Wednesday, March 10, 2010

It Shouldn't Happen to a LibDem: No 94

There's an amusing story in the Telegraph about a LibDem PPC, Jeremy Hilton, being caught out asking his local council leader in an email to write a letter to his local paper saying what a good chap he is. Clearly he is in need of friends. Idiot that he is, Mr Hilton accidentally sent the email to his local paper at the same time. Comrade Pickles has now weighed in and asked Nick Clegg to reprimand his candidate. Here's his letter.

Dear Nick
I am writing to you about your prospective parliamentary candidate for Gloucester, Jeremy Hilton, who has been exposed this week for trying to fool voters by drafting a complementary letter about his character and having it signed by another politician.

Newspaper reports suggest Mr Hilton’s public relations staff wrote the letter and then asked a former county council leader to sign the text as his own before submitting to a local newspaper for publication. Mr Hilton’s deception was revealed when he mistakenly sent the letter to a local newspaper.

Mr Hilton is alleged to have written to his council contact: ‘Attached is a draft of a letter for you to send to The Citizen [local newspaper], written by my press officer. If you are OK with it, cut and paste into an email and send to The Citizen.’

The letter drafted stated that Mr Hilton was an individual who ‘tells it as it is’.

Mr Hilton has refused to acknowledge any wrongdoing on this matter. Therefore, I would like to know whether you judge Mr Hilton’s conduct as that befitting a prospective candidate, and whether you condemn this type of specific campaign activity and whether you believe he is really telling it ‘as it is’.

Yours sincerely,

Eric Pickles MP
Conservative Party Chairman


I suspect he might wait some time for a reply. Unless Mr Clegg 'calls it as it is'.

26 comments:

Paul said...

Yes, becasue Tory PPCs would never do anything like that would they?

Sean Haffey said...

As a matter of interest, does anyone know who "trevorsden" is?

Stepney said...

That's funny, I run the Kirkaldy Herald and Gazette and I've just received a letter signed by Jesus Christ, Lady Diana and Mother Teresa.

Guess what it says?

brian in the tamar valley said...

Iain, this reminds me about how Jacqui Smith's husband Richard Timney used to write to his local paper extolling the work of his MP, one Jacqui Smith!

Jimmy said...

So this is basically Pickles job is it? Seems a little trivial for the Chairman of a major political party. Can't he delegate this sort of thing to his deputy?

Richard Manns said...

@ Paul

Surely the idea is not whether they do it, but the leadership's response to it.

No-one, for instance, claims that murders do not happen in the UK. But we do claim that we try to hunt them down and try them, rather than turn them into an MP (Russia) or award them for their revolutionary activities in Hong Kong (China).

abitmoretwit said...

Meh - this seems like a fairly standard piece of campaigning bumpf really. And, to be honest, no different from pretty much any business who write 'endorsements' for their clients to sign...

albertmbankment said...

Could somebody gently explain to Mr. Pickles the difference between 'complementary' and 'complimentary'.

Neil said...

What's the problem with this? and why on earth has Pickles got involved?

Far too many fingers in pies, probably literally.

sinosimon said...

assuming this is a cut and paste job by Iain now we know pickles cannot even write english.....nor apparently can anyone in CCHQ

complimentary

not complementary

higher standards in education under the tories.....

the man's an embarassment.oh for someone with the drive and acuity of tebbit at the top of the party....and someone who knows how to use a spell checker in context. the campaign is a shambles.......and the fact that we cannot even get a simple letter right shows why....lack of attention to detail.......54% of 18 yr olds pregnant anyone.....?what a farce this is turning into, and the nation will pay for years. someone get a grip

Bird said...

Lib and Lab rebuttle teams on the job quickly.

Tom King said...

This is guff, even by your usual standards. God forbid a Lib Dem PPC might be lent the support of a Lib Dem Councillor.

No wonder the Tory campaign is like a derailed train if this is the sort of thing Pickles is spending his time on.

Victor, NW Kent said...

sinosimon is not in a position to criticise anybody's use of English since his post here betrays a lack of the fundamentals of composition and punctuation. His letter is like one written by Archie but without the wit of that cockroach.

It is quite possible that the error comes from Iain's transcription. He is somewhat prone to such.

I will, however, agree that this is a storm in a teacup since this type of puffery goes on all of the time and LibDems are essentially stupid at the best of times.

Joe Public said...

That reminds me, didn't Mr Jacqui Smith also praise his wife in his local rag?

Martin said...

"I suspect he might wait some time for a reply." Is this a typo? Shouldn't it read "weight for a reply". Are you only able to read old English, or something?

Martin said...

Biased BBC have now uploaded the famous Jane Garvey clip. Iain Dale, you must send this link around every Tory to ensure that when they go on the BBC they mention the "Champagne bottles being strewn around the BBC"

http://biased-bbc.blogspot.com/2010/03/jane-garvey-champagne-clip.html

Martin said...

On a slightly different subject, I am in the market to buy a blog with hard currency. Iain, what would you say is a reasonable price for your blog, and are you willing to sell?

DespairingLiberal said...

I think the election must have started. Yawn.

Mr Pickles doesn't half keep himself busy with all those letters - although one can't help wondering if this schoolboy yaboo politics is really what they need to be spending their time with up at CCHQ. That's if Mr Pickles really wrote it? Perhaps Mr Coulson has a special unit to turn these things out? With an auto-email feed to compliant "independent" Tory bloggers?

DespairingLiberal said...

"Biased BBC" seems to be mainly an extended rant against Women's Hour - oh - plus the usual guff about the Beeb having invented climate change.

I think there may be a role for you up at Coulson HQ, they need people with a lot of time on their hands and more than one bizarre obsession!

Acacia Avenue said...

This is fun but trivial. Let's get on to some policies. What I would like to hear is which party is going to tax the only thing left that hasn't been totally plundered by stealth taxes. Conversely, which party is NOT going to tax it.

78% of us are facing a raid on our largest investment - according to the rumours that home improvements, driveways, extensions, loft conversions and conservatories are to be plucked next. That's a lot of votes.

Lets hear it, what are the Tory proposals? Let's get some direct questions and answers about this. How about a promise not to - and insist Labour do the same? There are a lot of worried people out here grinding down their mortgages and in fear of having it all stolen from them the moment they have paid it off.

How the hell can Brown be improving in the polls!!!???&&%%$$£! FOCUS, please.

Richard Abbot said...

Surely JH hasn't a prayer in Gloucester anyway?

Martin said...

The only thing that hasn't been taxed yet is time. If the Tories proposed a "Clock Tax" it could be a real winner. Probably get Cameroon out of the stick stuff, too.

Geoff said...

I think Mr. Pickles means "complimentary", not "complementary". This of course changes the meaning of his letter. Ah, standards of English continue to fall....

Dave H said...

Though Mr Hilton's credit he did receive the following unprecedented written endorsement from US President Barrack Omaha during his visit to Britain:

“Having met the bright, intelligent and determined Mr Hilton I can see why there are only two Lib Dem MPs in parliament.

I say to the people of Gloucester you should have the audacity of hope and when someone asks you can he do it, you respond: yes he might, although we agree it's pretty unlikely.”

DespairingLiberal said...

I wonder if Eric goes to see a complimentary therapist. "Hello Mr Pickles, I must say, you look rather splendid today. Can I say how much I admire you?"

Martin said...

Apologies, my earlier comment should of course have read "Cameron" and "sticky stuff". I have bought a pair of spectacles from the 99p Store which I hope will help to fix the problem.