Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Ming Campbell Caught Telling Porkies

LibDem leader Ming Campbell has just shot himself in the foot. Within minutes of David Cameron announcing the Conservatives would vote to bring down the FOI Bill in the Lords, the hapless LibDem leader sent out an email to his party members trying to play catch-up. The trouble is, the email contained a downright lie. Here's the opening paragraph...
I am shocked that the Labour and Conservative front benches in the Commons
have joined forces to vote for a special exemption for MPs from the Freedom of
Information Act. This brings Parliament into disrepute.

The lie is that the Conservative front bench has done nothing of the sort. If you look at the 24 Conservatives who disgracefully voted for the Bill on Friday, only 9 hold front bench positions - and all of them fairly junior.

By making duplicitous statements like this, it is Ming Campbell himself who is bringing parliament into disrepute.

38 comments:

moral majority said...

Maybe Iain, but Cameron should have slapped this down in the Commons much much earlier.

And MacLean should be ashamed of himself..

Alex said...

Iain, you miss the point in trying to score a cheap point off the Lib Dems (although, I appreciate that such behaviour is somewhat enjoyable!).

The real issue is why any members of the Tory frontbench, or any members of Labour's frontbench, or - indeed - any Members of Parliament at all voted for this absurd piece of legislation?

All of them actually have brought the Commons into disrepute, although their trouts are probably too far into their troughs for them to properly realise...

Newmania said...

Duplicitous ...no less, mendacious is a good one dissimlulating , casuistic can be used in the sense of sophistry.

Good post Iain I am pleased to award you the KITE mark of quality.

Chris Paul said...

Nine front benchers is rather a lot Iain. Minor positions or not. 500+ not there at all ... disgraceful but now as predicted the absent and useless opposition are moaning.

If nine front benchers voted against Tony or Gordon's wishes there'd be trouble ... perhaps that reshuffle WILL be sooner rather than later.

Iain Dale said...

Alex, I do not miss the point at all. I have made the point myself on this. Their votes are a total disgrace, but for Ming to pretend this was a front bench instruction is plainly ridiculous. If it had been, do you really think there would have only been nine voting in favour?

Chris Paul, your comment is typically incomprehensible.

Justin Hinchcliffe said...

But Mig did bother to turn up and vote against it, did he? Twat!

Iain Dale's rabbit said...

And it is by making duplicitous blog entries such as this that you bring raving drama queens into disrepute.

You have inferred an 'instruction', Ming makes no mention of it. Members of both front benches voted for it, therefore Ming's email is correct.

Your hyperbole is of course par for the course.

SDM said...

Really sorry for the hijack Iain, I can't email you from where I am.

Just saw this;

http://progressive.org/mag_wx051807

"With scarcely a mention in the mainstream media, President Bush has ordered up a plan for responding to a catastrophic attack.

Under that plan, he entrusts himself with leading the entire federal government, not just the Executive Branch. And he gives himself the responsibility “for ensuring constitutional government.”

He laid this all out in a document entitled “National Security Presidential Directive/NSPD 51” and “Homeland Security Presidential Directive/HSPD-20.”

SDM

C4' said...

I agree with moral majority, a case of the pot calling the kettle Afro-Carribean

Jonny Wright said...

Ming would have been on much safer ground if he'd said "front benchers" ...

Just goes to show how much difference a single letter can make!

barnacle_bill said...

Well it would appear both the Lib/Dems & Conservatives are trying to play catch up after the public outcry over this matter.
Now what wheeze is ZaNuLabor under "new management" going to come up with?
It is just a pity that this sleazy bill even got proposed for Parliamentary time in the first place.
It just goes to show what contempt we are held in by our political servants.

Inamicus said...

Pretty desperate stuff Iain. You clearly can't bring yourself to admit that the Lib Dems are in the right on this one and Maclean and the Tories are in the wrong. Barnacle Bill's comment above is also unfair, given it was Lib Dem MPs who did their utmost to get this bill thrown out first time round i.e. before the public outrage,

Iain Dale said...

Inamincus. Wrong. I pay tribute to all the MPS who voted against this wretched Bill. The LibDems, unusually, were the only party to all vote in the same lobby. I pay tribute to them for that. But I do find it galling for Ming to completely misrepresent the Conservative position on this Bill. There was no front bench 'position' on it, as you and Ming both well know.

Fred said...

I wrote to my MP John Bercow, expressing my anger about this proposed exemption. He replied promptly to the effect that he was against the amendment too.
But when I checked yesterday who had voted for and against it his name did not appear.

I think many MPs chose to stay away knowing they would reap the benefits without getting the sleaze badge, and in my book that's behaving even worse than that MacLean idiot.

George said...

Iain, you say Cameron wants to 'bring down' the bill. That might itself be an exaggeration. Have just seen him interviewed and he seemed to be quite careful in his words, saying he did not want to see it passed "in its current form". Let's wait to see what this actially means. Could turn out to be fairly minor amendments would be enough to win the Tories over.

Richard said...

Iain, why didnt Cameron exert his authority here to kill this Bill, and provide clear differentiation from Gordon "openness and accountability" Brown ??

Chris Paul said...

Sorry you could not understand my point Iain.

It was that NINE front benchers is rather a lot to just slip through. TWO would have been enough to justify plural "Front Benchers" and quibbling with Ming's "Front Bench" if that is what he said is just that, quibbling.

The Tories who turned up voted TEN-to-ONE in favour of this daft Tory Bill. They would have been able to carry it themselves by a couple of votes I think.

Any clearer? Gordon Brown will sort this out without histrionics.

Iain Dale said...

Chris, like a typical socialist you cannot count. Four Tories voted against. Twenty five voted in favour. A ratio of five to one or thereabouts. Do keep up.

Ralph said...

A Lib Dem caught telling a lie is hardly news Iain.

Anonymous said...

David Heath sums this up well:

“It is typical of David Cameron to wait and see what the newspaper editorials say before he makes up his mind on an issue.”

jailhouselawyer said...

Once more the pot calling the kettle black. Or, people in glass houses...

I think that it is one thing to overstate an issue, and quite another to blatantly lie about an issue and hope that one is not caught out.

Laurence Boyce said...

Ming Campbell has just shot himself in the foot.

I wish he’d shoot himself in the head for a change.

Anonymous said...

On the criteria you are judging by, Iain, you could equally well claim that the Labour front bench had not voted for the Bill either.

Guthrum said...

I got the same email, which puzzled me on two accounts, I am a former Lib Dem supporter and deregistered a long time ago, secondly I had just seen your post on Dave's intention to bring the FOI(I) down. Ming, the poor old boy, is not as quick as he used to be. However I think Dave does not want to be hoisted on two petards in one week. As ever from the Lord Protector's camp the sound of deafening silence.

Ed said...

I actually agree with Chris Paul, the Tories can hardly take the moral high ground now. DC could easily have suggested to his MPs that they shouldn't vote for the bill - it's hardly a "matter of conscience".

Pascal said...

Thats a bit grasping at straws and quibbling on your part, Mr Dale.

In a way, its even worse that given a free rein, some tories voted for it. Just goes to show their real frame of mind, and confirms that cameron's tories are just smoke and mirrors.

Anonymous said...

The Front Bench, of which 'Dave" is apparently leader was conspicuously silent on this matter until this week, given that the horse bolted through the stable door last Friday.

Does not the failure to galvanise Tory MPs into the 'Noe' lobby last Friday also qualify as 'disgraceful'?

JG said...

Has Ming Campbell got any feet left? He's shot them enough times.

Anonymous said...

Those Conservatives - and nulabs - who weren't there and didn't vote are as much to blame as those who voted for this iniquitous Bill.

However, I am heartened to hear that Cameron has instructed the Conservative Lords to vote against it - please God that will be sufficient to scupper it.

Anway, until he stupidly insults England again or rushes headlong after some utopian nonsense, count me in as a half hearted Cameron supporter again.

Auntie Flo'

Anonymous said...

Laurence Boyce said...
Ming Campbell has just shot himself in the foot. I wish he’d shoot himself in the head for a change.

Lau...rence, I'm surprised at you. I thought you were the guardian of political correctness here :) Ming's alright, he doesn't deserve that...just needs to move over for a younger person.

Auntie Flo'

Anonymous said...

Anonymous said...
Does not the failure to galvanise Tory MPs into the 'Noe' lobby last Friday also qualify as 'disgraceful'

Yep. I expect the outcry among his supporters changed his mind, don't you? Which is better than being incapable of changing tack as Blair is, I suppose. So there is some potential for a less dictatorial position from Cameron after all...with training from all of us.

Auntie Flo'

C4' said...

Anon 3:44: All Lib Dems are hypocrites; Laurence Boyce proves it once again.

vervet said...

Sorry Iain - Cameron's statement is too little, too late.

This outrageous bill should have been opposed in the commons and no tories should have supported it.

This whole episode will simply diminish even further any residual respect that the public has for MPs of all colours.

Me vs Maradona vs Elvis said...

I'm hardly surprised at Ming's behaviour. After all, it's not the first time this has happened with him or other members of his revolting party.

In a similar vein, but more intriguingly, I heard a rumour that there is a video of Ming pronouncing the Iraq War to be LEGAL in an interview with the BBC shortly after the conflict began but which wasn't shown in full. What I would give to have that find its way into the press...

Anonymous said...

ktzMing has to attack the Conservatives because he needs to provide himself with cover from his deal with Brown to become Foreign Secretary.

It's noticeable that he doesn't even mention that his mate Brown has said he won't block the legislation. He's gone soft on Labour and it's losing them the support Kennedy managed to build up.

This is just an opportunistic move in the hope that the Liberal membership's attention is elsewhere than the main problem which is losing them seats, votes and credibility. Ming himself.

Anonymous said...

Come on Iain, you are close enough to the Whips office to know damn well that Cameron's team gave the nod to just enough support being put forward for this measure for it to get its 100 votes and not be seen as a totally partisan measure by Labour.

That, as you know is what Ming was meaning. So are YOU going to apologise? Or have you filled yourself up with the uncharactaristic partizan bile which you were being slagged off for avoiding by your blue bloggers Union shop steward the other day?

Richard Dale said...

It is remarkable the number of people posting in criticism of Iain who seem unable to understand simple English.

To suggest that "[the] Conservative front bench ... joined forces" with Labour is to state that they acted in concert, and with the approval of those in authority in that group. Those few that voted in favour did so without encouragement from their seniors, in stark contrast to the Labour "unofficial" whip on this issue. They did so as individuals, not as part of a front-bench collusion. Therefore Campbell lied.

Those criticising Iain for not criticising the Conservatives have obviously not actually read his previous words on the issue, a forgivable oversight, but those that try to see Campbell's words as truth are either misunderstanding his words or being disingenuous themselves.

I am sure Campbell wrote with a view to just such wriggling and misrepresentation, but what he meant was clear and it was a lie. Why defend him?

John Dixon said...

I'm sorry Ian but this piece is simply absurd. Just because you don't vote for someting doesn't mean you don't support it! I have written a letter to Chris Grayling (Shadow for transport) and he has replied saying that he supports this bill even though he didn't vote for it. Of course the Tory front bench wont come out to vote for this absurd piece of legislation but thats not the point. The Tory front bench could put a stop to this immediately if they had the guts. But no, they support the legislation and wont even bother putting the tiny amount of effort required into stopping it but wont risk being held accountable for it by actually voting. The lib dems simply don't have the power to influence this decision (hence the majority of the party not bothering to turn up) but if the Tories actually took a stand on this issue it could be defeated.