Concerned Liberals 2

AUGUST 2020

Dear Liberal Party member,

Is the current Administration Committee operating in a legal and proper way? Is Robert Clark, a former lawyer and legislator, taking powers beyond his role when he claims the ultimate magistracy to interpret the Victorian Liberal Party’s constitution is vested in his person?

Many political philosophers have written about the rule of law and the necessity of equality before it. The absence of impartiality is capricious, and Sir William Blackstone said that hurrying to punish certain people was a “dangerous engine of arbitrary government”.

Our organisation has rules and standards for behaviour, and we rightly expect unruly elements which vex our Party from time to time to be brought into line. The enlightened work of The Hon Dr David Kemp in guiding the Party to the constitutional framework we now enjoy should not easily be disregarded.

As freedom-loving Liberals, the last thing we desire is to have a Party led by those who make up their own rules or apply them selectively.

We have become aware of some excesses and inequalities which appear to upset the order of the way things ought to be. On one hand, a member circulated by email to a few friends a picture of a small animal on a spinning wheel that was an assumed unflattering likeness of his local Liberal Member of Parliament, for which this member was nearly suspended from the Party, seemingly in an attempt to embarrass him. Yet we have heard several times of allegations of assault and harassment within the Young Liberals, none of which have resulted in any disciplinary action. For longer term Liberals, in our collective day there was no such rambunctious behaviour, not even from our ALP opponents!

A newspaper article from the 29th of May this year informs us that Party members named George and Joy Bishop threatened to shoot one of our diligent Federal Members, Jason Wood MP and his staff. The Bishops are understood to be State Council delegates and office bearers in the electorate of La Trobe. Despite this concerning allegation, the Bishops have maintained their State Council delegate roles. The Concerned Liberals have examined why the Bishops have not been suspended by Robert Clark’s Administrative Committee. It is our view that Ian Quick has stopped any investigation into the Bishops so that they do not lose their voting rights at State Council. We have learnt Ian Quick has relied on the Bishops’ vote at previous State Councils. Threats of thuggery have no place in the Liberal Party, this is the behaviour of the ALP and the Construction, Forestry, Maritime, Mining and Energy Union.

Any independent-minded Party member would be justified in questioning whether the Party’s processes are being followed. We feel things might be being done on the basis of petty personal interest. It is reasonable then to analyse our State President’s continual reference to the Constitutional Committee and Robert’s unelected chair Daryl Williams QC.

We are appealing to readers who may know the background of the members of the Constitutional Committee to inform us who this Committee is, and why they hold such power over Robert Clark.

We encourage you to discuss all these matters with your Branch. We are grateful to have received feedback which we as a Committee have been digesting through; as well as further email addresses. Let us know if you wish to unsubscribe from our list. Please share your helpful insights with us.

Yours sincerely,

Concerned Liberals Committee

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