Time to hold my hand up: I am the Labour member who dared to criticise his local Lib Dem councillors’ anti-phone mast campaign. So angry did this make Cllr John Leech MP, that I was warned that a failure to apologise would result in his next Focus newsletter ‘point[ing] out that local Labour members have been publicly critical’. And so it has come to pass. Goodness! I’m front page news.
But not without some mighty fibbing. One of the few to think John isn’t all bad, I tend to wince at the ‘Fib Dem’ label as it’s such a cheap shot. But this time it’s true. Our email correspondence makes clear that this should read: ‘one member of the local Labour Party publicly criticised the Lib Dems.’ And an insignificant one at that.
Perhaps I should be annoyed that while John agrees that I’ve published a fair summary of his position, his Focus offers no right to reply and never carries corrections or clarifications. Perhaps I should point score by highlighting the views of Liberal First who, writing on a blog ‘run by a collective of Lib Dem members [and] activists’, criticised the party’s ‘trivial’ Post Office petitions (this campaign is just a cynical ploy to collect campaign data apparently). But that makes me look cheap too.
How disappointing that John intends to fight a petty, bad tempered little campaign, spun to the point of dishonesty come the next election. (Labour want to replace trees with phone masts?!) Fortunately Labour will not be able to sink to the same level, as I know of no Lib Dem supporting blogs in the constituency to fib about.