Democracy is a fragile thing. It relies on political opponents being allowed to go about their campaigning free from intimidation and violence. That's not New Labour's way. It certainly isn't Reading Labour's.
Last year I was assaulted delivering leaflets and recently Paul Woodward, the Labour candidate for Church ward went out of his way to stop and start shrieking 'betrayal' in my face like a banshee in Broad Street when I was helping at the Yes 2 AV stall.
You would think by the way they behave that this sort of hysterical reaction was common place and Lib Dems were some sort of pariah, yet the interesting thing is that when knocking on doors only active Labour members behave in this way. The public in Reading appreciates that we're rescuing the town from the mess Labour left behind and have been supportive of what we have been doing, but Labour members think that threatening people is a valid election tactic.
The latest incident saw Tony Jones, harassing a Lib Dem leaflet deliverer in a threatening and belligerent way.
Mr Jones, the fresh face of New Labour. A man who fell out with the local Labour Party because they passed him over as Deputy Leader of the Council, flounced out in a theatrical fashion, then had to go crawling back on his belly. He is nothing less than a bully. The matter has been reported to the police.
Tony Jones is not an ordinary member of the public. He is the South East Regional Manager of Unison. I can understand why he is unhappy that his union is going to lose their share of £89,000 of council tax payers' monies but that is no excuse for intimidation. I hope his union bosses do something about it before it is too late. Perhaps an anger management course is needed before he does something worse.
Previously opponents of Labour may have thought twice and given up in the face of their threats. I'm not. Bullies need to be stood up to or we're all lost..