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Should Phil Woolas call Clegg in his defence?

Posted on 11 November 2010 | 2:11pm

The best bits of Private Eye often come from the spoof press reports, which mock both the people they are about, and often the media and the manner of its reporting.

There is one such funny piece this week under the headline ‘Woolas fury at re-run in Oldham.’ The story, from ‘Rotters’ agency, goes as follows: ‘Mr Phil Woolas, Labour MP for Oldham East, last night slammed a High Court order which forced him to stand again for his constituency, after making ‘false allegations about his opponents in the general election.’ He said: ‘When I mislead the voters about Lib Dem policies, I get the book thrown at me … when Nick Clegg does it, he gets to be deputy prime minister.’

Ho ho, I chuckled. But then chuckle turned to the thought that why yes, very good point Mr Spoofman from Rotters. I hope Mr Woolas reads Private Eye. I hope the point gets made more widely. Who knows, if Clegg, Cable, Huhne, Alexander and Co expose any more of their election pledges as anything but, perhaps a few judges could get together and order a re-run of the whole general election?

  • Guest

    What Woolas did was wrong but the ‘Rotters’ point made was one I made as soon as the case was brought.

    Anyone who gets a Lib Dem Focus will no what is said in them by the Lib Dems.

    When does a lie become a lie which is sufficient enough to end up in a court case? At the moment it would appear when its a Labour seat and the ConDems are doing the protesting.

  • Richard Brittain

    Fair point. Personally I am glad that Harriet Harman and co have distanced themselves from Woolas. He always came across as very slimy. Labour is better off without him.

  • A. Guest

    What is your take on Woolas though?

    It wasn’t that he lied about what he stood for (as with the lib send) but lied about an opponent.

    I’ve never experienced such election material, probably cos I’ve only lived in “safe” seats, but I would have been appaled by a leaflet like that coming into my letterbox. I would have reported it.

  • Nicky

    Clegg may yet be hoist by his own petard. If you remember what he pretentiously described as “the biggest shake-up in our democracy since the Reform Act of 1832″, he promised a ‘Right of Recall’ of MPs who had “done wrong” where 10,000 constituents signed a petition demanding an election.

    Taking Clegg’s advice, NUS President Aaron Porter is now campaigning to get 10,000 signatures in Liberal Democrat constituencies (many of which are university towns) calling for a recall vote due to the way they were misled over the LibDems’ supposed stance on tuition fees.

    Hat-tip to Bob Piper. http://www.bobpiper.co.uk/2010/11/get-signing/

  • Gilliebc

    A re-run of the general election! That’s the best idea I’ve heard since May. I would be willing to bet the outcome would be very different now. Come back Gordon Brown. All is forgiven including selling off all/some of the nations’ gold reserves.
    I don’t actually know what was written in P. Woolas’ election leaflets, but I assume it must have been signed off by senior Labour people? Or, maybe not. I shall endeavor to find out unless someone is good enough to enlighten me.

  • Alex Gallagher

    Seriously

    Jim Devine et al will be calling David Cameron and others who benefited from the lax MPs’ expenses system……

    I would…

  • Anonymous

    The trouble is that the law says you can’t tell lies about your opponent. it doesn’t say you can’t tell lies about yourself. And anyway, Nick Clegg now says he regrets saying it. So that’s all right then.
    Though having stood as a Labour candidate in both council and parliamentary elections, I’m amazed that it should be the Liberals of all people who complain about lying.

  • Richard

    With your alledged support for the Moribund/Harperson axis, you must give us a clue as to your stance on Woolas’s expulsion.

  • Robert Jackson

    Off topic – but on topic for Armistice day.

    I was much moved to see the PM laying a wreath at the Imjin River, the site of our bloodiest battle in the Korean war – 93 dead either in the battle or in captivity after.

    Tucked away in Gloucester cathedral (where I observed the two minute silence) is an inconspicuous and unadorned memorial to the Gloucestershires held as POW’s after the Imjin battle until September 1953:

    A small stone cross made by one of those held captive.

    Easily passed by. Easily ignored. Easily forgotten.

    Not today.

  • Pam

    You just can’t help yourself can you.

    The green eyed monster!

    Pam

  • Quinney

    The way the Labour leadership treated Phil Woolas is disgraceful. Can I ask them to be as nasty on this condem governemnt as they were on Phil Woolas?

  • George American

    Alastair:

    Off-Topic…..You seem to be all over the place in excerpts and interviews for George Bush’s “Decision Points”. Are you going to give us your perspective?

  • Andrew-mair1

    I AGREE PHIL WOOLAS SHOULD CALL ON CLEGG, CABLE,HUHNE, AND ALEXANDER AND ALL THE LIB DEMS BECAUSE THEY ARE THE BIGGEST LIARS IN BRITAIN AFTER SIGNING A PLEDGE TO NOT RAISE TUITION FEES THEN TREBLEING FEES .THE JUDGES IF THEY WERE BEING FAIR WOULD MAKE ALLTHE LIB DEMS STAND DOWN AND STAND FOR ELECTION BECAUSE THEY WOULD NOT HAVE HAD THE SEATS IN PARLIAMENT TO SUPPORT ANY PARTY IF THEY HAD TOLD THE TRUTH THE PEOPLE WOULD NOT HAVE VOTED FOR THEM