Give the Lib Dems their due, they are the most avowedly Europhile party to communicate with this household so far. Obvious, you might think, but in some parts of the country (parts of Somerset and Cornwall, for instance) they strive to give the opposite impression.
Mind you, anyone receiving the literature circulating in this constituency (Kingston & Surbiton) would be forgiven for not realising that this is a European election at all. Or they might think that our sitting MP is a candidate in the European election. In both cases they would be gravely misled.
There is a letter, headed ‘Edward Davey M.P.’ in big, black letters. Above it is a line of photos showing ED with nurses, ED speaking in the House of Commons, ED chatting to a man with a beard, ED having lunch with some primary school children (one wonders whether he had their parents’ permission to use their children’s images for political purposes!!) and ED with some disabled people and a guide dog. Not a Euro-candidate in sight! It then goes on to mention Sarah Ludford a few times, but none of the other candidates on the Lib Dem London list gets a single mention.
The whole thing is finished off with the usual Lib Dem bar chart, showing their latest favourable election result (the GE of 2005!) alleging ‘It’s a two horse race!’. Now this is deliberately misleading the public. For a start, they ought to know about Proportional Representation (PR) if anybody does. They wanted it and Blair gave it to them in the Euro-elections! A two horse race is precisely what it is NOT. PR is the only reason there are any Lib Dem MEPs at all. Secondly, if they want to show a bar graph, why choose 2005? We’ve had Borough elections since then in which there was a constituency swing of 6% to Conservatives over the 2005 GE. Last year we had the Mayoral and GLA election, in which Boris Johnson and Tony Arbour (Conservatives) won the constituency handsomely. And in 1999 the Lib Dems came THIRD in this Borough, behind Labour and a long way behind the Tories.
The glossy leaflet which accompanies this letter does show some pictures of Sarah Ludford (I think) doing things – with Ed, of course. One shows the pair with two police persons outside Bentalls. Again one wonders whether the permission of the Borough commander was sought for the use of images of Police personnel for political purposes. It wasn’t in 2005 – I know because I asked! But Ed’s very fond of this kind of thing.
Lastly, and worst, the resistance of the Conservatives and UKIP to the European Arrest Warrant (not named) is criticised as resistance to the international fight against ‘drug trafficking, gun smuggling and sex slavery’. What utter tosh! Have they never heard of extradition or Interpol? The Tories are fighting the right of a foreign judge to issue an arrest warrant against a British subject for something which may not even be considered a crime under British Law. What is really criminal is to attempt to mislead the public with deliberate distortions of this kind. But then, what am I getting so het up about? Isn’t that what the Lib Dems always do?