Rights and Responsibilites
The Veterans’ and People’s Party exists to build and safeguard a free and open society in which we seek to balance the fundamental values of liberty, equality and community, and in which no one should be enslaved by poverty, ignorance or conformity. We champion the freedom, dignity and wellbeing of individuals, we acknowledge and respect their right to freedom of conscience and their right to develop their talents to the full. This applies as much to the internal working of our party as to the type of society we wish to build.
As a Party member you have the right to be treated fairly, equally, and within the bounds of party rules. You have the responsibility to behave in a way that does not negatively impact upon other members, staff, volunteers, people who interact with the Party in a professional capacity, or the party’s reputation.
Whilst we encourage robust and passionate debate on policy, strategy and the way in which the party functions, we also expect our members to behave lawfully, honestly, courageously and with integrity: to be sensitive to other people’s feelings and respect their right to have and express different views to their own. Our responsibilities as party members apply not only to our personal conduct but also to our conduct in communications, including electronic, and with the media in all its forms.
The following is a checklist of questions you should ask yourself as you act internally or externally:
• Could what I am intending to do or say or write (in any format) be misunderstood or taken as intimidation, harassment or bullying?
• Am I declaring all my interests if asked to make such a declaration?
• Is what I am doing compliant with electoral law?
• Is what I’m doing compliant with data protection law and the party’s data protection standards and agreement?
• Can I and we as a Party afford what I am planning to do?
• Is what I’m doing in line with the constitution and Party rules?
• Am I acting in the best interests of the Party?
• Am I being accountable, honest, courageous and acting with integrity?
If you are unsure about any of these then take advice before acting. Your local party officers, regional, state and national officers are there to help; they can act as sounding boards for you in regard to any action. Our staff at local, regional, state and national level are there to offer advice and to support you, and are the appropriate sources of expertise on all legal and constitutional requirements.
However, we need to make it clear that behaviour which is unlawful, dishonest, deceitful, violent, or threatening will constitute bringing the Party into disrepute, and will constitute grounds for disciplinary action under the Party Constitution. You are also reminded that the party reserves the right to refer any breach of this code of conduct which breaks the criminal law to the police, as well as dealing with it under this code of conduct.
It is our hope that we will never have to do this. With your support we can challenge others who seem to be acting against the spirit of this code and support those who are role models. In this way, we can ensure that we encourage the best in all as, together, we seek to thrive and grow.
We can achieve far more together than we can apart!
- You have the right to be treated with respect.
This applies to all members, staff, and volunteers. Treating others with respect includes not bullying, harassing, or intimidating them. It also means at the most basic level, treating others as you would wish to be treated.
- You have the right to be treated equally.
The Veterans’ and People’s Party will not discriminate as to age, disability, gender reassignment, marriage and civil partnership, pregnancy and maternity, race, religion and belief, or sex.
- You have the right to be treated fairly.
This is in regard to all aspects of Party life – from the workings of your local party to your dealings with the National Party, committees and members of staff.
- You have the right to be treated within the party rules.
All action that the party takes towards you will be within its own rules. These can be found in the Constitutions, Standing Orders, in membership rules and in any additional operational and policy documents.
- You have the right to make a complaint in confidence.
Any complaint you make will be treated on a ‘need to know’ basis, and no information will be passed on without your consent.
- You have the responsibility to treat others with respect.
As a supporter or member you have a responsibility not to bully, harass, or intimidate other supporters, members, volunteers, candidates, Party employees, members elected to public office, council or parliamentary staff or members of the public.
- You have the responsibility to treat others without bias.
The Veterans’ and People’s Party reject all prejudice and discrimination, and are opposed to all forms of entrenched privilege and inequality. As a supporter or member you will not discriminate as to age, disability, gender, marriage, civil partnership, pregnancy and maternity, race, religion and belief, or sex.
- You have the responsibility not to bring the Party into disrepute.
‘Bringing the Party into disrepute’ refers to your behaviour both as a supporter or member and as an individual. You should never behave in a way which could negatively impact the reputation of the Party if your behaviour was to be made public.