Friday, April 23, 2010

How Others Have Suffered From LibDem Smears

If, like others, you have been taken in by the claims by Nick Clegg that his party is the honest party of British politics, then perhaps you ought to read THIS feature online by Andrew Gilligan which details the lies and smears promulgated by LibDem candidates in past elections. It follows up his column yesterday which shows how the LibDems smeared the Green Party candidate, Rupert Read, in last year's Norwich North by-election.

Let us start with the Green candidate in last year's Norwich North by-election, Rupert Read, who would like to show you a Lib Dem leaflet.

Headed "Residents shocked by Green Party candidate's terror views", it says: "Little is known about Rupert Read, but one thing is certain, local people have taken against his extreme views." Dr Read, said the flyer, believed that "Britain simply had the terrorist attacks on 7 July coming to us". One safely anonymous "local resident" was then quoted as saying: "What planet is he on?" Another, equally shy, "Norwich resident" opined: "I can't believe that anyone could think that."

The voters of Norwich would have been right not to believe it, since it was a wholesale distortion of something Dr Read had written, four years earlier, equating terrorism with acts such as the Iraq war, but very clearly condemning both and calling for an "ethic of non-violence", as practised by Martin Luther King and Gandhi.

"It had some quite unpleasant consequences for me," says Dr Read, a philosophy lecturer. "The whole Liberal Democrat campaign was sickening. I look now at Nick Clegg promising to clean up politics and I remember that he was specifically asked to criticise his party's tactics in Norwich, and he refused."

At the current and Euro elections, according to Dr Read, local Lib Dems have distributed leaflets printed in green, resembling Green Party literature, saying the Greens have no chance (actually, it is the main opposition party on the city council) and calling on their supporters to vote Lib Dem. In Tory areas, they have sent out leaflets printed in blue ink, saying the same about the Tories (who in fact hold the seat).

"People were telling me on the doorstep: 'I got your leaflet telling me to vote Lib Dem, so that's what I'm doing'," says Dr Read. "Anyone who's in politics knows that the Liberal Democrats are the dirtiest in their campaigning techniques, and I'm saying that as a former Lib Dem. It's one of the reasons I left."

I defended Nick Clegg yesterday against what looked like a concerted campaign to undermine him. What a pity Mr Clegg presides over a party which is quite happy to use deliberate smears against its opponents. The clean party of British politics? Don't make me laugh.

UPDATE: And today they're at it again! Click HERE to read how a LibDem staff member posed as a nurse in an election leaflet. Imagine for a moment their reaction if the Labour or Conservative Party had done this.


john in cheshire said...

Iain, in my opinion, Clegg is more leftwing than even Brown and his cohorts.
Mr Cameron should be making more of this self-evident fact; the choice we have in this election is ever more socialism- of the kind that the eastern Europeans freed themselves at the end of the 20th. Century - or a country where people can improve themselves, and keep the rewards for their own benefit. where their assets are seen as being theirs, and not the state's. Where the state works for them and is not the bountiful giver of favours. The Libdems (an old and worn out party, as Mr Cameron should remind the voters) will take more from them - wealth and liberty - than even the socialist labour party.

Unknown said...

Lib Dem candidate in Edinburgh East called me a "mouthy twat" last Saturday

waymore said...

Peter Tatchell, For whom I hold no brief in any repect can testify all about "Liberal" smear campaigns, Eh Simon Hughes?

Anonymous said...

The Liberal Democrats are like the other major parties. They try to come across as the party which can clean up politics, while refusing to clean up their party. No party which uses dirty tactics should be trusted to clean up politics.

kris said...

People seem to have forgotten the Lib-Dem door-step hatchet job done on Peter Tatchell when he ran against Simon Hughes.

They are the nasty partyl

Silent Hunter said...


Ever seen Monty Pythons Holy Grail movie?

"She turned me into a newt!"

"A newt"?
" Er . . . I got better" !

About as believable. LOL

wild said...

I cannot help noticing that the same political commentators who urged us to vote for the car crash that was the Blair-Brown government are the same people urging us to vote for the high tax, big State, Euro-Federalist Liberal Democrat, on the grounds that they are the party of "change".

Analogue Junkie said...

Lib Dems in Camborne Cornwall called an opponent a four lettered name in their campaign last june.

jaybs said...

Clegg is as bad as Brown, no wonder he wants to work for Liebour. Interesting how last night in the debate Clegg was so proud of his green credentials and using the train, then the following day he is up on a plane?

It is nice also to note how quickly Nick has taken to the official car and security and detectives, well when you are a
X Factor contestant you do tend to enjoy your minute to fame. Wonder why he also keep his privileged background quiet, I wonder why??

DespairingLiberal said...

John in Cheshire, yes, the LibDems are to the left of New Labour, but that's not hard, given that NuLab are a neo-liberal, rightist party with the basic agenda of continuing Thatcherism by other means.

On the leaflets, yes, this nurse imititating thing is pretty shocking and rubbish. Perish the thought that the Tories, for example, would ever do any such thing. That is why I am certain that the widely circulated story that it was CCHQ staff in the infamous Saatchi "Labour isn't Working" poster that Won It for Maggie is wholly false. It cannot possibly have been anything other than a genuine dole queue!

DespairingLiberal said...

Jaybs, Clegg's background has never been a secret, it's just that sleepy journos haven't highlighted it before.

A very strange thing is currently underway - the late, heavily delayed, media discovery of the Liberal Democrat Party!

During the debate, you could see class as a dynamic - Brown frequently had an uncomfortable, "waiting to be told" grammar-schoolboy look, not quite comfortable on stage with the two aristocrats.

Caro said...

The young questioner who went all girlishly coy with Nick Clegg during last night's debate, Mary Slattery, is the daughter of Tim Slattery, a Lib Dem councillor (and former mayor) in Taunton Deane. Obviously a plant. Sky should have vetted questioners' backgrounds. The Lib Dems are as tricksy as Gollum.

John MacLeod said...

At present I'm staying with my parents in the hyper-marginal Edinburgh South, a fiercely fought Labour-held 3-way where, at dissolution, both the Liberal Democrats and the Tories were in serious contention.

The volume of paper coming through our door daily from the Liberal Democrats is breathtaking; each week, some forest dies for this Edinburgh South campaign. But all show one of their infamous (and distorted) bar-charts and such slogans as 'Tories can't win here... Tories out of the race...' etc. (In fact, on paper the Conservatives are very much in contention and actually 'won' in these boundaries at the European Parliament election.)

The most disturbing leaflet, 'Who can in in Edinburgh South? - Find out more about your constituency -This IS Edinburgh South', came a fortnight ago, quoted the result from the Edinburgh South seat at the last Scottish Parliament election(very different boundaries), and featured no explicit Lib Dem propaganda - eg policy or candidate photographs - finally pronouncing, 'The result last time shows only Lib Dem Fred Mackintosh or Labour can win here.'

And - yes - the leaflet is plain print on 'Conservative' blue paper.

ahs benton said...

No one has ever been smeared by the Tories of course. Or by the Tory press...

Twig said...

"...he also keeps his privileged background quiet, I wonder why?"

Yes, I wonder too.
The BBC never mention it, but when it comes to the Tories they're not so reticent.


Jimmy said...

Well if you need an expert on lies and smears, then Gilligan's your man.

Anonymous said...

This morning in Radio4 the Libdem guy called Danny Alexander was saying that their party is refreshingly new and was blaming the wicked media for negative focus on Clegg. Humphries said to him that the Liberal wing of their party is very old indeed and that since Clegg and Libdems want to form the govt, the kind of focus that the othger two parties and their leaders were subjected was fair and hence he cannot complain.
We know too well in our borough how Libdems run their elections and how wicked their smears can be.
They are really the nasty party.

Anonymous said...

@Jimmy. Are we touchy aboutt "sexing up WMD document" still?

john in cheshire said...

Despairingliberal. My hero Margaret. thank God we had her when we did. As to what has happened since 1997, I just wonder how we have survived. The Conservatives left the socialist shit with a viable economy. and for a couple of years brown played along. Then suddenly, the socialist agenda was revealed. As it always is - as it would be with the ultra socialists (and you're all communists in my mind) Libdems - take what is not yours and give it to the undeserving. I've had first hand experience of socialist thinking, from an early age and I hate it. You are all the same. You want what is not yours because you're too stupid to get it for yourselves.

Evensong said...

Ha! You think this is a relatively new thing. I have a couple of news sheets from the 19th century called the Liberal & Social Radical, which has some pretty unbelievably personal slurs on plenty of political figures of the day.

It's quite absorbing reading in many ways, not least because of the Victorian English used, but also because some of the things said are harsh to put it politely - it would make Paul Dacre wince!

Martin S said...

The Liberals were vile, dirty and duplicitous. The Lib Dems are the same.

Unsworth said...

"No one has ever been smeared by the Tories of course. Or by the Tory press..."

So that's all right then.

Plaid Whitegate said...

Lib Dems now impersonating police officers...