Wednesday, 10 November 2010

Revolting Labour backbenchers fight for the Right to Lie

Their protests against the illegal war in Iraq amounted to nowt but a damp squib. Concerns over student loans and the introduction of ID cards were whispered briefly about the place before fizzling out with a phut.

But at last Labour backbenchers have found a cause around which to rally with gusto, indignation and shrill vengeance in unprecedented measure. The second largest party in the UK and aspirant government of the future is furious that a decision by two High Court judges could compel them to conduct their future election campaigns without knowingly making false and malicious statements about their opponents without running the risk of losing their seats.

The "Right to Lie" campaign is in full flow and Harriet Harman, the Deputy Leader of the party who has very decently made clear her view that dishonest politicking of this kind is in her view unacceptable, is its target.

Nobody, as far as I am aware, has disputed the fact that Phil Woolas not only lied about his Liberal Democrat opponent during his general election campaign but did so wilfully. None of his supporters, as far as I can tell, would appear to feel at all uncomfortable about the fact that Woolas would seem to have based his campaign on stirring up racist sentiment in his constituency.

As is the case here in the London Borough of Hounslow the party that publicly preens itself on its "enlightenment" and its commitment to equality, which it would have us believe is totally unique to itself, evidently has no qualms about provoking racial tensions if there is a perceived electoral benefit to be had.

That in Hounslow their tactic is to try to frighten minorities into voting for them by invoking threats to their safety that do not really exist, whilst in Oldham it is the white racists to whom they pander, would appear to be no more than a matter of simple demographics.

I dearly hope that decent elements within the Labour Party rally round Harriet Harman in the same way that the politically unscrupulous have gathered around Woolas. A fight for the soul of a once great party and a subsequent triumph of honest values of such a magnitude that it reverberates throughout the party would have a seismic effect on the future political landscape in our borough.

Despite the fact that this is not on the surface of it a local issue to us here, the ICG will for obvious reasons be watching how this one plays out with an enormous amount of interest.

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