What a shambles. "It is not part of Labour's politics for somebody to be telling lies to get themselves elected," the party's deputy leader Harriet Harman MP, which is rather contradicted by evidence up and down the country.
Labour say "..no self-respecting MP (especially not the immigration minister) should have allowed leaflets that conflated Islamist extremism and immigration to go out in their name. The leaflets were vile. Of that there is no dispute." Well said.
For the LD Simon Hughes spoke against Woolas, ironic considering his own questionable election leaflets. He initially won his parliamentary seat by presenting the election between himself and gay-rights campaigner Peter Tatchell as "A STRAIGHT CHOICE". It was some time ago, but still.
Locally LD Cllr Gareth Epps says the Woolas campaign was vile. He refers to local Labour camaigns that were similar, including "A smear that all Green Party candidates were associated with animal rights terrorists". Thanks Gareth; I don't recall him defending us at the time but better late than never. Unfortunately he goes on "(I don’t like the way some Greens support some of the less savoury elements of the animal rights movement, but there are limits….)" So he repeats the slur, as always with no proof. There is no proof because we greens are into peaceful protest, not violence.
Gareth does have form. In an unprovoked attack on me he said in a letter to the local paper "..anyone our LD members select to fight Reading West will have much firmer green credentials than Lab and the Tories could muster between them and the credibility lacked by the maverick Green candidate there." Daisy Benson may have done better without 'help' like that.
When candidates of other parties are under such personal attack I will defend them regardless of their party. Gareth doesn't mention the more recent Labour attack on his colleague Daisy for being lazy, I defended her. I even defended Labours unfortunate Naz Sarkar when he made a mistake, he is only human.
More recently when I blogged about broken ConDem promises Gareth seemed to take it as an attack on him. Gareth implied that every Green Party website/blog is always wrong! Talk about prejudice.
So in Reading Labour are the worst for these attacks followed closely by the LD. The Tories while further from us in policies have a far better record on their campaigning style. I admired Alok Sharmas approach, he got involved with local campaigns and seemed a fair man. Unfortunately he is a member of a party that will cut services more than Maggie Thatcher.
About half the MPs of all the big parties have dodgy expenses, they should be tried in court as the rest of us would be. MPs are not above the law, as Woolas in now learning. The rest must learn the lesson too.
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