I first became aware that Labour had carried out a personally-based smear attack against me on Saturday evening when a colleague pointed it out to me. Here’s the post they put out:
The problems with this post:
- The photograph of me is one I took – and therefore own. The Redditch Labour Party has infringed my copyright by creating this unauthorised works that features my image without permission. They’ve broken the law.
- Yes, I did say Redditch isn’t growing as fast as you think – that’s true. See my post here with charts and all sorts. It’s an indisputable fact that the population growth has plateaued.
- The next comment is taken out of context from a conversation I was having with Lee Daykin, a Conservative supporter who (like me) feels passionately about the plight of the Alexandra Hospital in Redditch. We disagree on a number of points, but we have a civilised debate. You can read the whole discussion by clicking here. Feel free to jump in too. Labour’s Facebook army scoured the comments looking for this quote, and deliberately took it out of context. Here’s the full context of the comments (click to enlarge it – I’ve highlighted the section Labour lifted to power their graphic):
- At no point did I ever claim that birthing rates were the reason for the movement of services from the Alex. To suggest that I have said this is a complete lie.
- Labour then said I wasn’t telling the truth – they are calling me a liar. A bit rich, don’t you think? You can see the full thing for yourself.
- They then end with the hurled insult “you need to use your nouse when listening to Rouse” – like something out of a 10 year old’s playground.
It gets even more interesting. A local resident who is one of the nicest men I’ve ever met – and who I got to know before standing for election – speaks up for me:
I replied with a comment that has since been deleted and got me blocked by Redditch Labour Party (click it to enlarge it).
Do you see anything in here that deserves to get me blocked? Here is Labour’s response to my challenge over it.
I still have not been told who the Secretary of the Redditch Labour Party branch in Redditch is, and I still have not been told how I can raise my formal complaint.
This post, taken as a whole, is what I consider to be an attempt as part of an ongoing campaign to intimidate me out of public office.
Never have I, or the Conservatives in Redditch, ever attempted to smear or intimidate a Councillor holding public office in the town. We have attacked Labour on their record, but we have never made crude photoshopped graphics of them, smeared misinformation about a sensitive topic all over it and attributed things to their Councillors that they never said.
The above post has been shared by Parliamentary candidates and Labour Councillors.
The following is taken from Labour’s own social media policy, which you can read in full for yourself:
“A starting point for all our actions as members of a party and a movement is to treat all people with dignity and respect.”
It goes on:
“Harassment, intimidation, hateful language and bullying are never acceptable … It is perfectly possible to have vehement disagreements without descending into personal abuse, shaming people or exhibiting bullying behaviour. Forcefully made points and criticisms of the political views of others are totally legitimate, personal attacks are not.”
It finishes with:
Trolling, or otherwise disrupting the ability of others to debate is not acceptable, nor is consistently mentioning or making contact with others when this is unwelcome.
I shall leave it up to you, dear reader, to decide if you think Labour has behaved in accordance with its own social media policy here.
If you wish to contact me about this post you can reach me on [email protected]