Thursday, 9 October 2008

Oh what a tangled web we weave ...

Connoisseurs of Lib Dem mistruths, dodgy graphs and dubious analysis will be delighted with the Lib Dem performance in Glenrothes.

On their Fighting against Fife website you'll find this dodgy graph:

You'll note that it's from a different constituency and from two years ago (when the Liberal Democrats were still in coalition with the Labour Party in the Scottish Executive). Here's the Glenrothes result from 2005 shamelessly nicked from the excellent Scottish Politics site:

Caveats, of course, include the fact that this was now more than three years ago and that there was an election in the meantime, a new Government in Scotland, and a new sense of Scotland being able to acheive. In fact, here's the result from last year for the Central Fife Holyrood seat which makes up a fair chunk of the Glenrothes Westminster seat (again shamelessly pilfered):

Then there's Harry Wills, candidate extraordinaire. Why, do you think, has his party changed the news release about his selection on its campaign website and deleted his biography from that release? Why does the Lib Dem Scottish website version of his biography not mention his 'business career'? If you want to see the biography released earlier, you can have a wee keek on the Scottish release - the Lib Dem national release differed from the local release but the same biography was on both, now both sites have the same release but there's a biography missing. The way-back machine will upload the archive about six months after it was first published and I'll lay all of the webpages out then.

Then, just when you thought it was safe to go back in the water, up pops Andrew Reeves with a straightforward lie. Who's Andrew Reeves? Well, you wouldn't be able to tell from his blog, but he's the Deputy Director of Campaigns for the Lib Dems in their Edinburgh outpost.

Let's take a look at Mr Reeves' allegation:

Last night in the Members lobby the Scottish parliamentary leaders for the SNP and the Conservatives - Angus Robertson MP and David Mundell MP respectively - were overheard discussing how they are going to work together to ensure a Labour defeat in the forthcoming Glenrothes by-election!

His hearing must be heck of a good - imagine overhearing a discussion in Westminster from an office in Edinburgh!

Firstly, David Mundell is not his party's Scottish Parliamentary leader - he is the Shadow Scottish Secretary, and I would have thought that a senior member of staff in a unionist (or even, perhaps particularly, federalist) party would know the difference.

Secondly, how exactly could the Conservative party help anyone to win Glenrothes? I refer you to the results laid out above.

Thirdly, how would a discussion with David Mundell deliver any action or inaction on the part of the Scottish Conservatives? I'm no expert on the internal workings of the Conservatives in Scotland, but I imagine that David Mundell, for all his qualities, is not in a position to play dictator to his party.

Fourthly, I had a chat with Tavish Scott a wee while ago - does that mean that the Lib Dems will be pulling out all the stops to make sure that an SNP MP is elected for Glenrothes?

Glenrothes is toe-to-toe between the SNP and Labour, Peter Grant or Lindsay Roy. It's not an easy one to win for either candidate or either party, but you can rest assured that the Lib Dems won't figure in the contest. In fact, I'll lay you a wee bet - the Lib Dems will lose another deposit in Glenrothes to go with the one lost in Glasgow East.

With voters now having a choice to make in elections, their votes will increasingly disregard the Lib Dems. It's sad, really, that a once-great party saw itself dismembered in order to join with an ineffectual rump which had been horsed out of the Labour party.

The grand traditions of the Liberal Party are lost now - although the remains of the party itself still continues - and the "me too" mockery of the Liberal Democrats is no substitute.


Anonymous said...

I was a member of the Lib Dems until very recently, but left in frustration at their inability to put any real ground between themselves and the Labour Party. It's just embarrassing to see them reduced to parroting decades-old Labour rubbish about "letting the Tories in by the back door." I guess it's an admission that they are an irrelevance in Glenrothes.

Ron said...

Typical Lib Dem behaviour - here in Argyll during the last Holyrood election the Liberals produced a similar 'poll' purporting to paint the electoral contest as a done Liberal-Tory deal.
Thankfully the good people of Argyll & Bute had the common sense to ignore this nonsense by kicking out the dreadful Goeorge Lyons & voting in Jim Mather.

Anonymous said...

Something similar is going on in the Forth by-election when it is obviously a contest between SNP and Labour.

Caron said...

Andrew never said he overheard the conversation - given that he's not an MP he wouldn't get into the Members' Lobby in Westminster.

It's hardly surprising news - the SNP and the Tories are in de facto coalition and Mr Salmond has been waxing lyrical about Mrs Thatcher -does he not realise how devastated Fife was, along with other areas of Scotland, by her economic policies? It's barely news that the Tartan Tory Twins appear to be colluding in Glenrothes.

I speak to members of other political parties all the time, but never, ever do I discuss helping them to win elections....

Anonymous said...

"I imagine that David Mundell, for all his qualities, is not in a position to play dictator to his party."

Oh how very, very wrong you are!

Calum Cashley said...

Mr Mundell! I never knew you read my blog!

Caron, who did overhear this conversation that never took place then, and why did Mr Reeves not feel that it was appropriate to name his 'source'?

I'll leave you to go away and actually read Alex Salmond's comments on Margaret Thatcher as they appeared in Total Politics - then you can come back and apologise.

Agentmancuso, there's a member of my branch who was a Lib Dem Parliamentary candidate in 2005 (he lived down south at the time) who feels the same way as you do - I hope we'll find more and more converts in the near future.

Ron, how do you manage to keep up with Jim Mather when he's in action? Fantastic chap, good politician, fine minister, sometime fashion model, and makes Billy Whizz look like a sluggard!.

Anon, the Forth campaign will be interesting - and I believe the Baillieston one will be on the same day (yes, some poor electors in the East End of Glasgow will be asked to go back to the polls for the third time after the Glasgow East Parliamentary poll and the one to replace John Mason as councillor). Can we be done with casual vacancies soon please?