Silly Lib Dem Accusation – And The Mystery Solved 80


From a comment on Norfolk Blogger’s blog – he is still outraged about flyposting:

Frank, what of the missing Lib Dem posters. It’s no BS to state that Murray posters appeared everywhere overnight and that Lib Dems leaving the HQ very late on Sunday noticed our signs were still up and no Murray posters had been stuck up but in the morning Murray posters everywhere and Lib Dem posters removed.

If this is the sort of guy you can bring yourself to support then you are no liberal.

http://norfolkblogger.blogspot.com/2009/07/once-can-be-error-but-twice-oh-mr.html

I should say that I was personally with our poster team and we most certainly did not touch any Lib Dem posters, or any other posters for that matter. What kind of liberal accuses somebody on the sole basis that they happened to be in the area at the time?

STOP PRESS

I think we have solved the mystery. I have been contacted by a local fire crew, who sent me this email three days ago:

May I just say I am not a member of your constituency but I thought you should know about this.

Whilst at work today myself and my colleagues were completely disgusted when we saw a vehicle clearly marked with Labour flags and Stickers traveling around the Chartwell road area taking your posters down.

We did have the sense to take down vehicle details should you require them.

They have the vehicle details in their locker room and will phone them through to me tonight. I will repeat for the sake of the particularly obtuse first commenter on this post, that I was with our posting team on the night in question and we did not remove any posters at all, nor do I believe we have removed any poster of anybody at any stage.


80 thoughts on “Silly Lib Dem Accusation – And The Mystery Solved

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  • anticant

    Commiserations, Craig. By-elections are capricious animals, and this one occurred too soon for your forthright message to resonate with the voters. But I’m sure a good many admired you and agreed with you while thinking you would be a ‘wasted vote’.

    If you seriously intend to stand again at the general election you need to build upon the local roots you have laid, and shadow Chloe relentlessly for the next ten months, using the local media for all you’re worth.

    As the song says, “pick yourself up, dust yourself off and start all over again”. But have a well-deserved rest and family holiday first.

  • Tom Kennedy

    Perhaps the Groucho Marx quote about not wishing to belong to a club that would have you as a member applies in this case.

    Commiserations Craig, but you have time to regroup and go for it again, next time with a better idea of who your enemies are and what tricks they will employ. The Establishment has opened its smiling mouth to reveal its hidden fangs.

  • Parasite

    Mary 1.53: One hates to gloat, or to say “I told you so”. But…..

    I am instinctively sympathetic to independents with genuine ideas of reforming politics, but this always looked like a big ego-trip, and I also find sanctimoniousness loathsome.

    This was found in spades in the campaigns of both Murray, and the Greens. It is hard wired in both of their DNAs. Shame they didn’t both lose their deposits.

    It was matched by hypocrisy when he was called up for fly-posting and bleated that it was “in the rules – somewhere – in Scotland” [I paraphrase].

    Also galling is the knowledge that Murray will now clear back off to Dundee and his smug preachy “radical dissident” high horse. His campaign was a sham visited on Norwich and it’s just as well it’s over now.

  • Ian

    Craig

    You have done well to get nearly one thousand people in Norwich to vote for you. The Tory or Labour candidates wouldn’t have got that many votes without the banner of their parties behind them. You did better than any of the independent candidates by a very large margin.

    You did better than the BNP, despite the BBC’s efforts giving the BNP more coverage than yourself. “… the BNP have some support in at least parts of the constituency and they will also, proportionately, be given an appropriate level of coverage by programmes covering the by-election.”.

    Shame on you BBC

  • M

    Honestly, I think your result was pretty amazing. Almost 1000 people turned out to vote for something progressive and inspiring rather than for something stale and destructive (Tory, Labour) or racist (BNP).

    They try to manipulate and trick us day in and day out, and granted, a lot of people are easily manipulated and tricked. But a hell of a lot aren’t. There was a total blackout on you Craig, and still a sizeable number of people heard about you and turned out to actively support you, in addition to the sizeable number that voted Green. And believe me, that will send chills of fear down the spines of many who sit in their ivory towers. And so it should.

    Your votes came directly from people desperate for POSITIVE change. Despite the endless number of obstacles deliberately placed in your way, those voters heard about you and agreed with you. And THAT is scary to the establishment.

    I hope you will see this as just the beginning Craig and be willing to sit down with others on the progressive end of the political spectrum to seriously discuss a united campaign of fighting back together.

  • Liam

    Craig – you lost your deposit but beat the BNP – some kind of comfort. But going from essentially a standard start in an election like this, with the media we have, was not going to be particularly easy.

    Boundary changes alter Norwich North for the next election, maybe there’s something in the new seat – or the new Broadland constituency – for you?

  • anticant

    “I also find sanctimoniousness loathsome” strikes me as an extremely sanctimonious remark.

    Parasite, is your real name Uriah Heep by any chance?

  • anticant

    The significant figure in the Norwich North by-election is the 15,000 drop in the Labour vote from approximately 21,000 in the 2005 general election to 6,000 yesterday. This should be sending shivers down the spine of every Labour party worker. And the Tories didn’t do all that well either – they achieved their comfortable win with 2,000 votes fewer than those cast for them at the general election. The LibDems lost about one-third of their general election vote. The only parties who improved on their 2005 result were the Greens and UKIP. So despite the Tory victory whoops, none of the three major parties has any real cause to congratulate themselves.

    True to form, Harriet Harman blames the voters for an “appalling” low turnout. Just wait till next year, Hattie dear.

  • Abe Rene

    I agree with Anticant’s advice to take a rest. You’ve had a genuine disappointment and must be tired. So take it easy for a bit with your family, till you’re refreshed and better able to think about what to do next.

  • Sam Hunt

    “that will send chills of fear down the spines of many who sit in their ivory towers. ”

    Dream on, losers!!!

    “the people of Norwich North are the losers. ”

    That just shows how much regard you have for ordinary people and their right to vote.

  • anticant

    They have the right to vote, but less than half of them exercised it. Why do you think that is, Sam? Could it be to do with deep disillusionment at a clapped-out self-deluding government, a mediocre opposition, and a rotten system?

    I thought not.

  • David Allen

    Following on from anticant’s comment, it is impressive that the three strongest “minor party” candidates – the Greens, UKIP and Put an Honest Man – got 24.3% of the vote between them, well above Labour’s second-placed 18.2%. This still shows a massive degree of discontent with all the major parties. So Craig, it wasn’t a triumph, but in all the circumstances, it was a pretty creditable result.

    As others have said, now you should have a well-earned rest and take some time with your family. Don’t rush to decide what comes next.

    We had a superb candidate, who would have made a far far better MP than Chloe Smith, or Ostrowski, or Pond. We also had a cause that was just, and which did “resonate” with the voters. So why did we not do better?

    Well, I speak as a lifelong Lib Dem who worked to support Craig in this election – because all the big parties, mine included, really need to be harried by PAHMIP into cleaning up what they are doing.

    I was very impressed by many of the innovative campaign ideas which Craig brought in. However, I also saw what I felt were major, and harmful, mistakes in our campaign strategy. Mistakes which, I fear, any big party candidate would have long ago learned by experience not to make. Unfortunately, I didn’t myself get properly involved with PAHMIP until it was really too late for anyone to think about changing the strategy.

    Until late in the campaign, we did not really manage to tell the voters in simple terms what “Put an Honest Man into Parliament” really stood for. Our final leaflet and DVD were good, but by the time they hit the doorstep, the voters were punch-drunk, and had pretty much stopped listening to anybody.

    Yes, the subtle bias of much of the media is difficult to combat. But it is also going to be virtually impossible to get it significantly changed. We have to cope despite the bias.

    Unless someone from outside the two largest parties can overcome these problems and find an effective campaign strategy, we shall shortly be electing a team of slash-and-burn Etonian thugs into government. And then, I predict, an astonished nation will soon discover that it is actually possible to be even worse than Gordon Brown!

  • Canuck

    Nearly 1000 votes is not a bad starting point at all…and winners are those who know how deal with what might seem like defeat.

    It’ll be nice to see Craig fighting on for Norwich during the next election.

    Wishing you a long and fruitful time of it Craig. Until the next time then!

  • Jon

    @Sam – I do hope you are not trying to be unpleasant. Craig was quite right, and perfectly within his rights, to stand.

    Ordinary people have the right to vote as they choose, I agree. But most people – even the “ordinary people” for whom you claim to have high regard – would agree that the media should be scrupulously unbiased, and that each candidate deserves a decent shot at putting their case to the electorate. Craig’s campaign was hampered by a substantial media blackout, precisely as was his evidence to the Joint Committee on Human Rights. I think, if you were even-handed about it, you’d not disagree with either assertion there.

    I’d suggest perhaps it is you who has the dim view of the public, if you specifically support elections in which people are encouraged to vote on brand rather than policy, and on establishment priorities rather than societal ones.

    Another popular position, in my view, would be that candidates should win partly based on their hustings performance, and yet no serious observer would suggest that the Labour and Conservative candidates did well in public meetings. NO2ID’s recording – as shaky as it was! – demonstrated a terrible performance from Labour’s Ostrowski (though he had the unenviable task of supporting ID cards, which no other speaker supported – and he was extremely unconvincing).

    Across several public meetings, the Conservative fared OK, but was not particularly convincing as a public speaker. Ostrowski was even less so, but he is hampered by substantial public distaste for the incumbent, which to be fair is not his fault! Meanwhile it was generally the Greens and Murray who either had something interesting to say, and whose speaking was best received.

    Sadly the public meetings failed to make a substantial dent in voting patterns, though they may well have been a factor in Craig’s support, especially given how unpopular leaflets from all parties were becoming.

    Opponents of Craig gathered here are welcome to prefer the Tory if they so choose, but Team Murray and their supporters believe that the public deserves much better than that. I am sure that Chloe Smith is perfectly nice, and fully intends to work hard for the people of NN. But her loyalty to the Conservative party will mean, I fear, that on issues like Afghanistan, the privatisation of health and education, the provision of a strong welfare safety net, and the control of the crazy banking sector, she will vote directly *against* the interests of the people who most need her help.

    Which, peculiarly, will include some of the people who on Thursday voted for her. That paradox brings me back to the start of my response – people deserve better and fairer coverage of the candidates and their policies.

    I hope genuinely progressive people, like Craig and his team, will keep on trying. To be fair, a Green win would have been good too. The odds are stacked against them, but it is a prize substantially worth winning.

  • George Dutton

    “That just shows how much regard you have for ordinary people and their right to vote.”

    eddie

    I was stating a fact. There have been VERY few real winners since 1979. A LOT more losers to come in the next few years…Time will tell.

  • Duncan McFarlane

    Parasite – Slavery was once legal. Legal does not always mean morally right and illegal does not always mean morally wrong.

    Why does some fly-posting of posters make you so angry? Who does it actually harm?

    Why are you trying to make so much out of so little?

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