Sunday, 16 January 2011

Sounds like spin

In the wake of the by-election in Oldham East and Saddleworth, Ed Miliband has called for disaffected Liberal Democrats to work with Labour against the planned cuts agenda. He has refused to gloat at the decline of the Liberal Democrats but I am afraid that I have to inform him that the percentage vote for the Liberal Democrats went up.

It seems that it was a "tragic mistake" for the Liberal Democrats to enter into a coalition with the Tories, but far from being a mistake, I saw no option but to form a coalition with the Tories. A recent questionnaire sent to all members in my constituency confirmed this as the general view. I don't know of any member in my constituency who has turned away from the party because of the coalition, but Ed tells us that thousands of Lib Dems had joined the Labour Party. I think that is what he said but I am not quite sure. He may equally have been talking about people who said they had voted for the Liberal Democrats but would now vote Labour. I guess that is how he is making up his figures.

Ed stumbled over the words voters and supporters and managed to correct himself to say voters and members. I suspect that the actual wording was high on the agenda of Ed's preparatory meeting. I hope you were fighting for the word supporter and lost out to a nameless spin doctor who told you to say that thousands of members had defected. I suspect Ed would also say the decline of the Liberal Democrats is seen in the polls and not the by-election. Ed, we want our politicians to be honest and what you are saying just sounds like spin.

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