Saturday, May 27, 2006

LibDem Photoshop Trick Comes Back to Haunt Them

This charming picture of a small demonstration was used during the local elections by Conservative Candidate Jill Houlbrook (left) in the Upton Grange Ward of Chester. It was considered so good it was put on Chester Conservatives website. It was with some consternation that Chester Conservatives found the photo below adorning a LibDem Focus leafelt...


The rather portly man on the right in both pictures was unknown to the Conservatives when the picture was taken but he turned out to be none other than Jill Houlbrook's LibDem opponent, posing as a local resident. Strange that the photo on the LibDem website cropped out Jill Houlbrook. The LibDem candidate not only stole the photo but then claimed it was he who had organised the demonstration! Remember the advice to LibDem candidates from their election handbook? "Act wickedly, stir shamelessly"! Chester Conservatives have accused the LibDems of stealing the photo from their website and then photoshopping it. In fact, they're so angry they're taking the matter to the County Court. First of all the LibDems said they "did it for a laugh" but they have now admitted their crime and offered £50 compensation. It doesn't sound much, but when you face having to hand back £2.4 million I suppose the coffers aren't exactly full...

But all's well that ends well. The Conservatives won the election with a 10% swing. It was the first time the Conservatives had won a seat from the LibDems in Chester, having lost fifteen to them over the last two decades. Let's hope it's the first of many.

5 comments:

Neil Craig said...

I'm sorry Iain but I think this is amusing. They didn't actually gain a single vote from having this in-joke picture rather than another of their candidate.

I'll grant that legally it is infringement of copyright.

I'll also grasnt that if they had been out canvassing instead of playing with the computer in the warmth they might have done better.

Tim Roll-Pickering said...

Since the various Lib Dem watches are currently dead (why do I get the feeling someone's going to post to prove me wrong with a link?) surely the time is right for a new one? It could be a bipartisan effort.

Simon Harris said...

I was the agent for Mrs Houlbrook and it is great to see Iain pick up on this. It was quite funny as we recanvassed the area where he was taking credit and the stunt had clearly backfired.
Unfortunately for the good people of Chester this sort of cheap trick is common place and quite frankly gets in the way of tasks like running the city.
The Tories got 49.3% of vote in May and polled more than the Libs and Labour put together and gained 5 seats. We now have 26 seats compared to 19 for the Fib Dems and 14 for Labour. Still the Lib/Lab Alliance cling onto power. They will claim over quarter of a million pounds in expenses this year alone and push through controversial debelopments that NOBODY but them wants.
Yes we should all get together and reintroduce a LIB DEM WATCH.

elephunt said...

Yellow Peril (can be found at bloggers4labour) appears to be the new Lib Dem Watch.

As for the article, surely the point is they tried to gain votes from nicking the picture?

Anonymous said...

Well there is this one.....

http://fibdems.blogspot.com/