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Dirty tricks – part one

April 25th, 2006 · Posted by Skuds in Politics · 1 Comment · Politics

here are two things going on at the moment which leave a nasty taste in the mouth – quite apart from the outbreaks of violence when the BNP launched their campaign on Sunday.

First of all there is one story which will be in all the papers. It is already in the Argus today (and thanks to RWS for pointing it out to me).  The headline says Poll 'Smear' Prompts Inquiry, but I seriously doubt it is related to the elections.

There is a bogus document which purports to be a copy of an official document produced by an imaginary, but official-sounding department which is supposed to have reported on the inelligibility of a local (Tory) councillor to hold office, apparently on the grounds that she is American. The very existence of Peter Hain in Parliament shows how silly that is.

A couple of years ago there was a similar sort of document about her husband, which was a comparable concoction.  Given that this councillor is not up for election, and even if she was she is in the safest seat in town, I can't see that this is intended to have any bearing on the election. I think its personal, but that is no excuse and doesn't make it any better.

The story in the Argus says:

He [Inspector Mark Piper of Crawley police] said the CPS advice was that "this kind of thing happens all the time between politicians and was the usual electioneering and squabbling".

I beg to differ. This sort of thing is not the normal electoral rough & tumble.  I saw the original document and that looked like the work of a fanatic. Possibly even a stalker.  It was certainly very spiteful. I heard about this new one last week, but didn't even want to see it. I would not have even mentioned it if it had not appeared in the newspapers.

Politicians will expect to be subjected to ridicule, satire, insults, attacks on their record, and long-forgotten soundbites being resurrected to contradict their current position, and that could be accurately described by "the usual electioneering and squabbling".  Having someone invent stuff, or take information from the public record and embellish it and then circulate it anonymously is not the same thing at all the way I see it, but then I have not had years of legal training push all remnants of common sense out of my head.

Personally, I am sure this whole thing is deeply personal – the document I saw really should have been written in green ink – and not political: in fact I would not be at all surprised if the author turned out to be from outside of Crawley and from inside the Tory party itself, but only time will tell.

Anyway, it was in the Argus today, so no doubt it will be all over the Crawley papers on Wednesday. What I will take exception to is if anyone points the finger at the Crawley labour party. – which is a lot more focussed on Southgate and Ifield than Miadenbwoer at the moment!

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One Comment so far ↓

  • Rihard W. Symonds

    Very perceptively written.

    There will be a ‘fall-out’ over this – and it depends much on how the local papers cover it.

    Whatever the truth is behind this, one thing is for sure : it will bring this election to life !