'Oh, so that's who Richard Morris is..." Lord Hattersley on The Daily Politics

'An influential activist' - The Guardian

'Iain Dale, without the self loathing' - Matthew Fox in The New Statesman

You are a tinker...' - Tim Farron

Monday, 6 June 2011

Shall we stop pulling each other's hair now?

Two things have dominated the Lib Dem blogosphere in recent days. The first should act as food for thought, following all the fall out from the second.

The first is of course the very sad news about the death of Andrew Reeves. I didn't know Andrew but you only have to see both the weight of tributes, the list of contributors to those tributes and read what has been said to know that Andrew must have been a very decent man of great integrity, holding all our Liberal ideals dear.

Now, the second issue. Registration requirements for the Lib Dem conference.

Now, this clearly matters. While I'm happy to stick my hand up and say I'm on the side of those concerned that the police appear to have a veto over who is a fit and proper person to attend conference, there are sound arguments on both sides of this debate.

But what makes me really sad is that two people who have been blogging - one on either side of the argument - have tweeted in recent days that the abuse they have been receiving makes them want to 'give up'.

Neither of them are shrinking violets so it's not that they are not tough enough. It's just that while they are happy to debate the issues sensibly and calmly, they don't see why they should have to put up with unreasonable levels of vitriol.

And I think they are right.

In the week we lost a good man like Andrew Reeves, isn't the least we can do is remember that ultimately we are on the same side - and play nicely together?

From everything I've read, I think that's what Andrew would have wanted.

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