Friday, 9 April 2010

Mean and Clean

I've heard that Anneliese has now signed up to the no dirty campaigning pledge. Good for you. If you could also add a small apology for the Reading East Banner article, we'll call it quits.

Contrast Anneliese's actions with Naz Sarkar who told me personally on Tuesday that he was refusing to sign it. I guess as he's comfortable with the fact that his campaign rests on diseminating lies about his political opponents and not prepared to distance himself from them then he's also happy for the electorate know that and make a judgement as to the character of the person they are being asked to vote for.

For those of you who would like to know who is to blame for the Labour campaign...

The Reading Labour Manifesto is being written by Trish Thomas, Ben Zielinski, Andrew Dunn and Pete Ruhemann. I remember Trish. A real blast from the past and former Katesgrove councillor. Her most recent contribution to local politics was to call for a recount to keep Dave Sutton's defeat out of the ITV lunchtime news.

Pete Ruhemann is producing the next Reading Banner for the RBC wards. Now, does this mean that he wrote the last one? I think we should be told if he wasn't the person responsible if only to clear his name. After all a sitting councillor deliberately lying in a leaflet about another councillor would surely be bringing his office into disrepute and warrant the attention of the local Standards Board (Ah, the irony!)

Then just when you thought the Post couldn't get more pro-Labour if it tried, Labour members are also being urged to keep writing letters so expect the usual toadying from the usual suspects... except more of it. I make that no 'First Person' in it from a Lib Dem for over a year and they wonder why I think it's biased. Only judging on the evidence.

And whilst the Tories are shipping in cash by the boat load, we discover that Reading Labour are negotiating for the use of the Unison franking machine - so remember that Unison members next time you complain to other parties about your pay and conditions. It is your union that is bankrolling them and it is you who are paying for it. I hope you're planning to declare the results of those franking machine negotiations Ben?

I'm pleased that the phoney campaign is now over. I've got by far the best candidate and I only wish I had the money the others can throw at the campaign. It doesn't seem to be making much difference though if the amount of times we've been told that Reading Banners make excellent kitty litter are to go by!

It's been amazing to see just how quickly Jo Lovelock and John Ennis react once they hear that Daisy has been in contact with a voter, but then I welcome that. The most important thing, certainly from my point of view, is that problems are sorted and people are listened to. If it takes a full blown political panic for Labour to do something in places they have taken for granted for years about things they already know about and should have done already then good.

It really has come to something when the biggest attack that anyone can throw at Daisy is that she is a hard worker. Yes. the people know that already and what they are doing is contrasting it with the years of being ignored by Labour.


Adrian Windisch said...

By attacking Naz, do you feel exempt from the pledge?

Gareth launched a personal attack on me, I haven't sunk to this level.

Was said...

Adrian, you call that an "attack" on Naz? You need a thicker skin. I wear attacks on me as a badge of honour!

I'm sure you aren't naive enough to think that a candidate (or their agent doing so on their behalf) can libel whoever they want and not get any criticism?

I've asked Naz on two occasions to distance himself from the lie put out on the Labour leaflets and he has said he wouldn't. It is not a "personal attack" to point that out and it is not misleading, merely the articulation of a fact. If we use your definition to its logical conclusion, presumably pointing out a parliamentary expenses cheat would constitute a "personal attack". I have praised Anneliese for signing up.

Criticising an opponent's manifesto is perfectly legitimate. You and Rob are no innocents when it comes to claiming sole ownership of things which have been Lib Dem manifesto items for years or deliberately misrepresenting our policies.

However, that is something that is accepted as par for the course and you are entitled to use that form of attack, just as we are entitled to respond.

I stand by the pledge to run a positive campaign in Reading West as I have no reason not to, but that does not mean having to accept underhand behaviour from other parties without recourse to rebuttal.

My take is that if you won't say something face to face to someone in a pub full of witnesses, then you shouldn't put it on a leaflet.

Adrian Windisch said...

Was, saying Naz was 'diseminating lies about his political opponents' isn't ordinary campaign banter.

And now you make an accusation about me! I often hear LD claim a campaign is theirs when actually others have been involved, then I say so. I do it politely, quoting them, not smearing them.

I asked if you thought you were exempt from the pledge, you responded by attacking me.