Query to all Lib-Dems.

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Laura

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May 11, 1997, 3:00:00 AM5/11/97
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This is a genuine (not petty party point-scoring) query to all
Lib-Dems.

I am a strong Labour supporter and activist, but sympathise with a lot
of what the Liberal Democrats say nationally. However, there seems to
me to be a disturbing trend amongst local Lib Dem constituency parties
to be opportunist in the most low-down, dirty and predjudiced ways.

My reasons for claiming this are many, and I will cite a few.
A friend of mine is a left-leaning Tory in Cheltenham. In the 1992
election she was instrumental in selecting a black candidate. She was
dismayed to find not only a racist attitude from the majority of
Tories ("central office have foisted a nigger on us") but also from
the Liberal Democrats who exploited the predjudices of the community
on the doorstep apparently claiming "this is the only way you'll get a
white MP". They won that seat.

In a similar situation, Liberal Democrat HQ condemned activists in a
Tower Hamlets / Isle of Dogs local council election for distributing
racist, anti-Bangladeshi literature which, some say, contributed to a
BNP councillor being elected.

Going further back, even the Liberal Democrats golden boy, Simon
Hughes, was originally elected on the back of bigotry in Bermondsey.
Although no great fan of Peter Tatchell myself, after reasoned
criticism by him of the monarchy, the Lib-Dems distributed badges
proclaiming "Which Queen do you support?".

My earliest memory of this type of opportunism was at the age of seven
when my Dad was standing for council. He took time out one afternoon
to play football with myself and my brother during which we were
passed by Lib-Dem canvassers. Despite this being a totally unwinnable
Labour Seat, in the next Lib-Dem leaflet it was claimed that my father
"Spent his time playing with his children rather than working for the
community". A rather bizarre claim if ever I heard one.

As I mentioned above, this is not about party bias and I am not
claiming that other local party activists are un-predjudiced, rather
that I am surprised that this type of behaviour comes from a party
that appears to be above this kind of thing. I would be interested in
hearing the views of Lib-Dems and non-Lib-Dems alike, either in
support of my claims or refuting them.

Cheers.

Laura.

Cenydd Blackwell

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May 12, 1997, 3:00:00 AM5/12/97
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I obviously can't say weather what you say is true or not, but what I
can say, is that the Liberal Democrats are by far the 'cleanest' party
in the Houses of Parliament (17th. century spelling!).

Take the conservatives: a party that has become smug and almost
beyond reproach after 18 years in government. Remember all those cases
of sexually depraved Tory MP's? And I really think that this is the tip
of the iceberg. For another example, take the constant personal attacks
on both Tony Blair and Paddy Ashdown. British politics should not be
about 'dirty tricks' and 'smear campaigns'. it should be a system of
real democracy that other nations look up on. (sorry if I'm being
utopian).

No offence, but take the Labour Party. I myself used to be a
staunch Labour supporter, because in the days of Neil Kinnock I thought
that he really believed in what he was doing. Ditto John Smith. But "New
Labour" lost my support because I think that they sold out on their old
values and beliefs so that that could appeal more to the middle and
upper classes. Take the constant 'tribal' bickering that charectarised
the last parliament. Bickering that was fostered just as much by the
Labour party as by the conservatives, as they were obssesed with getting
rid of the tories.

The only party that has been totally free from sleaze, has not
spent it's time in the House of Commons engaged in a negative and
destructive campaign of arguing on a persaonal basis with the
ex-government just because they were the government, and has stuck with
iron-hard solidarity to it's ideals, and hasn't changed it's central
beliefs at all; is the Liberal Democrat party.

This is reflected by the fact that they were the only party who
came out and produced actual, costed policies during the election
campaign, and did not waver in the face of the opposition. I started the
election campaign as a definite Labour supporter, but as I realised that
the rewal policies lay with the Liberal Demmocrats, I transfered my
support to them.

If you _believe_ in what the Liberal Democrats stand for, no matter
what your political persuasion, then support them, because the more you
support it, the more you get it.

Hope this helps, :-), cheers, Cen. (Lib. Dem. (suprise?))

Henry Potts

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May 12, 1997, 3:00:00 AM5/12/97
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In article <33764012...@news.virgin.net>, Laura
<laura...@virgin.net> writes

>This is a genuine (not petty party point-scoring) query to all
>Lib-Dems.
>
>I am a strong Labour supporter and activist, but sympathise with a
>lot of what the Liberal Democrats say nationally. However, there seems
>to me to be a disturbing trend amongst local Lib Dem constituency
>parties to be opportunist in the most low-down, dirty and predjudiced
>ways. [...]

I don't have first-hand experience of any of your three examples
(alleged racism in Cheltenham and Tower Hamlets and homophobia in
Southwark & Bermondsey) and, as others here do, I will leave explication
to them. (Being a LibDem, I'm obviously sympathetic to their sides of
the stories.)

What I will point out is that there are nasty, vicious bigots in *every*
party. That, sadly, is the nature of people. I'm sure there are some
racists and homophobes in the LibDems, although I've been fortunate
enough not to meet any of them. What perhaps matters more is what
parties do in power. There may or may not have been some homophobic
Liberal party activists in the Southwark & Bermondsey by-election, but
there are certainly numerous openly homophobic MPs in the Labour party,
who voted against 16 as an equal age of consent, while Tony Blair
himself could not bring himself to vote for legalising homosexuality in
the military.

If there are reports of bigotry by party activists, a party should act
swiftly to investigate them -- as the LibDems did in Tower Hamlets --
but ultimately I will judge a party by its actual voting record and one
of the main reasons I support the LibDems is because they are clearly
far more concerned about equality and less bigoted than Labour or the
Conservatives. Judge us on what we do, not on murky allegations.

As an example of how bizarre accusation can get, I was compared to the
Nazis by a Labour cllr. in Camden for noting that none of the cllr.s for
Highgate ward actually lived there.
--
Henry

M J Drew

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May 12, 1997, 3:00:00 AM5/12/97
to

Laura (laura...@virgin.net) wrote:
: This is a genuine (not petty party point-scoring) query to all

: Lib-Dems.
:
: I am a strong Labour supporter and activist, but sympathise with a lot
: of what the Liberal Democrats say nationally. However, there seems to
: me to be a disturbing trend amongst local Lib Dem constituency parties
: to be opportunist in the most low-down, dirty and predjudiced ways.
:
: My reasons for claiming this are many, and I will cite a few.
: A friend of mine is a left-leaning Tory in Cheltenham. In the 1992
: election she was instrumental in selecting a black candidate. She was
: dismayed to find not only a racist attitude from the majority of
: Tories ("central office have foisted a nigger on us") but also from
: the Liberal Democrats who exploited the predjudices of the community
: on the doorstep apparently claiming "this is the only way you'll get a
: white MP". They won that seat.
:

I suspect that this is a mis remembering of the campaign line of vote Lib
Dem for a local candidate.


: In a similar situation, Liberal Democrat HQ condemned activists in a


: Tower Hamlets / Isle of Dogs local council election for distributing
: racist, anti-Bangladeshi literature which, some say, contributed to a
: BNP councillor being elected.

:

Again a distortion of the facts.

: Going further back, even the Liberal Democrats golden boy, Simon


: Hughes, was originally elected on the back of bigotry in Bermondsey.
: Although no great fan of Peter Tatchell myself, after reasoned
: criticism by him of the monarchy, the Lib-Dems distributed badges
: proclaiming "Which Queen do you support?".

:

This has been firmly denied. I campaigned for a number of weeks for Simon
Hughes and never saw any such badge. You must also remember that the "Real
Labour" party did campaign on such themes.

: My earliest memory of this type of opportunism was at the age of seven


: when my Dad was standing for council. He took time out one afternoon
: to play football with myself and my brother during which we were
: passed by Lib-Dem canvassers. Despite this being a totally unwinnable
: Labour Seat, in the next Lib-Dem leaflet it was claimed that my father
: "Spent his time playing with his children rather than working for the
: community". A rather bizarre claim if ever I heard one.

:

Do you have a copy of such leaflet?

: As I mentioned above, this is not about party bias and I am not


: claiming that other local party activists are un-predjudiced, rather
: that I am surprised that this type of behaviour comes from a party
: that appears to be above this kind of thing. I would be interested in
: hearing the views of Lib-Dems and non-Lib-Dems alike, either in
: support of my claims or refuting them.

:

You will find in all parties some unsavory characters. You should hear the
anti-traveller comments from some local Labour Party members. However they
tend to be attracted to the local party of power. This will be a danger
for Liberal Democrats which we must be alert to.


: Cheers.
:
: Laura.

--
Mike Drew
Northavon Constituency MPs 1 Lib Dem
S. Glos Councillors: Lab 2, Lib Dem 25, Con4
South Gloucestershire Unitary Council:Lab 31, Lib Dem 30, Con 8, Ind 1
Yate Town Council: Lab 1, Lib Dem 20

Gordon Woods

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May 12, 1997, 3:00:00 AM5/12/97
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In article <33764012...@news.virgin.net>,

Laura <laura...@virgin.net> wrote:
>This is a genuine (not petty party point-scoring) query to all
>Lib-Dems.
>
>I am a strong Labour supporter and activist, but sympathise with a lot
>of what the Liberal Democrats say nationally. However, there seems to
>me to be a disturbing trend amongst local Lib Dem constituency parties
>to be opportunist in the most low-down, dirty and predjudiced ways.

<Snip: three examples>

1. Cheltenham

If Nigel Jones had been elected on a racist vote then his majority would
have decreased in 1997 when the Tory candidate was white. It went up.

2. Tower Hamlets

Whether you take the view that the activists were misguided and
insensitive, or had malicious intent, the fact remains that Tower Hamlets
got no help from the national party in the 1994 borough elections as it
couldn't convince them that it had put its house in order. Consequently
they lost.

3. Southwark/Bermondsey byelection 1983

This gets thrashed out time after time. Liberals say it was Tory students
wearing the offending badges. It is now 14 years ago anyway, so it is
unlikely that Labourites will ever be convinced that they're wrong.

I doubt that loyal Labourites like you will ever be convinced that
the Labour party ever does anything wrong. However, I would have thought
it clear that nationally the party will not condone racist or homophobic
campaigns anywhere. And you can judge us on our record. I really don't
think the Labour party has a leg to stand on with either of these issues:
did Labour support passports for all Hong Kong residents? Did Labour MPs
vote for an equal age of consent? No. Not to mention the record in local
government: why do Asian families in Oxford (Labour since 1980) find it
difficult to get planning permission? Why did the Oxford Lesbian and Gay
Centre find it difficult to get extended opening hours? And so on.

--
Gordon Woods......sjoh0050@sable.ox.ac.uk...http://users.ox.ac.uk/~sjoh0050
Visit the umra FAQ! (NEW URL) http://users.ox.ac.uk/~sjoh0050/umra.html
St. John's College, Oxford, OX1 3JP. Tel. (01865) (2)77300 (Lodge)
Dyson Perrins Laboratory, Oxford, OX1 3QY. (01865) (2)75689 (Lab)

Laura

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May 12, 1997, 3:00:00 AM5/12/97
to

On 12 May 1997 15:59:30 GMT, sjoh...@sable.ox.ac.uk (Gordon Woods)
wrote:


> I doubt that loyal Labourites like you will ever be convinced that
>the Labour party ever does anything wrong.

Did you actually read any of the first or last parts of my posting?
For the umpteenth time -
I concede absolutely that the Labour Party does many things wrong. It
was absolutely NOT my intention to enter into a kind of 'Yah Boo, my
party's cleaner than your party kind of debate' However, I seem to be
getting that kind of response. I thought I had framed a genuine query
in reasonable terms, but seem to be a getting a very defensive
reaction. The only reason I felt the need to point these things out
was because of the fact thatsome (I repeat some) Lib Dems seem to have
a kind of holier-than thou attitude to members of other parties. All
Iwas trying to point out is that no party's perfect.


However, I would have thought
>it clear that nationally the party will not condone racist or homophobic
>campaigns anywhere.

Again I thought I made it clear that I was talking about local party
activists and NOT the national party.

And you can judge us on our record. I really don't
>think the Labour party has a leg to stand on with either of these issues:
>did Labour support passports for all Hong Kong residents? Did Labour MPs
>vote for an equal age of consent? No. Not to mention the record in local
>government: why do Asian families in Oxford (Labour since 1980) find it
>difficult to get planning permission? Why did the Oxford Lesbian and Gay
>Centre find it difficult to get extended opening hours? And so on.
>

I am sorry if I sound pissed off but I really was not trying to get
into party point-scoring. I wanted to hear whether Lib-Dems themselves
had any concerns on this issue or whether they felt these situations
had been mis-reported / blown out of proportion. I also resent being
spoken to as if I do not have an open mind. I am not a 'Labourite',
merely a Labour supporter and have sympathies with the views and
policies of many other parties, including the Liberal Democrats.

Cheers,

Laura
>--
PS.
My response to MJ Drew outlines my position further.

Ian Johnston

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May 12, 1997, 3:00:00 AM5/12/97
to

Laura (Laura Shepherd-Robinson) (laura...@virgin.net) wrote:

: This aside, given the furore and row over a black candidate in
: Cheltenham, don't you think the line "Vote Lib Dem for a local
: candidate" was sailing a bit close to the wind?

A bit close to the wind? Why didn't they just use "Black bastards, come
over here, take our jobs, send 'em back"? They'd have got the meaning
across without losing voters on whom subtlety was lost.

Ian


Mark Y-M

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May 12, 1997, 3:00:00 AM5/12/97
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On 12 May 1997 17:21:04 GMT, engs...@sable.ox.ac.uk (Ian Johnston)
wrote thus:

that sort of thing was what you found in the local tories after the
selection

Mark Ynys-Môn : mark@@archdruid.demon..co..uk
http://www.libdems.org.uk/people/aos/delga/index.htm
"To strangle the last King with the entrails of the last Priest"
.....allegedly the ambition of Voltaire
Opinions etc are mine and not Demon Internet's

Mark Y-M

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May 12, 1997, 3:00:00 AM5/12/97
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On Mon, 12 May 1997 17:12:12 GMT, Laura <laura...@virgin.net>
(Laura Shepherd-Robinson) wrote thus:

>On 12 May 1997 15:59:30 GMT, sjoh...@sable.ox.ac.uk (Gordon Woods)
>wrote:
>
>
>> I doubt that loyal Labourites like you will ever be convinced that
>>the Labour party ever does anything wrong.
>
>Did you actually read any of the first or last parts of my posting?
>For the umpteenth time -
>I concede absolutely that the Labour Party does many things wrong. It
>was absolutely NOT my intention to enter into a kind of 'Yah Boo, my
>party's cleaner than your party kind of debate' However, I seem to be
>getting that kind of response.

not from all of us :)

> I thought I had framed a genuine query
>in reasonable terms, but seem to be a getting a very defensive
>reaction.

probably because those "examples" are frequently used as a substitute
for debate by some opponents - I spoke at a stonewall hustings meeting
for example where one of my labour competitor's principal contribution
was "you can't trust them, look at Tower Hamlets"... that was it, no
attempt to engage in the arguments at hand at all. That sort of stupid
tribalism annoys the hell out of me (including when my lot do it).

>I am sorry if I sound pissed off but I really was not trying to get
>into party point-scoring. I wanted to hear whether Lib-Dems themselves
>had any concerns on this issue or whether they felt these situations
>had been mis-reported / blown out of proportion.

in general i think they are - tower hamlets was one with substance to
it and i am glad that the party moved decisively on it.

James A Hammerton

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May 12, 1997, 3:00:00 AM5/12/97
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As a Lib-Dem sympathiser, my response is that these things may well
have happened, but such things also happen with other parties. It is
nevertheless depressing and disappointing to see it with a party that
is committed to equality of opportunity. The LD policies have
consistently been anti-discrimination and pro-equality of opportunity,
something which IMHO cannot be said for the Tories.

Just as a matter of interest, how many Lib-Dem candidates were from
ethnic minorities and/or openly gay? How many Lib-Dem MPs are gay or
from ethnic minorities?

James

--
James Hammerton, Research Student, School of Computer Science,
University of Birmingham | Home Page: http://www.cs.bham.ac.uk/~jah/
Connectionist NLP WWW Page: http://www.cs.bham.ac.uk/~jah/CNLP/cnlp.html

Michael Hopkins

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May 12, 1997, 3:00:00 AM5/12/97
to

Laura (laura...@virgin.net) wrote:
: This is a genuine (not petty party point-scoring) query to all
: Lib-Dems.

: I am a strong Labour supporter and activist, but sympathise with a lot
: of what the Liberal Democrats say nationally. However, there seems to
: me to be a disturbing trend amongst local Lib Dem constituency parties
: to be opportunist in the most low-down, dirty and predjudiced ways.

: My reasons for claiming this are many, and I will cite a few.

<Examples snipped>

I am a LIb Dem and I never been involved in anything of this nature and wI
resign from the LibDems if anything like thise were to take place in my
constituency.

Richard Gadsden

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May 12, 1997, 3:00:00 AM5/12/97
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In <5l7ep2$9...@news.ox.ac.uk>, on 12 May 1997 15:59:30 GMT,
sjoh...@sable.ox.ac.uk (Gordon Woods) wrote in uk.politics.electoral:

>In article <33764012...@news.virgin.net>,


>Laura <laura...@virgin.net> wrote:
>>This is a genuine (not petty party point-scoring) query to all
>>Lib-Dems.
>>
>>I am a strong Labour supporter and activist, but sympathise with a lot
>>of what the Liberal Democrats say nationally. However, there seems to
>>me to be a disturbing trend amongst local Lib Dem constituency parties
>>to be opportunist in the most low-down, dirty and predjudiced ways.
>

><Snip: three examples>
>
>1. Cheltenham

> <snipped - no experience of this one>

>2. Tower Hamlets
>
>Whether you take the view that the activists were misguided and
>insensitive, or had malicious intent, the fact remains that Tower Hamlets
>got no help from the national party in the 1994 borough elections as it
>couldn't convince them that it had put its house in order. Consequently
>they lost.
>

I incline to a mixture of the two. The leaflet that precipitated the
furore was a not unusual FOCUS: it had two items that were objected
to.

a) an article objecting to the fact that a general community centre
was being close down by the local (Labour) neighbourhood committee)
and a Bangladeshi centre was being opened in its place; this meant
that non-Bangladeshis lost access to community facilities - OTOH, the
argument was that the community centre was full of racists and the
Bangladeshis had no facilities. The real problem here was a very bad
choice of headline: "Bangladeshi shocker".

b) a cartoon "LibDems fighting for you" with a black boxer (seen as a
stereotypical image of blacks as only being good for sport) - the
boxer was a (then) old ALDC cartoon and bore a distinct resemblance to
Mike Tyson; I believe it was first drawn shortly after Tyson unified
the titles.

Whether these are a combination of insensitivity and bad luck, or a
deliberate attempt to pander to racism (to say something that is not
racist but would make a racist think you were racist) is difficult to
be sure on; however, the reaction to this leaflet was hysterical to
say the least....except that there were some remarkably dodgy
characters in the Tower Hamlets local party and removing them from
positions of influence proved necessary.
--
Richard Gadsden ric...@tga.u-net.com [note address]
"I do not agree with what you say, but I will defend
to the death your right to say it." - Voltaire

Henry Potts

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May 12, 1997, 3:00:00 AM5/12/97
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In article <33774f33...@news.virgin.net>, Laura
<laura...@virgin.net> writes [...]

>For the umpteenth time -
>I concede absolutely that the Labour Party does many things wrong. It
>was absolutely NOT my intention to enter into a kind of 'Yah Boo, my
>party's cleaner than your party kind of debate' However, I seem to be
>getting that kind of response. I thought I had framed a genuine query

>in reasonable terms, but seem to be a getting a very defensive
>reaction. The only reason I felt the need to point these things out
>was because of the fact thatsome (I repeat some) Lib Dems seem to have
>a kind of holier-than thou attitude to members of other parties. All
>Iwas trying to point out is that no party's perfect. [...]

It is a rather strange way of pointing out no party is perfect to attack
one specific party. What did you expect?

The various LibDem responses have mostly agreed that there some
unsavoury characters are to be found occasionally in our party -- as in
all parties -- and have sought to explain some of the specific
accusations you mentioned.

>I am sorry if I sound pissed off but I really was not trying to get
>into party point-scoring. I wanted to hear whether Lib-Dems themselves
>had any concerns on this issue or whether they felt these situations

>had been mis-reported / blown out of proportion. [...]

And you have got your answer: most of us think that these situations
were misreported or blown out of proportion.

Also, I think it perfectly wise to consider these issue against the
backdrop of the parties' actual policies and voting records. I ask as a
genuine querry, as a Labour supporter, how do you feel about the rather
weak stance of New Labour on gay rights?
--
Henry

Colin Rosenstiel

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May 12, 1997, 3:00:00 AM5/12/97
to

In article <5l7ji0$c...@news.ox.ac.uk>, engs...@sable.ox.ac.uk (Ian
Johnston) wrote:

> Laura (Laura Shepherd-Robinson) (laura...@virgin.net) wrote:
>
> : This aside, given the furore and row over a black candidate in
> : Cheltenham, don't you think the line "Vote Lib Dem for a local
> : candidate" was sailing a bit close to the wind?
>
> A bit close to the wind? Why didn't they just use "Black bastards, come
> over here, take our jobs, send 'em back"? They'd have got the meaning
> across without losing voters on whom subtlety was lost.

If you knew the history of Cheltenham politics you wouldn't spout this
sort of unfounded accusation. The previous Tory MP was unique amongst
Tories in that he was also the leader of the local council. Regardless of
his skin colour the replacement candidate was in complete contrast to that
tradition, which the Tories no doubt used in previous campaigns. It
happens that Nigel Jones has a strong local base, a point made in all his
campaigns.

--
Cllr. Colin Rosenstiel
Cambridge http://www.cix.co.uk/~rosenstiel/
The Liberal Democrats - second party of British Local Government
Cambridge Liberal Democrats: http://www.gold.net/users/fu30/libdems.htm

Ivan Ivanovich Ivanov

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May 12, 1997, 3:00:00 AM5/12/97
to

>>My earliest memory of this type of opportunism was at the age of seven
>>when my Dad was standing for council. He took time out one afternoon
>>to play football with myself and my brother during which we were
>>passed by Lib-Dem canvassers. Despite this being a totally unwinnable
>>Labour Seat, in the next Lib-Dem leaflet it was claimed that my father
>>"Spent his time playing with his children rather than working for the
>>community". A rather bizarre claim if ever I heard one.
>>

Dear Laura:

I think that it would be fair to say that no political party is
completely free from opportunistic swine. What does matter is how the
party acts when such persons show their true colours. For example,
when the Tower Hamlets council was shown to behave in an inappropriate
manner, the Party, for lack of a better term, excommunicated them.
This led to Labour taking over the council in the next local election,
but provided a necessary purge.

I don't doubt that your father was maligned. But what I do think is
that such ill behaviour would not go unpunished in the Liberal
Democrats, once substantiated. This compares favourably to the way in
which the Tories covered up for their "Cash for Questions" ministers,
and indeed, compares favourably to Labour behaviour in Exeter, which
has been described in subsequent posts.

No political party is without fault: as it is a human insititution,
based on imperfect human beings, this a logical outcome. But how we
deal with the faults is another matter. I do think that overall, the
Liberal Democrat record is a sound one. If the people who are
responsible for maligning your father are still active, I think it
would be prudent for you to forward the details to the party, so
something could be done about it.

Yours etc., Ivan Ivanovich


David Boothroyd

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May 12, 1997, 3:00:00 AM5/12/97
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In article <5l7ep2$9...@news.ox.ac.uk>, Gordon Woods writes:
> In article <33764012...@news.virgin.net>,
> Laura <laura...@virgin.net> wrote:
> >This is a genuine (not petty party point-scoring) query to all
> >Lib-Dems.
> >
> >I am a strong Labour supporter and activist, but sympathise with a lot
> >of what the Liberal Democrats say nationally. However, there seems to
> >me to be a disturbing trend amongst local Lib Dem constituency parties
> >to be opportunist in the most low-down, dirty and predjudiced ways.
>

> 3. Southwark/Bermondsey byelection 1983
>
> This gets thrashed out time after time. Liberals say it was Tory students
> wearing the offending badges. It is now 14 years ago anyway, so it is

> unlikely that Labourites will ever be convinced that they're wrong.

Your memory is getting a bit like Tom Forrest, Gordon. The badges that
were worn by male Liberals said "I've been kissed by Peter Tatchell".
I have the word of a senior Liberal canvasser that they were worn. The
only person who seems to have been in Bermondsey and missed them is Matthew
Huntbach.

"Which Queen Do You Support?" was a leaflet distributed anonymously
throughout the constituency over the weekend of 19th/20th February 1983,
though it is well known that the people responsible for this leaflet were
associates of Harry Phibbs (then of the FCS).

The Liberal campaign in Bermondsey didn't just attempt to profit from
homophobia. They also attacked Peter Tatchell for being (oh crime) an
Australian and produced a scare story about council house rents that
proved completely inaccurate - but only after polling day.

As Simon Hughes' majority tumbles the people of Bermondsey could have
been forgiven for watching ITN and assuming that he was out.

--
\/ David Boothroyd, psephologist, Libertarian socialist.De minimis non curat DB
British Elections and Politics at http://www.qmw.ac.uk/~laws/election/home.html
The House of Commons now: Lab 418, C 164, L Dem 46, UU 10, SNP 6, PC 4, SDLP 3,
SF 2, UDUP 2, Ind 1, Ind UU 1, Spkr 1 (3 more to come), Vac 1. Lab majority 179

Henry Potts

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May 12, 1997, 3:00:00 AM5/12/97
to

In article <5l7mip$a...@percy.cs.bham.ac.uk>, James A Hammerton
<J.A.Ha...@cs.bham.ac.uk> writes [...]

>Just as a matter of interest, how many Lib-Dem candidates were from
>ethnic minorities and/or openly gay? How many Lib-Dem MPs are gay or
>from ethnic minorities?

No LibDem MPs are openly gay, although there were some out candidates.
1997 saw the first ever MPs elected who were openly gay before being
elected, both for the Labour party; one other Labour MP is out. One Tory
in the last Parliament was also out, but I don't know whether he was re-
elected. However, I've never heard of an out lesbian candidate for any
of the main parties. Anyone?
--
Henry

Roger

unread,
May 12, 1997, 3:00:00 AM5/12/97
to

In article <97051323...@election.demon.co.uk>
da...@election.demon.co.uk "David Boothroyd" writes:

>
> In article <863517...@ducks.demon.co.uk>, Roger writes:
> > In article <97051223...@election.demon.co.uk>


> > da...@election.demon.co.uk "David Boothroyd" writes:
> >
> > > The Liberal campaign in Bermondsey didn't just attempt to profit from
> > > homophobia. They also attacked Peter Tatchell for being (oh crime) an
> > > Australian and produced a scare story about council house rents that
> > > proved completely inaccurate - but only after polling day.
> >

> > The Liberals simply echoed the media. I worked for that campaign
> > and really was not very impressed with Tatchell who couldn't handle
> > the flak. He seemed totally humourless.
>
> I can tell you this is not true. Even though what happened to him would
> be enough to drive anyone humourless, he isn't. (Infuriating, sometimes)

I'm reflecting on the campaign and meeting him once. He was lost.
Seeing him on the box these days does nothing to change my view, but
you know him and I don't.

--
"Damned creatures you are thoroughly evil despite my daily teaching and advice."
| Only the saintly can become good without instruction;
Roger | Only the worthy can become good after instruction;
| Only idiots will not become good even with instruction.


Graham Ansboro

unread,
May 13, 1997, 3:00:00 AM5/13/97
to

Laura (Laura Shepherd-Robinson) wrote:
>
> On Mon, 12 May 1997 00:44:51 +0100, Cenydd Blackwell
> <ceb...@York.ac.uk> wrote:
>
snip..

> >
> I only said I sympathised with some of the policies of the Lib Dems,
> not believed in them. I also sympathise with some policies of the
> greens, Socialist Labour - for all I know there may even be a couple
> of Tory policies buried deep somewhere that I sympathise with.... er,
> perhaps not!

snip..

You can find those couple of Tory policies, buried in Ten Downing
street. Tony Blair has already resurrected some of them. Looks like your
in the wrong party!

> Cheers Laura

Phil Hunt

unread,
May 13, 1997, 3:00:00 AM5/13/97
to

In article <33774f33...@news.virgin.net>

laura...@virgin.net "Laura Shepherd-Robinson" writes:
> On 12 May 1997 15:59:30 GMT, sjoh...@sable.ox.ac.uk (Gordon Woods)
> wrote:
> >I doubt that loyal Labourites like you will ever be convinced that
> >the Labour party ever does anything wrong.
>
> Did you actually read any of the first or last parts of my posting?
> For the umpteenth time -
> I concede absolutely that the Labour Party does many things wrong. It
> was absolutely NOT my intention to enter into a kind of 'Yah Boo, my
> party's cleaner than your party kind of debate'

The impression that I got from your original post was that you were
trying to do exactly that.

> However, I seem to be
> getting that kind of response. I thought I had framed a genuine query
> in reasonable terms, but seem to be a getting a very defensive
> reaction. The only reason I felt the need to point these things out
> was because of the fact thatsome (I repeat some) Lib Dems seem to have
> a kind of holier-than thou attitude to members of other parties. All
> Iwas trying to point out is that no party's perfect.

This is true. Members of all parties do iffy things from time to time.
However, I do think that the Lib Dems' record in the HoC on issues to
do with racism or rights for minority groups (including gays) is a good
one, and it is better than Labour's or the Tories'.


--
Phil Hunt


Phil Hunt

unread,
May 13, 1997, 3:00:00 AM5/13/97
to

In article <97051223...@election.demon.co.uk>
da...@election.demon.co.uk "David Boothroyd" writes:
> As Simon Hughes' majority tumbles the people of Bermondsey could have
> been forgiven for watching ITN and assuming that he was out.

The people of Bermondsey have had several opportunities to unseat
Hughes if they wanted to, but every time they have re-elected them.
If Labour can't unseat him in this, their best *ever* result in what
was a safe Labour seat before Hughes won it, I don't think they ever
will, do you?

--
Phil Hunt


Paul Martin

unread,
May 13, 1997, 3:00:00 AM5/13/97
to

In article <Po8tQjA0...@bondegezou.demon.co.uk>, Henry Potts <he...@bondegezou.demon.co.uk.REMOVE-TO-EMAIL> wrote:
>No LibDem MPs are openly gay, although there were some out candidates.

AIUI there were more openly gay LD candidates than women Tory candidates.

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------
"There lives the dearest freshness deep down things"
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Paul Martin, Nuffield College, Oxford, OX1 1NF Telephone: [01865] (2)78965
Email: paul....@nuffield.ox.ac.uk http://users.ox.ac.uk/~jo95017
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Matthew Huntbach

unread,
May 13, 1997, 3:00:00 AM5/13/97
to

Laura (laura...@virgin.net) wrote:
> This is a genuine (not petty party point-scoring) query to all
> Lib-Dems.

> I am a strong Labour supporter and activist, but sympathise with a lot
> of what the Liberal Democrats say nationally. However, there seems to
> me to be a disturbing trend amongst local Lib Dem constituency parties
> to be opportunist in the most low-down, dirty and predjudiced ways.

> My reasons for claiming this are many, and I will cite a few.

> A friend of mine is a left-leaning Tory in Cheltenham. In the 1992
> election she was instrumental in selecting a black candidate. She was
> dismayed to find not only a racist attitude from the majority of
> Tories ("central office have foisted a nigger on us") but also from
> the Liberal Democrats who exploited the predjudices of the community
> on the doorstep apparently claiming "this is the only way you'll get a
> white MP". They won that seat.

When you say "the Liberal Democrats" you are suggesting that this was an
authorised part of the Liberal Democrat campaign in that constituency. Do
you have any evidence for that? If not, could you kindly withdraw that
accusation? Any election campaign attracts a variety of volunteers to help
out, and there is not the time to vet every one of them, so I wouldn't say that
no volunteer canvassing for the Liberal Democrats at that election ever said
that (though I'd support the expulsion from the party of any who did). However,
I very much doubt that racism played any part in the official LibDem campaign
in Cheltenham in 1992. Cheltenham was one of the Liberal Democrats' best hopes
for a win way before John Taylor was selected as Tory candidate. It was always
going to be fought hard by them, and an element of that campaign was always
going to be the strong local roots the Liberal Democrats had established (they
already controlled the local council at the time). The Tory Party did not help
themselves by bringing in a candidate who did not have local knowledge of the
constituency. The colour of his skin was irrelevant.

> In a similar situation, Liberal Democrat HQ condemned activists in a
> Tower Hamlets / Isle of Dogs local council election for distributing
> racist, anti-Bangladeshi literature which, some say, contributed to a
> BNP councillor being elected.

The Liberal Democrats did not distribute racist literature in Tower Hamlets.
They suffered from a Labour Party which was intent on playing the race card
never mind the destructive effect it might have on local race relations,
throughout the eight years the Liberals and Liberal Democrats controlled the
council. Thus for almost any spending decision the Borough had to make, the
Labour Party would look for non-white people who were disadvantaged by that
decision, and claim it was a "racist" decision because of that, similar for
other allocation of resources. As a LibDem councillor in a Labour-run borough,
I could find every week examples of the borough being "racist" in this way
if I were to set my mind to it. Imagine any time a community group got its
funding cut (as plenty have) - out goes a press release stating the cut was
for "racist" reasons, etc etc. Accusations of racism are part and parcel of
inner city politics, the only difference between Tower Hamlets under LibDem
control and any other inner city council, is that Tower Hamlets Labour Party
had good media contacts, acted in a completely ruthless manner, and people
hostile to the Liberal Democrats there (inclduing members of the Liberal
Democrats national hierarchy who didn't like the idea of a local party
taking a robust approach to Labour) wanted to believe them.

> Going further back, even the Liberal Democrats golden boy, Simon
> Hughes, was originally elected on the back of bigotry in Bermondsey.
> Although no great fan of Peter Tatchell myself, after reasoned
> criticism by him of the monarchy, the Lib-Dems distributed badges
> proclaiming "Which Queen do you support?".

This story grows in the telling. It used to be "I've been kissed by Peter
Tatchell" badges Liberal actvists were accused of wearing. The "Which Queen
Would You Vote For" leaflets were a separate issue. See how rumours turn
into facts? I worked many days in that by-election and the only badges
officially distributed read "Simon Hughes Best for Bermondsey" and
"Simon Hughes Sound Sense for Southwark". I never in that time saw an "I've
been kissed by Peter Tatchell" badge. Someone else involved in the Liberal
campaign has suggested that one or two badges with that slogan were put
together as a joke by individuals, but no-one has suggested they were ever
even worn while canvassing let alone formed an official part of the campaign.
I happened to be the election worker who first came across a "Which Queen ..."
leaflet hanging from a letterbox and returned it to the Liberal HQ - I assure
you it was not distributed by the Liberal casmpaign.

> My earliest memory of this type of opportunism was at the age of seven
> when my Dad was standing for council. He took time out one afternoon
> to play football with myself and my brother during which we were
> passed by Lib-Dem canvassers. Despite this being a totally unwinnable
> Labour Seat, in the next Lib-Dem leaflet it was claimed that my father
> "Spent his time playing with his children rather than working for the
> community". A rather bizarre claim if ever I heard one.

I take it this means you are no older than 16? (The Liberal Democrats were
formed in 1989). In which case, I suggest you take tall stories of the past
told to you by Labour activists with a pinch of salt.

Matthew Huntbach

Mark Y-M

unread,
May 13, 1997, 3:00:00 AM5/13/97
to

On Mon, 12 May 1997 18:31:40 GMT, Laura <laura...@virgin.net>
(Laura Shepherd-Robinson) wrote thus:

>I try to keep an open mind and not condemn ALL a party's policies just
>because I disagree with some of the other views they hold.
>However, at the end of the day I am a Labour supporter, not a Lib-Dem

good for you - you are therefore, i presume, a PR supporter...

Mark Y-M

unread,
May 13, 1997, 3:00:00 AM5/13/97
to

On Mon, 12 May 1997 23:07:48 +0100, Henry Potts
<he...@bondegezou.demon.co.uk> wrote thus:

>In article <5l7mip$a...@percy.cs.bham.ac.uk>, James A Hammerton
><J.A.Ha...@cs.bham.ac.uk> writes [...]
>>Just as a matter of interest, how many Lib-Dem candidates were from
>>ethnic minorities and/or openly gay? How many Lib-Dem MPs are gay or
>>from ethnic minorities?
>

>No LibDem MPs are openly gay, although there were some out candidates.

Over 30 of them I believe

>1997 saw the first ever MPs elected who were openly gay before being
>elected, both for the Labour party; one other Labour MP is out. One Tory
>in the last Parliament was also out, but I don't know whether he was re-
>elected.

No - he (Michael Brown, who was my MP for 8 years) was trounced in
Cleethorpes.

> However, I've never heard of an out lesbian candidate for any
>of the main parties. Anyone?

Several - the labour candidate in woking for example (Katie
something?)

Mark Y-M

unread,
May 13, 1997, 3:00:00 AM5/13/97
to

On Tue, 13 May 97 09:55:45 GMT, Ro...@ducks.demon.co.uk (Roger) wrote
thus:

>On the doorstep Liberals would play the gay angle to the limit. I
>remember canvassing a block of flats and a Liberal canvasser
>knocking another flat shouted, "Backs to the wall, here comes the
>Labour Party."

Disgusting - i believe it is nowhere near as bad nowadays, having
provisions in the constitution to get rid of such people helps, and I
am firmly of the belief that we are the "gayest" of the main parties.

The main thing I take from this is that such people are found in every
party and need to be fought in every party - that's why I (as
vice-chair of DELGA) approached our Labour and Tory sister
organisations, well before the election, to suggest we keep each other
informed of what our respective black sheep were up to. Labour
responded (a little half-heartedly), the tories didn't reply.

Paul Martin

unread,
May 13, 1997, 3:00:00 AM5/13/97
to

In article <33806f7a...@news.demon.co.uk>, mark@@archdruid.demon..co..uk wrote:
>>> For what its worth, according to the New Statesman list of new
>>>MPPs, Evan Harris (LD for Oxford W & Abingdon) is a member of Stonewall.
>>> Doesn't mean he's gay of course.
>>
>>Divorced and engaged, in fact.
>
>which (to be pedantic) doesn't mean he's *not* gay of course.

which (to be even more pedantic) didn't *say* he wasn't gay.

Gordon Woods

unread,
May 13, 1997, 3:00:00 AM5/13/97
to

In article <33806f7a...@news.demon.co.uk>,
Mark Y-M <mark@@archdruid.demon..co..uk> wrote:
>On Tue, 13 May 97 08:46:39 GMT, address.i...@aol.com (Paul
>Martin) wrote thus:
>
>>In article <5l99rr$6...@news.ox.ac.uk>, univ...@sable.ox.ac.uk (Paul

Maynard) wrote:
>>> For what its worth, according to the New Statesman list of new
>>>MPPs, Evan Harris (LD for Oxford W & Abingdon) is a member of Stonewall.
>>> Doesn't mean he's gay of course.
>>
>>Divorced and engaged, in fact.
>
>which (to be pedantic) doesn't mean he's *not* gay of course.

But would rather imply that he was straight or bisexual rather than gay.

Ivor Peksa

unread,
May 13, 1997, 3:00:00 AM5/13/97
to

Michael Hopkins <Michael...@durham.ac.uk> wrote:

>Laura (laura...@virgin.net) wrote:
>: This is a genuine (not petty party point-scoring) query to all
>: Lib-Dems.
>
>: I am a strong Labour supporter and activist, but sympathise with a lot
>: of what the Liberal Democrats say nationally. However, there seems to
>: me to be a disturbing trend amongst local Lib Dem constituency parties
>: to be opportunist in the most low-down, dirty and predjudiced ways.
>
>: My reasons for claiming this are many, and I will cite a few.
>

><Examples snipped>
>
>I am a LIb Dem and I never been involved in anything of this nature and wI
>resign from the LibDems if anything like thise were to take place in my
>constituency.

How would you respond to the leaflets that the LibDems in Warwick and
Leamington distributed in 1995 saying that the election was all about
eductaion even though a) it was the county rather than district that
decided the education spending and b) the county was controlled by a
Lib-Lab pact?

I think that this kind of manipulation of the feeble-minded electorate
is dispicable, however is sadly often a feature of LibDem campaigns I
have seen at local level many times before.

Ivor Peksa

unread,
May 13, 1997, 3:00:00 AM5/13/97
to

sjoh...@sable.ox.ac.uk (Gordon Woods) wrote:

>In article <33764012...@news.virgin.net>,


>Laura <laura...@virgin.net> wrote:
>>This is a genuine (not petty party point-scoring) query to all
>>Lib-Dems.
>>
>>I am a strong Labour supporter and activist, but sympathise with a lot
>>of what the Liberal Democrats say nationally. However, there seems to
>>me to be a disturbing trend amongst local Lib Dem constituency parties
>>to be opportunist in the most low-down, dirty and predjudiced ways.
>

><Snip: three examples>
>
>1. Cheltenham
>

>If Nigel Jones had been elected on a racist vote then his majority would
>have decreased in 1997 when the Tory candidate was white. It went up.

The non-Conservative vote going down in 1997? Is that the only
evidence you can use to support your assertion. The swing was a
pitiful 4.88% - compared with other Lib-Dem held seats, this is very
small. Furthermore, at the last election, the Conservative vote may
have been reduced due to an incumbant MP not restanding, and
conversely, Jones had the bonus of incumbancy this time.

Laura

unread,
May 13, 1997, 3:00:00 AM5/13/97
to

On 13 May 1997 09:52:37 GMT, m...@dcs.qmw.ac.uk (Matthew Huntbach)
wrote:

>Laura (laura...@virgin.net) wrote:
>> This is a genuine (not petty party point-scoring) query to all
>> Lib-Dems.
>

>>. However, there seems to
>> me to be a disturbing trend amongst local Lib Dem constituency parties
>> to be opportunist in the most low-down, dirty and predjudiced ways.
>
>> My reasons for claiming this are many, and I will cite a few.
>> A friend of mine is a left-leaning Tory in Cheltenham. In the 1992
>> election she was instrumental in selecting a black candidate. She was
>> dismayed to find not only a racist attitude from the majority of
>> Tories ("central office have foisted a nigger on us") but also from
>> the Liberal Democrats who exploited the predjudices of the community
>> on the doorstep apparently claiming "this is the only way you'll get a
>> white MP". They won that seat.
>
>When you say "the Liberal Democrats" you are suggesting that this was an
>authorised part of the Liberal Democrat campaign in that constituency. Do
>you have any evidence for that? If not, could you kindly withdraw that
>accusation?
>

Please see my reply to MJ Drew.

>> My earliest memory of this type of opportunism was at the age of seven
>> when my Dad was standing for council. He took time out one afternoon
>> to play football with myself and my brother during which we were
>> passed by Lib-Dem canvassers. Despite this being a totally unwinnable
>> Labour Seat, in the next Lib-Dem leaflet it was claimed that my father
>> "Spent his time playing with his children rather than working for the
>> community". A rather bizarre claim if ever I heard one.
>
>I take it this means you are no older than 16? (The Liberal Democrats were
>formed in 1989). In which case, I suggest you take tall stories of the past
>told to you by Labour activists with a pinch of salt.
>

If you had bothered to read my second posting on this topic, written
immediately after my first, then you would know that I am not 16, I am
22 (although still younger than the majority of people on this
newsgroup I would imagine). However, even if I had been 16 I should
still have been able to pass comment on your party without being
patronised by you.
These are not "tall stories of the past" told to me by Labour
activists. Two of them I have had personal experience of (I was in
Cheltenham for much of the '92 election, and although only 17, a
fully-functioning human being capable of forming her own opinions).
The other two incidents were reported widely by both the left and
right wing press. With regard to Bermondsey, some of the other
responders to this newsgroup, (some of whom might even be older than
you!) were there, and some recall the incident. See, for example,
'Roger's' response.
With regard to Tower Hamlets, if no racist incident took place, then
why did your party HQ heavily criticise the local party members
involved.
While my 'Labour Activist' parents were busy telling me 'tall tales'
they also brought me up with certain beliefs. One of these is that if
you are challenging another person's opinion, no matter how much you
disagree with it, then you do so with the utmost respect and courtesy.
In particular, there is never any call for aggression. What are you
going to do if I don't "kindly withdraw that accusation"? Beat me up?
Have you noticed the lack of women on this newsgroup? Ever wondered
why?

Laura


Laura

unread,
May 13, 1997, 3:00:00 AM5/13/97
to

On Tue, 13 May 1997 13:28:34 GMT, archdruid@here (Mark Y-M) wrote:

>On Mon, 12 May 1997 18:31:40 GMT, Laura <laura...@virgin.net>
>(Laura Shepherd-Robinson) wrote thus:
>
>>I try to keep an open mind and not condemn ALL a party's policies just
>>because I disagree with some of the other views they hold.
>>However, at the end of the day I am a Labour supporter, not a Lib-Dem
>
>good for you - you are therefore, i presume, a PR supporter...
>

Yes

Laura

Laura

unread,
May 13, 1997, 3:00:00 AM5/13/97
to

On 13 May 1997 12:35:12 GMT, m...@dcs.qmw.ac.uk (Matthew Huntbach)
wrote:


>
>I recall that during my time as an undergraduate at Imperial College
>(1978-81), when I was a member of the student Liberal club, "Backs against,
>the walls, it's the Liberals" was the regular way in which Labour club
>members would greet Liberals, and the Labour club also produced a spoof version
>of the leaflet the Liberals used to circulate full of homophobic jokes.
>
>
>So if you got any of that, it was only a return of what Labour had been
>regularly dishing up to Liberals in the years leading up to the by-election.

Not really a very good defense for unacceptable behaviour. Would you
think it acceptable if Lib-Dem MPs started taking cash-for-questions,
because the Tories did it first?

Cheers,

Laura

Roger

unread,
May 13, 1997, 3:00:00 AM5/13/97
to

In article <5l9n60$l...@epsilon.qmw.ac.uk>
m...@dcs.qmw.ac.uk "Matthew Huntbach" writes:

> > Meeting Liberals on the street got abusive exchanges going, with the
> > Liberals mincing down the street giving limp wristed waves and Larry
> > Grayson impressions.

>
> > On the doorstep Liberals would play the gay angle to the limit. I
> > remember canvassing a block of flats and a Liberal canvasser
> > knocking another flat shouted, "Backs to the wall, here comes the
> > Labour Party."
>

> I recall that during my time as an undergraduate at Imperial College
> (1978-81), when I was a member of the student Liberal club, "Backs against,
> the walls, it's the Liberals" was the regular way in which Labour club
> members would greet Liberals, and the Labour club also produced a spoof version
> of the leaflet the Liberals used to circulate full of homophobic jokes.

> Remember this was the time of the Jeremy Thorpe trial - Liberal speakers at
> NUS conference were shouted down by the Labour mob with dog-barking noises
> every time they started to speak.

I'm not doubting what you say here for a moment, but the behaviour of
students is not the best measure of a party's attitudes. Some of the
most liberal attitudes to come out during the Thorpe trial were among
Labour supporters and MPs.



> So if you got any of that, it was only a return of what Labour had been
> regularly dishing up to Liberals in the years leading up to the by-election.

Two wrongs and all that.

> I have to say that your claim this was played up to on the doorstep in
> canvassing doesn't fit in with my experience of the by-election. Again, I
> wouldn't say it never happened, but are you claiming it was a regular and
> organised part of Liberal canvassing?

I cannot know if it was a regular part. I was a bussed in helper. I do
know that it happened when groups of canvassers met and I know how people
on the doorstep responded, but that was mostly down to the media. I
just feel that no party came out of the campaign with much credit.

> My recollection was that the main line
> that it was stressed we should push was that Labour had run Southwark council
> for years and what a mess it was in? "Would you vote for your landlord?" was
> the point to be made.

You know as well as I do that a good 'angle' is worth a sack of policies.

> As you yourself state, Tatchell came across as a rather
> ineffectual and humourless man, who had managed to get himself in by
> manipulating a moribund organisation, but wasn't prepared for the fact
> that he might be forced to justify it on the doorsteps.

I think that Tatchell deserves some credit for surviving the campaign,
although I think the experience has left him permanently embittered.
I didn't like him much as a candidate, but if you're a party member
you support your party's candidate with enthusiasm. It's the party
and the policies that matter and that was lost in that campaign which
was largely about Tatchell's media image.

Roger

unread,
May 13, 1997, 3:00:00 AM5/13/97
to

In article <3381760a...@news.demon.co.uk>

mark@@archdruid.demon..co..uk "Mark Y-M" writes:

> Disgusting - i believe it is nowhere near as bad nowadays, having
> provisions in the constitution to get rid of such people helps, and I
> am firmly of the belief that we are the "gayest" of the main parties.

It was a very specific time with a media driven set of slogans.
It wouldn't surprise me if some gay Liberals joined in the fun,
because it was just that, a massive piss take at Tatchell's
expense.

Henry Potts

unread,
May 13, 1997, 3:00:00 AM5/13/97
to

In article <337786da...@news.demon.co.uk>, Ivor Peksa
<iv...@club.demon.co.uk> writes [...]

>The non-Conservative vote going down in 1997? Is that the only
>evidence you can use to support your assertion. The swing was a
>pitiful 4.88% - compared with other Lib-Dem held seats, this is very
>small. [...]

Quite the contrary: 4.88% is *very* typical of the Con->LibDem swing.
--
Henry

Henry Potts

unread,
May 13, 1997, 3:00:00 AM5/13/97
to

In article <337841b...@news.virgin.net>, Laura
<laura...@virgin.net> writes

>On Mon, 12 May 1997 19:45:03 +0100, Henry Potts
><he...@bondegezou.demon.co.uk> wrote:
>>It is a rather strange way of pointing out no party is perfect to attack
>>one specific party. What did you expect?
>
>My reasons for highlighting the Lib-Dems were simple.
>Reading the messages left by Lib-Dems on this newsgroup, it would seem
>blindly obvious to me that you know perfectly well that neither Labour
>nor the Tories are perfect! Surely you wouldn't want me to cover old
>ground.? I was simply trying to redress the balance.
>Despite their attempts to appear as though they are somehow "above
>politics", the Lib-Dems have amongst their ranks nasty, predjudiced
>local party workers - just like the rest of us! [...]

If you post attacking the LibDems only, you will appear partisan,
whatever your assurances to the contrary. To imagine otherwise is naive.

I do believe you, but think how you came across. One sentence saying
that you're not picking on the LibDems doesn't carry much weight in a
lengthy post attacking them. Imagine the following: "Men and women are
just the same. Women are stupid, irrational, untrustworthy and
unreliable." Does that not seem misogynistic? You came along saying "All
parties have unsavoury elements. Oi, LibDems, how do you feel about your
party being full of rascists and homophobes?" *Not* tactful.

If you want a general discussion of unsavoury elements in all political
parties, then start with an overview of all the parties. Jumping on the
LibDems to "redress the balance" is only going to stir up a hornet's
nest. If you want to bring the thread back to your original point, then
why not talk about some of the prejudice you've encountered in the
Labour party?
--
Henry

David Boothroyd

unread,
May 13, 1997, 3:00:00 AM5/13/97
to

In article <5l9n60$l...@epsilon.qmw.ac.uk>, Matthew Huntbach writes:


> Roger (Ro...@ducks.demon.co.uk) wrote:
>
> > Meeting Liberals on the street got abusive exchanges going, with the
> > Liberals mincing down the street giving limp wristed waves and Larry
> > Grayson impressions.
>
> > On the doorstep Liberals would play the gay angle to the limit. I
> > remember canvassing a block of flats and a Liberal canvasser
> > knocking another flat shouted, "Backs to the wall, here comes the
> > Labour Party."
>
> I recall that during my time as an undergraduate at Imperial College
> (1978-81), when I was a member of the student Liberal club, "Backs against,
> the walls, it's the Liberals" was the regular way in which Labour club
> members would greet Liberals, and the Labour club also produced a spoof
> version of the leaflet the Liberals used to circulate full of homophobic
> jokes.

Who was it who said that the SDP was "the heterosexual wing of the Liberal
Party"? Was it Shirley Williams?

> Remember this was the time of the Jeremy Thorpe trial - Liberal speakers at
> NUS conference were shouted down by the Labour mob with dog-barking noises
> every time they started to speak.

Remember "Rex Barker and the Ricochets"?

David Boothroyd

unread,
May 13, 1997, 3:00:00 AM5/13/97
to

In article <863517...@ducks.demon.co.uk>, Roger writes:

> In article <97051223...@election.demon.co.uk>
> da...@election.demon.co.uk "David Boothroyd" writes:
>

> > The Liberal campaign in Bermondsey didn't just attempt to profit from
> > homophobia. They also attacked Peter Tatchell for being (oh crime) an
> > Australian and produced a scare story about council house rents that
> > proved completely inaccurate - but only after polling day.
>
> The Liberals simply echoed the media. I worked for that campaign
> and really was not very impressed with Tatchell who couldn't handle
> the flak. He seemed totally humourless.

I can tell you this is not true. Even though what happened to him would
be enough to drive anyone humourless, he isn't. (Infuriating, sometimes)

--

David Boothroyd

unread,
May 13, 1997, 3:00:00 AM5/13/97
to

In article <5l99rr$6...@news.ox.ac.uk>, Paul Maynard writes:
> Henry Potts (he...@bondegezou.demon.co.uk) wrote:
> : No LibDem MPs are openly gay, although there were some out candidates.
> : 1997 saw the first ever MPs elected who were openly gay before being


> : elected, both for the Labour party; one other Labour MP is out. One Tory
> : in the last Parliament was also out, but I don't know whether he was re-

> : elected. However, I've never heard of an out lesbian candidate for any


> : of the main parties. Anyone?
>

> For what its worth, according to the New Statesman list of new
> MPPs, Evan Harris (LD for Oxford W & Abingdon) is a member of Stonewall.
> Doesn't mean he's gay of course.
>

> I believe that a certain Labour MP for one of Northampton seats,
> Maureen McColquhoun (or maybe just Colquhoun) was a notorious lesbian in the
> 1974-9 parliament

Colquhoun. Pronounced "Coll - hoon". She still works at the House of Commons
as a researcher for another MP though I have forgotten who (might be
Brian Sedgemore?).

She was an odd MP not just for her lesbianism. She took a Powellite line
on immigration, dismaying her many left-wing supporters.

Susan Ashton

unread,
May 13, 1997, 3:00:00 AM5/13/97
to

In article <97051223...@election.demon.co.uk>, David Boothroyd
<da...@election.demon.co.uk> writes

>
>In article <5l7ep2$9...@news.ox.ac.uk>, Gordon Woods writes:
>>> 3. Southwark/Bermondsey byelection 1983
>>
>> This gets thrashed out time after time. Liberals say it was Tory students
>> wearing the offending badges. It is now 14 years ago anyway, so it is
>> unlikely that Labourites will ever be convinced that they're wrong.
>
>Your memory is getting a bit like Tom Forrest, Gordon. The badges that
>were worn by male Liberals said "I've been kissed by Peter Tatchell".
>I have the word of a senior Liberal canvasser that they were worn. The
>only person who seems to have been in Bermondsey and missed them is Matthew
>Huntbach.
>
For the record - I was there too and didn't see one.

--
Susan Ashton (su...@ashton.demon.co.uk) "Age is something that doesn't
Southport, Lancs, UK matter unless you are a cheese."
(Billie Burke 1886-1970)

dave...@cix.co.uk

unread,
May 14, 1997, 3:00:00 AM5/14/97
to

In article <97051223...@election.demon.co.uk>,

da...@election.demon.co.uk wrote:
>
>
>As Simon Hughes' majority tumbles the people of Bermondsey could have
>been forgiven for watching ITN and assuming that he was out.

Surely this was due to a boundary change?.

Dave Besag

-------------------==== Posted via Deja News ====-----------------------
http://www.dejanews.com/ Search, Read, Post to Usenet

dave...@cix.co.uk

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May 14, 1997, 3:00:00 AM5/14/97
to

In article <337889f...@news.virgin.net>,
Laura <laura...@virgin.net> wrote:

>>When you say "the Liberal Democrats" you are suggesting that this was an
>>authorised part of the Liberal Democrat campaign in that constituency. Do
>>you have any evidence for that? If not, could you kindly withdraw that
>>accusation?

>While my 'Labour Activist' parents were busy telling me 'tall tales'


>they also brought me up with certain beliefs. One of these is that if
>you are challenging another person's opinion, no matter how much you
>disagree with it, then you do so with the utmost respect and courtesy.
>In particular, there is never any call for aggression. What are you
>going to do if I don't "kindly withdraw that accusation"? Beat me up?

What aggression?? I'm afraid that it is your reply that is lacking
respect and courtesy. Matthew has made a perfectly civil comment.
Whether you agree with it or not there is absolutely no need for the
statements that you have made. I feel that you owe Matthew an apology.

>Have you noticed the lack of women on this newsgroup? Ever wondered
>why?

I assume that this is due to them lacking access to the facilities rather
more than because they can't read a perfectly civil statement.

dave...@cix.co.uk

unread,
May 14, 1997, 3:00:00 AM5/14/97
to

In article <97051323...@election.demon.co.uk>,
da...@election.demon.co.uk wrote:

>Who was it who said that the SDP was "the heterosexual wing of the Liberal
>Party"? Was it Shirley Williams?

I thought it was William Hague.

Laura

unread,
May 14, 1997, 3:00:00 AM5/14/97
to

On Wed, 14 May 1997 01:01:23 -0600, dave...@cix.co.uk wrote:

>In article <337889f...@news.virgin.net>,
> Laura <laura...@virgin.net> wrote:
>

>>>When you say "the Liberal Democrats" you are suggesting that this was an
>>>authorised part of the Liberal Democrat campaign in that constituency. Do
>>>you have any evidence for that? If not, could you kindly withdraw that
>>>accusation?
>

>>While my 'Labour Activist' parents were busy telling me 'tall tales'
>>they also brought me up with certain beliefs. One of these is that if
>>you are challenging another person's opinion, no matter how much you
>>disagree with it, then you do so with the utmost respect and courtesy.
>>In particular, there is never any call for aggression. What are you
>>going to do if I don't "kindly withdraw that accusation"? Beat me up?
>
>What aggression?? I'm afraid that it is your reply that is lacking
>respect and courtesy. Matthew has made a perfectly civil comment.
>Whether you agree with it or not there is absolutely no need for the
>statements that you have made. I feel that you owe Matthew an apology.
>
>>Have you noticed the lack of women on this newsgroup? Ever wondered
>>why?
>
>I assume that this is due to them lacking access to the facilities rather
>more than because they can't read a perfectly civil statement.
>

Yeah, okay, - probably overreacted, but Ido think he was being
patronising on the age issue.
Sorry!
I love you all (especially Lib-Dems).
Laura

Matthew Huntbach

unread,
May 14, 1997, 3:00:00 AM5/14/97
to

Laura (laura...@virgin.net) wrote:
> On 13 May 1997 09:52:37 GMT, m...@dcs.qmw.ac.uk (Matthew Huntbach)

> wrote:
> >Laura (laura...@virgin.net) wrote:
> >> This is a genuine (not petty party point-scoring) query to all
> >> Lib-Dems.
> >
> >>. However, there seems to
> >> me to be a disturbing trend amongst local Lib Dem constituency parties
> >> to be opportunist in the most low-down, dirty and predjudiced ways.
> >
> >> My reasons for claiming this are many, and I will cite a few.
> >> A friend of mine is a left-leaning Tory in Cheltenham. In the 1992
> >> election she was instrumental in selecting a black candidate. She was
> >> dismayed to find not only a racist attitude from the majority of
> >> Tories ("central office have foisted a nigger on us") but also from
> >> the Liberal Democrats who exploited the predjudices of the community
> >> on the doorstep apparently claiming "this is the only way you'll get a
> >> white MP". They won that seat.
> >
> >When you say "the Liberal Democrats" you are suggesting that this was an
> >authorised part of the Liberal Democrat campaign in that constituency. Do
> >you have any evidence for that? If not, could you kindly withdraw that
> >accusation?
> >
> Please see my reply to MJ Drew.

> >> My earliest memory of this type of opportunism was at the age of seven


> >> when my Dad was standing for council. He took time out one afternoon
> >> to play football with myself and my brother during which we were
> >> passed by Lib-Dem canvassers. Despite this being a totally unwinnable
> >> Labour Seat, in the next Lib-Dem leaflet it was claimed that my father
> >> "Spent his time playing with his children rather than working for the
> >> community". A rather bizarre claim if ever I heard one.
> >
> >I take it this means you are no older than 16? (The Liberal Democrats were
> >formed in 1989). In which case, I suggest you take tall stories of the past
> >told to you by Labour activists with a pinch of salt.
> >

> If you had bothered to read my second posting on this topic, written
> immediately after my first, then you would know that I am not 16, I am
> 22 (although still younger than the majority of people on this
> newsgroup I would imagine). However, even if I had been 16 I should
> still have been able to pass comment on your party without being
> patronised by you.

I simply noted that you said "Lib-Dem" and not "Liberal". If your earliest
memory truly was of the Lib-Dems then you would have to be very young. I take
it you simply write "Lib-Dem" by mistake, meaning "Liberal" but the
fact that you make this mistake here could suggest that elsewhere too you are
not being as accurate as you might. When making very serious allegations, as
you did in your original article, it's important that you make every effort to
be as accurate as possible.

> These are not "tall stories of the past" told to me by Labour
> activists. Two of them I have had personal experience of (I was in
> Cheltenham for much of the '92 election, and although only 17, a
> fully-functioning human being capable of forming her own opinions).
> The other two incidents were reported widely by both the left and
> right wing press. With regard to Bermondsey, some of the other
> responders to this newsgroup, (some of whom might even be older than
> you!) were there, and some recall the incident. See, for example,
> 'Roger's' response.

I spent many days working in the Liberal campaign in the Bermondsey
by-election, and I assure you that at no time did I see "Which Queen would
you vote for?" badges issued by the Liberal Party. Indeed, this illustrates
more of your innaccuracy, since the claims made by Labour people in earlier
years was that "I've been kissed by Peter Tatchell" badges were a regular part
of that campaign (which is also, I know from first hand experience, untrue).
The "Which Queen would you vote for?" slogan came on a leaflet which was
distributed anonymously - the first time I have ever seen the mistaken claim
that it was a badge slogan was in Jeremy Hardy's article in last Saturday's
"Guardian". I do not think anyone actually involved in the Bermondsey
by-election from any party seriously claims it was the Liberals who distributed
that leaflet (again, I know from personal experience that it was not). So you
have got your facts badly wrong, and made very serious and untrue allegations
which directly accuse me, as a Liberal Party worker in the Bermondsey
by-election, of things I certainly did not do. You are offended at the way I
addressed you? Well, how do you think I feel about the lies you are spreading
about me and my party?

> With regard to Tower Hamlets, if no racist incident took place, then
> why did your party HQ heavily criticise the local party members
> involved.

Again, I have direct experience of the issues you are talking about, as I
have worked and lived in the East End of London for many years, and was for a
while a member (though not an active one) of Tower Hamlets Liberal Democrats.
Your claims in this thread grossly over-estimated what the Lester report into
Tower Hamlets Liberal Democrats said, and I myself believe this report was
seriously flawed. I believe the party HQ was rather too anxious to be seen to
be anti-racist at the expense of being fair to their own colleagues, and thus
too willing to accept accusations of racism made by their political opponents.
I have written an article at greater length discussing this issue which I have
had published in the "Liberator" magazine a few years ago - I will post it to
this newsgroup if people would like to see it.

> While my 'Labour Activist' parents were busy telling me 'tall tales'
> they also brought me up with certain beliefs. One of these is that if
> you are challenging another person's opinion, no matter how much you
> disagree with it, then you do so with the utmost respect and courtesy.
> In particular, there is never any call for aggression. What are you
> going to do if I don't "kindly withdraw that accusation"? Beat me up?

> Have you noticed the lack of women on this newsgroup? Ever wondered
> why?

Your accusation is of the utmost seriousness. While the wording is ambiguous,
it can be interpreted as suggesting that an official and authorised part of
the Liberal Democrat campaign in Cheltenham was the suggestion that people
should vote Liberal Democrat for racist reasons. When I say "kindly withdraw
that" I am suggesting that you rephrase it so that it does not have this
ambiguity. If you do not wish to do that, are you actually stating that, yes,
the Liberal Democrats in Cheltenham directly used racism in their campaign?

I was brought up not to tell lies about people. It seems you were not.

Matthew Huntbach

Matthew Huntbach

unread,
May 14, 1997, 3:00:00 AM5/14/97
to

Laura (laura...@virgin.net) wrote:
> On 13 May 1997 12:35:12 GMT, m...@dcs.qmw.ac.uk (Matthew Huntbach)

> wrote:
>>
>>I recall that during my time as an undergraduate at Imperial College
>>(1978-81), when I was a member of the student Liberal club, "Backs against,
>>the walls, it's the Liberals" was the regular way in which Labour club
>>members would greet Liberals, and the Labour club also produced a spoof
>>version of the leaflet the Liberals used to circulate full of homophobic
>>jokes.
>>
>>So if you got any of that, it was only a return of what Labour had been
>>regularly dishing up to Liberals in the years leading up to the by-election.

> Not really a very good defense for unacceptable behaviour. Would you


> think it acceptable if Lib-Dem MPs started taking cash-for-questions,
> because the Tories did it first?

I am not saying that if this behaviour occurred it was acceptable. I am, first
of all, saying that if it occurred it did not occur to the extent that you are
implying, and it was certainly not an authorised part of Liberal Party
campaigning as you are implying. All I am saying is that people will do
regrettable things when their anger is raised. Many Liberals in 1983 would
have experienced a sustained campaign of hompohobia aimed at them only a few
years earlier. This may make homophobic quips aimed back at Labour aimed back
at Labour then a little more understandable on the personal level, but not
acceptable on any level.

Matthew Huntbach

Matthew Huntbach

unread,
May 14, 1997, 3:00:00 AM5/14/97
to

Roger (Ro...@ducks.demon.co.uk) wrote:
> In article <3381760a...@news.demon.co.uk>
> mark@@archdruid.demon..co..uk "Mark Y-M" writes:
>
> > Disgusting - i believe it is nowhere near as bad nowadays, having
> > provisions in the constitution to get rid of such people helps, and I
> > am firmly of the belief that we are the "gayest" of the main parties.

> It was a very specific time with a media driven set of slogans.
> It wouldn't surprise me if some gay Liberals joined in the fun,
> because it was just that, a massive piss take at Tatchell's
> expense.

I think we have to remember this was at a time just before "political
correctness" set in, and piss-taking on homosexuality was far more socially
acceptable then than it became later. Indeed, I rather think what happened in
the Bermondsey by-election did a lot to force people into accepting that this
sort of piss-taking humour really is not funny.

Matthew Huntbach

Matthew Huntbach

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May 14, 1997, 3:00:00 AM5/14/97
to

David Boothroyd (da...@election.demon.co.uk) wrote:
> In article <863517...@ducks.demon.co.uk>, Roger writes:
> > In article <97051223...@election.demon.co.uk>
> > da...@election.demon.co.uk "David Boothroyd" writes:
> >
> > > The Liberal campaign in Bermondsey didn't just attempt to profit from
> > > homophobia. They also attacked Peter Tatchell for being (oh crime) an
> > > Australian and produced a scare story about council house rents that
> > > proved completely inaccurate - but only after polling day.
> >
> > The Liberals simply echoed the media. I worked for that campaign
> > and really was not very impressed with Tatchell who couldn't handle
> > the flak. He seemed totally humourless.

> I can tell you this is not true. Even though what happened to him would
> be enough to drive anyone humourless, he isn't. (Infuriating, sometimes)

The claim was that he *seemed* humourless during the Bermondsey by-election.
No doubt the way he came across was partly due to the fact that he was
supressing part of his character. In retrospect, he may well have done better
simply to come out about his homosexuality right at the start. Had he just
said "I'm gay, so what, let's talk about housing?" I suspect he would not have
been the target of so much regrettable humour.

Matthew Huntbach

Matthew Huntbach

unread,
May 14, 1997, 3:00:00 AM5/14/97
to

David Boothroyd (da...@election.demon.co.uk) wrote:
> In article <5l9n60$l...@epsilon.qmw.ac.uk>, Matthew Huntbach writes:
> > I recall that during my time as an undergraduate at Imperial College
> > (1978-81), when I was a member of the student Liberal club, "Backs against,
> > the walls, it's the Liberals" was the regular way in which Labour club
> > members would greet Liberals, and the Labour club also produced a spoof
> > version of the leaflet the Liberals used to circulate full of homophobic
> > jokes.

> Who was it who said that the SDP was "the heterosexual wing of the Liberal


> Party"? Was it Shirley Williams?

Doesn't sound like the sort of thing Shirley would say, but, yes, that was
the sort of comment about the Liberal Party that was commonplace at the time.

Matthew Huntbach

Matthew Huntbach

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May 14, 1997, 3:00:00 AM5/14/97
to

dave...@cix.co.uk wrote:
> In article <97051223...@election.demon.co.uk>,
> da...@election.demon.co.uk wrote:
> >
> >As Simon Hughes' majority tumbles the people of Bermondsey could have
> >been forgiven for watching ITN and assuming that he was out.

> Surely this was due to a boundary change?.

Partly, but if you look at the 1997 general election result, LibDem success
came almost entirely in places where we were obviously the main challengers
to the Tories. We performed badly against Labour almost everywhere else -
both in inner city areas where we had established a local government
challenge to Labour and were moving on to a Parliamentary challenge, and in
marginals where Labour was not weak enough to be portrayed as so obviously
third place as to be discounted. Even Simon Hughes was not immune to this,
and in fact he remains the sole Parliamentary survivor of the once strong
inner city initiative in the Liberals. It is for this reason that I myself am
not as optimistic about the general election results as most LibDems seem to
be. We have actually been pushed back to a fairly small range of seats, and
I wonder how easy it will be to come back in all those other areas we once had
high hopes for.

Matthew Huntbach

Paul Martin

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May 14, 1997, 3:00:00 AM5/14/97
to

In article <33797d32...@news.virgin.net>, Laura <laura...@virgin.net> wrote:
> I don't have any major problems with the
>Lib-Dems (apart from David Alton!)

So is your problem with David Alton the fact that he (unlike rather a lot of
Labour MPs) voted for an equal age of consent? Or is it that he wants to raise
taxes to pay for social expenditure?

Laura

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May 14, 1997, 3:00:00 AM5/14/97
to

On Wed, 14 May 97 11:12:37 GMT, address.i...@aol.com (Paul
Martin) wrote:

>In article <33797d32...@news.virgin.net>, Laura <laura...@virgin.net> wrote:
>> I don't have any major problems with the
>>Lib-Dems (apart from David Alton!)
>
>So is your problem with David Alton the fact that he (unlike rather a lot of
>Labour MPs) voted for an equal age of consent? Or is it that he wants to raise
>taxes to pay for social expenditure?
>

No, only that I feel very strongly pro-choice, and am concerned at his
efforts to take away what I regard as a fundamental human right.
Laura


Laura

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May 14, 1997, 3:00:00 AM5/14/97
to

On 14 May 1997 08:19:46 GMT, m...@dcs.qmw.ac.uk (Matthew Huntbach)
wrote:


>


>Your accusation is of the utmost seriousness. While the wording is ambiguous,
>it can be interpreted as suggesting that an official and authorised part of
>the Liberal Democrat campaign in Cheltenham was the suggestion that people
>should vote Liberal Democrat for racist reasons. When I say "kindly withdraw
>that" I am suggesting that you rephrase it so that it does not have this
>ambiguity. If you do not wish to do that, are you actually stating that, yes,
>the Liberal Democrats in Cheltenham directly used racism in their campaign?
>

Please, please, please read some of my postings. I would have thought
my reply to MJ Drew would have cleared this up.

>I was brought up not to tell lies about people. It seems you were not.
>

Come on - be graceful and accept the apology I posted in the spirit
with which it was written. And don't infer I'm lying - it isn't nice.

>Matthew Huntbach

PS. I would certainly be interested in reading your article.

Stephen Goddard

unread,
May 14, 1997, 3:00:00 AM5/14/97
to

'Sright; from memory, in Lib Dem held seats which were gained in 1992, in
all of which, as in Cheltenham, there might be expected to be some
ncumbency effect, the swing was massively higher than Cheltenham in North
Cornwall; slightly higher in Bath; and slightly lower in North Devon.
Cheltenham seems therefore not to have been significantly atypical of
other politically and psephologically similar seats. Obviously in a
number of seats the Lib Dems took for the first time this year, the swing
was somewhat higher, in exactly the same way as the Con-Labour swing was
higher in seats Labour gained than in seats Labour held.

Steve.

*******************************************************************************
Sunt lacrimae rerum et mentem mortalia tangunt (Virgil)
===============================================================================
Roughly translated: life's a bitch
*******************************************************************************

Matthew Huntbach

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May 14, 1997, 3:00:00 AM5/14/97
to

Laura (laura...@virgin.net) wrote:
> On 14 May 1997 08:19:46 GMT, m...@dcs.qmw.ac.uk (Matthew Huntbach)

> wrote:
> >I was brought up not to tell lies about people. It seems you were not.
> >
> Come on - be graceful and accept the apology I posted in the spirit
> with which it was written. And don't infer I'm lying - it isn't nice.

It's not nice to accuse people of using grossly racist and homophobic
insults when the only evidence you have for it is hearsay spread by their
political opponents.

> PS. I would certainly be interested in reading your article.

(one I wrote in reply to the Lester Report, which criticised Tower Hamlets
Liberal Democrats for supposedly "pandering to racism" in their election
campaigning)

I have now sent it to uk.politics.misc.

Matthew Huntbach

Laura

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May 14, 1997, 3:00:00 AM5/14/97
to

On 14 May 1997 13:38:56 +0100, ik...@le.ac.uk (I.K. Ridley) wrote:

>In article <3379a4a...@news.virgin.net>,

>I believe that the Party has no policy on this issue and would probably let
>their MPs and Peers have a free vote on any Bill. However "liberal" to me means
>giving the individual woman the responsibility for the choice involved, and
>that the State should only having the current safeguards in place.
>
>Remember that while David Alton will become a Lib Dem peer so will Sir David
>Steele who brought in the 1967 Abortion Act as a private members Bill.
>
Absolutely, I was not for a moment saying that David Alton's views are
the views of the Liberal Democrats. I do have a lot of friends
(believe it or not!) who are Liberal Democrats and they hold very
similar views to mine on the subject of abortion.
I do not know whether the Lib-Dems have a free vote policy on abortion
legislation but know that the Labour Party do.
Personally, I feel that as both these parties are concerned with
protecting human rights it should not be an issue of conscience. I
guess it might be to do with the fact that both parties have Catholic
MPs?
Laura.

Mark Y-M

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May 14, 1997, 3:00:00 AM5/14/97
to

On Tue, 13 May 97 23:15:59 GMT, ph...@vision25.demon.co.uk (Phil Hunt)
wrote thus:

>In article <338e92ed...@news.demon.co.uk>
> mark@@archdruid.demon..co..uk "Mark Y-M" writes:
>> Mark Ynys-Môn : mark@@archdruid.demon..co..uk
>
>Are you the only person on the ng whose name is the same as a
>parliamentary constituency?

possibly....

David will know if we have a Reginald Enfield-Southgate hereabouts.

Mark Ynys-Môn : mark@@archdruid.demon..co..uk
http://www.libdems.org.uk/people/aos/delga/index.htm
"To strangle the last King with the entrails of the last Priest"
.....allegedly the ambition of Voltaire
Opinions etc are mine and not Demon Internet's

Henry Potts

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May 14, 1997, 3:00:00 AM5/14/97
to

In article <3379f7c9...@news.virgin.net>, Laura
<laura...@virgin.net> writes [...]

>I do not know whether the Lib-Dems have a free vote policy on abortion
>legislation but know that the Labour Party do.
>Personally, I feel that as both these parties are concerned with
>protecting human rights it should not be an issue of conscience. I
>guess it might be to do with the fact that both parties have Catholic
>MPs? [...]

The LibDems do have a free vote policy, although other areas of policy
are very pro-choice, to the extent that Alton has threatened to leave
the party.
--
Henry