Thursday, 15 September 2011

Why I won't be proposing the ESA Motion

Before you get alarmed, I should be clear that the ESA motion will still be debated on Saturday, will still face a vote to determine whether it becomes party policy or not and that I will still be backing it one hundred percent.

Instead "proposing" in this case refers to the technical term for the person who makes the opening speech of the debate in favour of the motion. This person is referred to as the "proposer".

I had originally been marked down as the person who would be the proposer but that's now changed because Liberal Youth and I think it's better if the LY Chair, Tom Wood, is the person who acts as proposer given that he needs to build up the media profile necessary in order to keep up pressure on the parliamentary party to ensure the changes are made once the motion passes (and I am so confident that it will that I promise to shave my hair off, tear up my membership card and join the SWP if it doesn't).

Instead, Liberal Youth have promised to throw their weight behind trying to get me a place to speak in the middle of the debate which will allow me to support James Sandbach's excellent amendment in addition to the motion as a whole - something which would have been a bit strange if I was acting as the proposer.

Whilst it would have been nice to have had such a grand platform for my first speech to conference, it's probably best that it's not one which an entire debate rests on. Besides, it's my 21st birthday on Friday and it's a good chance I might still be hungover by the time the motion starts to be debated - that's meant to be a joke, I don't drink to excess and do not advocate. Also kids, don't take drugs and stay in school ;)


  1. Hi George,
    Happy birthday & congrtulations On becoming 21! & congratulations on an excellent speech.. you were strong & clear & driven for us... Thank you & all the other brave & wonderful speakers... & my goodness congratulations for all of us that the motion was passed as it stood!... Only sad thing now is that any changes can only be made unanimously rather than voted on in the Lords where I really thought there might be a chance... don't see how if it has to be unanimous... it does all seem to be inevitable.. but not on a downer.. more & more is coming out & maybe this means more than i realise... I was very impressed to see it on bbc news.. wow!.. they actually said the words ESA & Work Capability Assessment & how lib dems had voted on changes... Brilliant!... Can you please direct me to the full motion that has been accepted?... Does it still include your proposals? Thankyou & best wishes... 'Nita

  2. I can only agree with Nita the previous poster George.A great Victory for Common Sense was Won by You and Some of your colleagues that stood up to be counted.
    Happy Twenty First,I passed mine twice long ago.Good Luck and Best Wishes.

  3. George, since my first WCA with Atos in Dec 2009 I have been doing my best to demonstrate how inappropriate some of the processes are and how ineptly they are managed. I am soon to go through my third and fully expect to “fail” for a third time. I have twice experienced the amazing and absurd appeals arrangements. I have a veritable dossier of correspondence with Atos, DWP & Westminster (incl. Mr Grayling himself). I have read some of Prof. Gregg’s work and Prof. Harrington’s from 2010 and 2011 update + Chris Grayling’s responses to both. I have responded (for what it is worth) to the 2nd call for evidence. I have a career background in process design and customer service. Prof. Harrington (with all due respect) has missed a few key issues and the feedback he has on progress to date is totally at odds with my own experience. I can get no further with the channels I have been using and plan to use my MP to get a report of some kind through to Prof Harrington personally. I am always looking for other avenues to strengthen the case. Unfortunately a lot of criticism is too emotional and probably counter-productive – I have seen Atos compared to the Third Reich for example. Is this brief synopsis of any interest to you? If so let me know how I can best contact you.

  4. George, what's your view on this?

  5. @Anonymous 22/09/11

    I think that something like that isn't that suspicious as most speakers appearing at a Lib Dem conf fringe event pay no attention to who the sponsors of the fringe are. They'll just get an invite to speak and be told "it's at such and such a time, the panel will be such and such and the topic is such and such".

    To be honest, I doubt Lamb ever read the invitation himself - an aid probably just said "you've been invited to this, do you want to go?" and he'd have answered yes and then received all the details via his aid. Unfortunately, that's the way these things tend to work and I reckon there's a 90% chance that this is not suspicious.

  6. @Anonymous 21/09/2011

    A synopsis would be very interesting. If you're willing, I think I might want to use it to write an article for Lib Dem Voice in order to remind people just what we're up against and how we can't afford to let the pressure off the government on this issue. If I were to do so, it goes without saying that I'd refer to you by a pseudonym to protect your identity.

  7. @JDN

    I've sent you an email but I've deleted your comment to keep you from spambots - I hope that's okay?


I'm indebted to Birkdale Focus for the following choice of words:

I am happy to address most contributions, even the drunken ones if they are coherent, but I am not going to engage with negative sniping from those who do not have the guts to add their names or a consistent on-line identity to their comments. Such postings will not be published.

Anonymous comments with a constructive contribution to make to the discussion, even if it is critical will continue to be posted. Libellous comments or remarks I think may be libellous will not be published.

I will also not tolerate personation so please do not add comments in the name of real people unless you are that person. If you do not like these rules then start your own blog.

Oh, and if you persist in repeating yourself despite the fact I have addressed your point I may get bored and reject your comment.

The views expressed in comments are those of the poster, not me.