VOTE 2009: Spot the difference – Lib Dem "shocked and angered" special

Compare and contrast:

———- Forwarded message ———-
From: Jon Rogers <jon.rogers@bristol.gov.uk>
Date: Mon, Jun 1, 2009 at 3:26 PM
Subject: .Ashley eFOCUS – May/June 2009
To:

… Like many people I have spoken to, I am shocked and angered by the way some MPs have clearly abused the expenses system. I am pleased that our local MP Stephen Williams is not one of those MPs. Its been really good to see Stephen and Lib Dem leader Nick Clegg taking a lead on this issue demanding a real change not just to expenses, but to the way politics works in Britain (visit www.takebackpower.org to find out more) …

———- Forwarded message ———-
From: Mark Wright <mark.wright@bristol.gov.uk>
Date: Mon, Jun 1, 2009 at 2:39 PM
Subject: [Cabot eNews] Local community news – Election special
To:

… Like many people I have spoken to, I am shocked and angered by the way MPs have clearly abused the system. I am pleased that our local MP Stephen Williams is not one of those MPs. It’s been really good to see Stephen and Lib Dem leader Nick Clegg taking a lead on this issue demanding a real change not just to expenses, but to the way politics works in Britain (visit www.takebackpower.org to find out more) …

You can only be impressed by the sincerity can’t you?

This entry was posted in Ashley, Bristol, Bristol West, Cabot, Elections, Lib Dems, Local Elections 2009, Local government, Politics and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

45 Responses to VOTE 2009: Spot the difference – Lib Dem "shocked and angered" special

  1. Deano says:

    Local community news – Election special

    To: Someone I don’t really give a shit about
    From: Your local Lib Dem councillor

    … Like many other politicians I have spoken to, I am shocked and angered by the way MPs have been caught clearly abusing the system just when I am trying to get re-elected. I am pleased that our local MP Stephen Williams is not Steve Webb who claimed £8400 in stamp duty, and hope nobody notices that of the ten biggest claiming South West MPs, seven were Lib Dems . It’s been really embarrassing to see Steve and Lib Dem leader Nick Clegg making a pig’s ear on this issue by demanding expenses as well as any Tory duck island builder or Labour porn movie watcher, after campaigning about it – the hypocritical bastards. I am lucky that because of the way politics works in Britain I still have a good chance of getting elected because many people would appear happy to vote for a dog turd if it wore the right colour rosette (visit http://tinyurl.com/qwjpq8 to find out more about how the Lib Dems have been spending taxpayer’s money) …

  2. thebristolblogger says:

    A special mention needs to go to Lib Dem boss, Nick Clegg – public schoolboy and Cambridge grad whose daddy is so wealthy he’s never done a proper job – who racked up maximum expenses, even claiming for “a small wall for the rose garden” at his posh home bought entirely by the taxpayer …

    i wonder if Jon and Mark are shocked and angered by that?

  3. Paul Smith says:

    perhaps they can tell us who their Mp pays his rent to at nearly £20k per annum

  4. Jon Rogers says:

    Wow! That is such a coincidence! Amazing! What is the saying? “Great minds think alike…” Jon

  5. david morris says:

    Check Guido for the Labour template letters of apology.
    Kind regards

  6. Dona Qixota says:

    “Great minds think alike…”

    And fools never differ …

  7. Cllr Mark Wright says:

    Jon and I share newsletter drafts – I dont see what’s wrong with re-using a paragraph we both agree with!

  8. Matthew, Mark, Luke and Jon says:

    This is nothing. Biggles seems to be trying to pass off the Observer editorial of last week as all his own words…

    http://www.bristoleastlibdems.org.uk/news/000124/lib_dems_lead_labour_and_tories_on_reformist_credentials__popham.html

  9. Cllr Mark Wright says:

    PS: I borrowed the paragraph, so if this seriously affects the sincerity then I guess it’s mine…

    I have been campaigning for scrapping of the expenses system for over a year though:
    http://www.cabot-liberals.org/index.php?ward=Cabot&id=Cabot/news/news104

  10. Chris Millman says:

    I am sincerely hoping that the crass misrepresentation of the Lib Dems leaflets will backfire on them in Ashley.

    “A Green Party vote is a Labour vote.”
    Does any serious person believe that is a fair evaluation of Charlie Bolton’s voting record?

    I think there’s just a chance that the public have had enough of this kind of shit and may react against it.

  11. Jon Rogers says:

    Sorry Chris, you may not like it (I certainly didn’t at the time), but the Green Party councillor voted Labour into office after the last election. I agree that he didn’t do it alone; the Conservatives also voted for Helen Holland.

    The Green Party may try and portray itself as “above politics”, but as Charlie knows, as soon as you enter political life you need to make public decisions.

    The people of Bristol have a clear choice on Thursday.

    They can vote for change with a strong majority Liberal Democrat administration, with a clear mandate for change (as stated in our “Six to Fix” http://bristol-libdems.org.uk/sixtofix recipe for Bristol)

    or

    they can vote for the status quo with a failed Labour administration propped up by Conservative game-playing, and Green Party naivety.

    Charlie is frequently faced with difficult political choices.

    Look at his voting record on Full Council. His votes on our budget amendments are most stark, for example he voted against Lib Dem plans to plant 10,000 new street trees, preferring the money was spent on council bureaucracy instead. (Feb 08)

    Jon

  12. Charlie Bolton says:

    and we could of course look at the LibDem voting record (including Jon’s):

    when given the opportunity, not once but twice, to get rid of the Labour administration, they chose to sit on their hands (May 2008, Feb 2009)

    given the choice of ‘city marketing’ or energy efficency, they chose marketing (Feb 2009)

    they voted against employing housing benefit officers in time of recession (Feb 2009)

    when given the choice to make a small cut to councillors expenses, or to increase them – they chose to increase them (Feb 2009)

    they also voted against the whole budget in 2008 – presumeably preferring administrative chaos to not

    Then again, we could all grow up, and put these things into context.

  13. Bristol Dave says:

    given the choice of ‘city marketing’ or energy efficency, they chose marketing (Feb 2009)

    Why would anyone choose “marketing” at all? That’s the Ormondroyd choice (and obsession) – who wants to associate themselves with that?!

  14. paul smith says:

    SNAP

    I have same quote on my leaflet from Steve Coma

  15. Chris Millman says:

    …and let’s also remind ourselves of the context of that vote.

    The 2007 election swung on the issue of the Lib Dem plan to privatize the Home Care Service. This was clearly rejected by the public, who voted out two Lib Dems, including the executive member responsible.

    Charlie, having campaigned in support of the Home Cares, cast his vote according to the democratically expressed will of the people, despite the fact that his party’s position had been shamefully misrepresented by Labour. Few could have blamed him if he had been sufficiently peeved to abstain.

    When Labour fudged the privatization issue, Charlie voted against them – unlike the Lib Dems who abstained. So you could say that, rather than the sole Green voting Labour into power, it was the Lib Dems NOT voting them into power!

    You may be right about Green Party naivety in thinking we can be “above politics.” We are naive enough to hope that the public will see through this cynical manipulation and punish you for it. If you had just campaigned on your own record as a hard working councillor, you would have been a shoo in.

  16. John Serpico says:

    The fact that Jon Rogers and Mark Wright see nothing wrong in copy and pasting the same words and then putting their individual names to it speaks volumes. I thought I had ceased to be amazed a long time ago but I keep on being proven wrong.

  17. ale says:

    I think the greens are now happy to fight lib dems (as seen today on the guardian – http://tinyurl.com/nu2kmb ) rather than the BNP – as it looks like they are quite well placed, so fighting for 3rd-4th place rather than 5th or 6th.

    Still though it’s a small party, so a green vote may or may not mean a labour vote, but a it’ll also considerably lessen the chance of the BNP getting a minister in the EU.

  18. Jon Rogers says:

    Thanks ale

    It does amuse me, for not altogether altruistic reasons, that the Green Party is battling with the one party that the Guardian has described as being “ahead of the curve on the three contemporary crises: climate change, the constitution and the economy”

    In Ashley, the Green Party have talked about nothing that the Lib Dems are not already doing!

    Jon

  19. paul smith says:

    Well if the Guardian say it, it must be true

  20. ale says:

    Well when they fight, no matter if green yellow or spotted pink, I want to call their mums over to take them all home or something. Not something grown ups should be doing.

  21. paul smith says:

    The lib dems are only ahead of the curve interms of talking nonsense to the left of the labour, to the right of the tories and greener than the greens depending upon who they are talking to.

  22. Jon Rogers says:

    Paul Smith – you wish! Jon

  23. Charlie Bolton says:

    I’m amused, Jon, that you, for not altogether altruistic reasons, somehow think we should choose not to campaign to win the seat we have the best chance of winning.

  24. Rosso Verde says:

    As Paul says Lib Dems will say whatever they think will win them votes –
    I Googled Lib Dems Airport Expansion and found something from the Daily Herald (Scottish paper but a national paper)
    http://www.sundayherald.com/news/heraldnews/display.var.2510028.0.cynical_libdems_are_split_over_heathrow_plans.php

  25. Rosso Verde says:

    should say national story!!

  26. TonyD says:

    “In Ashley, the Green Party have talked about nothing that the Lib Dems are not already doing!”

    We’ve talked quite a lot about running a positive campaign focused on issues rather than attempts to mislead voters – and we are doing it.

    There you go! That’s one thing that the Lib Dems are not doing.

  27. Rosso Verde says:

    http://www.greenparty.org.uk/news/2009-06-02-Lib-Dems-consistently-inconsistent-about-environment.html

    Green London Assembly Member Jennie Jones on the Lib Dems’s poor record

  28. Glenn Vowles says:

    Mark Wright/Jon Rogers

    What on earth is wrong with just crediting the original source and saying how strongly you agree with it??

    On the ‘In Ashley, the Green Party have talked about nothing that the Lib Dems are not already doing’ issue. Are you opposing the flogging of green space on the Bristol to Bath Railway Path (or have you already flogged it?)?

  29. floating voter says:

    Glenn Vowles asks “Are you opposing the flogging of green space on the Bristol to Bath Railway Path (or have you already flogged it?)?”

    That’s what a lot of us would like to know…….

  30. thebristolblogger says:

    They’ve sold it.

  31. floating voter says:

    So where is the transparent and publicly accountable announcement?

  32. The Diberal Lumpycrats are everywhere when they want to promote themselves… but when you want one to answer some serious questions, they all disapear… funny that!

  33. thebristolblogger says:

    So where is the transparent and publicly accountable announcement?

    That’ll come after the election, silly.

  34. paul smith says:

    Lizard watcher

    it is interesting that Gary Hopkins who loves talking abour recycling on these pages has nothing to say about the strike which is happening on his watch – and as BB has pointed out in another place Barbara Janke has done a Jon Rogers and hasn’t read the papers and is leaving it to the officers (who I heard of Radio Bristol saying that they backed SITA management)

  35. thebristolblogger says:

    Well fancy that. BCC officers have scammed their inflation busting 20% plus pay rises in a recession and are now shafting the low paid.

    Scum.

  36. paul smith says:

    A new spot the difference

    ” I am shocked and angered by the way some MPs have clearly abused the expenses system. I am pleased that our local MP Stephen Williams is not one of those MPs. ” from every lib dem election leaflet

    From the Daily Telegraph

    The party’s spokesman on health in the House of Lords was MP for Richmond Park until 2005 when she stepped down at the general election. Even though her constituency was just nine miles from Westminster, Lady Tonge claimed between £650 and £850 a month in mortgage interest on a flat in central London, as well as utility bills.

    She no longer pays a mortgage on the £330,000 property but has rented it out since her retirement four years ago to Stephen Williams, the Liberal Democrat MP for Bristol West. He, in turn, has claimed the rent on his tax-free designated second home allowance.

    Mr Williams, the shadow secretary of state for innovation, universities and skills, paid her £1,200 a month between 2005 and October 2007, when the rent increased to £1,500.

    I make that over £60k from tax payer to Baroness via Williams with around 50% of that being a profit (based on the figures in Telegraph).

  37. woodsy says:

    Scum.

    BB, that’s what we seem to get instead of cream floating to the top in this city. 🙁

  38. MJ Ray says:

    Do the two councillors above really not understand how much sending out copy-pasta brings politics into disrepute with the electorate?

  39. TonyD says:

    “Do the two councillors above really not understand how much sending out copy-pasta brings politics into disrepute with the electorate?”

    The problem is that if your overarching consideration is getting re-elected and past experience shows that this sort of thing appears to work, then who is really to blame.

    During the First World War, there were some tunnel-visioned military planners who worked on the basis that your own level of casualties didn’t matter as long as the enemy lost more – hence the bloodbath at Verdun.

    I get the impression sometimes that some politicians don’t care how many voters give up on the democratic process as long as they still get more votes then their opponents.

  40. Cllr Mark Wright says:

    Oh puh-lease………

    I assumed that MJ Ray was taking the Mick… here we are in the middle of a sleazy expenses scandal that has rocked politics to the core – to suggest that sharing parts of an email “brings politics into disrepute” was so silly I assumed it was a joke.

    Any anyway Tony, we wont be taking any sanctimonious lectures from the Green high-horse any more – not after you distributed a leaflet in Ashley today containing not one but TWO porkies…

    Your leaflet says that in 2007 the Lib Dems tried to completely privatise all healthcare (not true – we were going to increase independent sector provision from 52% to 80%); and it says that Charlie cant get motions debated without getting a Green Party colleague so they can be seconded (not true – the Lord Mayor will by convention always second a motion if needed – which Charlie knows because he did it this year).

    So, now you’ve descended to the level of us mere mortals, the lecturing just wont wash. :p

  41. chris hutt says:

    Have to agree with Mark. Copying a piece of text into both newsletters – so what? Was there an attempted deception? Only if it is implied that the newsletter is individually written by the author. But even then it’s a trivial point really.

  42. MJ Ray says:

    @Cllr Mark Wright – No, I’m serious. The expenses scandal is fairly straightforward – it does need fixing, punishing where appropriate and bringing into line with the rules for other workers, but it’s not really sleazey and it’s not really a core topic to me. The amounts wasted in expense scandal are tiny compared to the amount wasted by government in bad decisions, particularly about the bail-out, and we can probably get some of the expenses back.

    So, the expenses are a fringe matter, but the relationship between politicians and their electorate is core. I’m sick of getting copy-pasta newsletters and copy-pasta replies to questions asked of politicians and I know I’m not the only one.

    By the way, here’s the newsletter from “Liberal Democrat Prospective MP for Weston-super-Mare” opening “Like many local people, the last few weeks of reports over the allowances claims for Members of Parliament have made me angry.” At least it’s only the party line, not copy-pasta… or is it?

    @chris hutt – it looks like attempted deception to me. Why shouldn’t you expect that a newsletter article is actually written by the author? It seems the same as how people expect that replies from politicians are in their own words, until you spot the copy-pasta by seeing letters sent to other people. As mentioned above, copy-pasta really does communicate “To: Someone I don’t really give a shit about” – quoting and attributing isn’t so hard. We’re adults, we can cope with it.

    I was already minded not to vote LibDem today (in the past, when I lived in another region, I even campaigned for the party) after their shockingly deceptive Euro-elections leafet which quoted the aforementioned parliamentary candidate as a vox pop without noting his post in the party. I’m also still unhappy with their effectively pro-protectionist actions in expanding copyright, trademark and patent criminalisation at the EU level.

    But now I think Cllr Mark Wright has finally helped me to rule out the Lib Dems. Thanks!

  43. Jo says:

    ale // June 2, 2009 at 2:12 pm

    “Well when they fight…. I want to call their mums over to take them all home or something. Not something grown ups should be doing.”

    But Ale – isn’t that what politics is about – fighting over who gets their way in the world?

  44. ale says:

    Hi Jo,

    Well, according to wikipedia (so like the grauniad, it must be true), “politics is the process by which groups of people make decisions”. The act of tit for tat bitching about stuff is just a tactic within that. And one I find annoying, old fashioned, and a waste of a lot of time and money when it’s the main tactic people use.

    But yeah, that’s the way of the world at the moment and I can only hope that UK politics can sort that stuff out soon. I can’t be the only one bored and turned off by all that.

    I’d be proud of them on the other hand, if they could just sort out their differences and prove they can work efficiently together – for example, when running the city council.

    Ale

  45. Jo says:

    Yes, it’s all about decisions. That’s where the problems start. Everybody wants a decision to be in their interests. But since groups of people generally have competing interests, some people will inevitably win and some will lose out. Hence the fighting. Nobody wants to lose out.

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