From the Huddersfield Daily Examiner. I'm not making an anti-Libdem point with this because I can see exactly how it happened, but it's quite amusing all the same!
WHEN the Lib-Dems asked long-time supporter Steve Oldroyd to contribute to their campaign literature he happily agreed. So imagine his surprise when his picture appeared in candidate Nicola Turner's leaflet with his name changed to Stuart. And the leaflet also had comments he'd never made! Mr Oldroyd, of Linthwaite, was so angry that he's now determined to vote for the Conservatives in the May elections. He told the Examiner: "I thought about it for a bit and thought: `This is ridiculous!' "I was quite embarrassed actually, because everybody was calling me Stuart. They basically took the mickey out of me!" The 46-year-old postman was approached by former councillor David Ridgway, whom he had met through his work. Mr Oldroyd said: "He asked me if I'd be prepared to be a face on their next election leaflet and say why I'm voting Liberal Democrat. "Of course, then I expected someone to come and interview me." Mr Ridgway took the picture but no interview, as such, took place. Mr Oldroyd added: "It's just the fact that it's not the words I have used. They couldn't even be bothered to ask me what I wanted to say." Now he says he's giving his votes to the rival Tory party. Ms Turner, who is standing for Colne Valley ward, said: "I'm shocked and a bit taken aback really. There's just no way we would do that to anybody. I don't really know what's going on here. "There's no way I'd ever want to upset anybody or say anything they wouldn't mean to. "It's an honest mistake. David Ridgway said the guy was quite happy for these comments to be put in." Mr Ridgway said: "It was all very low key. "When I first saw him in this election he was cooking his tea. "I said: `By the way, would you mind having your name and picture in our next leaflet?' "He said, `Not at all.' "I said: `It's something quite low key, I'll be voting for Nicola Turner because X,Y, Z and he said: `No problem at all'." Asked if it was common to put words in people's mouths Mr Ridgway said: "Well, some people say an exact and specific quote and some people say you can put in whatever you like." He said the incorrect name had just been a typing error. Challenged over whether people could trust other comments in the Lib-Dem campaign literature Mr Ridgway said: "Yes, without any hesitation at all." After speaking to the Examiner Mr Ridgway spoke to Mr Oldroyd and apologised to him. He added: "It's a total error on my part. It's down to me and not down to the candidate."
So have you ever done a vox pop on a leaflet on that basis? Surely it is commonplace for people to say, "oh just draft something suitable"? That was always my assumption of how it probably works.
You don't get that problem if you use only party supporters' photos and comments on your election leaflets! (That's a Guildford constituency in-joke, by the way.)
Coming in the wake of the Lib Dems in the Moray by election putting an advert in the local paper and then using the same words in their campaigbn literature and claiming that it is the newspaper who said it.
Tis why the editor has reported them to the electoral commission.
Meanwhile the Tory GE candidate in Inverness Strathspey Badenoch etc has defected to the Lib Dems, citing the Tory Moray campaign as the last straw.
It's standard practice for the producers of marketing literature to come up with draft quotes from their own side. However it is usual for the person 'quoted' to get a chance to approve/amend those those quotes prior to the item going to press.
At work, our firm's PR agency has written many a word whilst channelling our Managing Director's spirit...
Knowing Nicola Turner as I do, I wouldn't trust her as far as I could throw her. I do wonder what Lib Dem environmental policy is like too, since although she and her husband live and work together, they drive separately every single day in a 7-seater Chrysler Voyager and a doublecab truck.
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