tim Carpenter and Andrew Withers have been on mainstream TV and Radio in the last few weeks, so we are slowly prizing the door open.

We are painfully aware that we are in a difficult economic period, which is why I am trying to build a war chest for next May slowly and surely. Therefore every pound we collect in is so valuable.

Please keep the donations coming in of whatever size. Whilst I am speaking to some serious donors it is your £5, £10 , £20 plus that keeps us going.

Direct bank transfer to:

sort code 40-28-20

account 92635313

Please put your surname and if you have one a membership number as a reference.