There’s a occasion within the UK that’s dedicated to rolling again the rights of ladies, overruling the democratic will of the folks and blocking new growth. No, this isn’t the whacky new electoral mission of some on-line, right-wing reactionary. I’m speaking, after all, in regards to the Liberal Democrats, who’re presently holding their autumn convention in Bournemouth.

After all, the Lib Dems don’t have a tendency to think about themselves as a celebration for reactionaries. They wish to pose as a extra principled, civil-libertarian various to Labour. In observe, nonetheless, of their makes an attempt to seem ‘trendy’ and ‘progressive’, they’ve ended up leaping on a number of the worst political bandwagons of our time.

The Lib Dems’ dedication to trans ideology is a main instance of this. Gender-critical feminists have lengthy warned that the erasure of organic intercourse in public life threatens girls’s hard-won, sex-based rights. But the Lib Dems have gone additional down the trans rabbit gap than some other UK-wide occasion. At this yr’s convention, for example, members voted for an absurd movement that acknowledged ‘Menstruation isn’t just a girls’s situation’ – the implication being that males, too, can have intervals.

In addition to parroting the speaking factors of gender ideologues, the Lib Dems are additionally shutting down debate on the trans situation. A Lib Dem gender-critical group known as Liberal Voice for Ladies (LVfW) claimed that it was banned from promoting its occasion on the convention, regardless of beforehand being given permission. These gender-critical liberals have additionally accused the Lib Dems of ‘lively suppression’ and utilizing ‘censorious forces’ to silence them, as LVfW has by no means been allowed to host a fringe occasion on the party-conference web site and even to have a convention stall. This stance is hardly shocking, provided that Lib Dem chief Ed Davey declared only some months in the past {that a} lady can ‘fairly clearly’ have a penis.

In addition to going all in for gender-identity ideology, the Lib Dems have additionally embraced a strict, virtually Malthusian environmental agenda. There was a lot focus at this yr’s convention on inexperienced points – cleansing up the UK’s rivers has been a key point of interest, for example. However the greatest menace to the setting, so far as the Lib Dems are involved, is new, inexpensive houses.

Earlier in the present day, Davey supported a movement on the convention to drastically scale back housebuilding targets for England – from 380,000 new houses a yr to a measly 150,000 council homes. Though members rejected the depressing proposal, the occasion management has put opposition to housebuilding to the forefront of its campaigns in latest native elections and by-elections. In a recent local-election leaflet, for example, the Lib Dems truly boasted of their plans to construct fewer houses than the Tories. Davey and Co are seemingly proud to contribute to the nationwide housing disaster.

And simply to place the cherry on prime of this reactionary cake, the Lib Dems have spent a big a part of the convention bashing Brexit. Though chief Ed Davey has lastly accepted the general public’s determination to depart the EU – seven years after the referendum consequence – different senior figures appear much less certain. Layla Moran, the occasion’s foreign-affairs spokeswoman, informed a fringe occasion that regaining EU membership is a no brainer – it’s only a matter of figuring out easy methods to ‘speak about it’ with out angering the voters an excessive amount of.

This was adopted by a toe-curling karaoke session, through which Lib Dem members and MPs sang alongside to a Brexit-themed parody of the England soccer anthem, ‘Three Lions’. The Lib Dems’ new lyrics described the Brexit vote as a ‘referendum of hate’, changed references to the England staff’s three lions with the phrases ‘gold stars’, and sang ‘we’ll return in’ as a substitute of the acquainted, ‘it’s coming house’. Clearly, the Lib Dems are nonetheless decided to rejoin the anti-democratic EU.

The autumn convention has not less than made one factor clear – the Lib Dems are as clueless and out of contact as ever. Most abnormal voters know that ladies can’t have penises, would love an finish to the housing disaster, and don’t have any need to relitigate the Brexit referendum.

The Lib Dems are a liberal, democratic occasion in title solely. They’d be a catastrophe in workplace.

Lauren Smith is an editorial assistant at spiked.

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