Old woolly Woolas the ex-Immigration Minister and, if the Courts have their way, soon to be ex-MP seems to have learnt very little from the beating Parliament has taken over the last couple of years.
For those that don’t live here or have been asleep since May, Woolly has been found guilty by an Election Court of telling lies about his opponent. Now, whatever we may think, or know, about politicians telling lies, it is an offence under the Representation of the People Act to gob out a load of porkies about your opponent during an election campaign. I, as a veteran of many election campaigns, know that. Woolly knew that before he sanctioned his rather unfortunate publications. (Besides, ignorance of the law has never really been an acceptable defence.)
Being weird, I’ve actually read the judgement of the Election Court which annexed the offending leaflets. I’ve seen them and, again as an election veteran, I can tell you that they go way beyond anything I would ever have allowed, designed, printed, published or distributed. Attack the policy by all means – even have a go at the guy’s record – but personal attacks of the kind Woolly was up to are a no-no – particularly when the allegations aren’t damned well true!
Does this odious moron know anything about morality? It seems morality got sent off on a three week bender because the Party was marginally less popular than a dose of the clap and Woolly faced losing his ticket on the Westminster gravy train.
What is all the more depressing is the calibre of support he’s getting from various corners. Labour MP Graham Stringer is quoted as saying that election battles in marginal seats were not “Sunday-school outings“. He went on “If the courts get involved in elections when people go over the top on policy and sometimes tell lies then we are going to have a very strange electoral process in future.”
Yes, Graham, it might encourage some of you sleazy buggers to clean up your act.