The other piece of Lib Dem propaganda to appear on Tuesday was a big glossy from the former MP – I say ‘former’ because Parliament is now dissolved and he holds no public office whatever at the moment.
Again we have the usual childish blather about ‘Labour cannot win’ and suggesting (a) that Helen Whately is unknown ( after living and campaigning here for 3 years!), but (b) they know her well enough to know for whom she works. The Daily Telegraph dubbed Ed a ‘saint’ for not having a second home (at 16 minutes by fast train from Waterloo I should think not, but there we are!) so they make much of that.
Ed scratches around to find all the things that have happened locally in the past 13 years for which he can claim some credit. He, of course, claims all the credit even if he had rather little to do with them and wasn’t on his own in things he did play a part in – like Surbiton Hospital. He also claims credit for working with Joanna Lumley to get a fair deal for Gurkhas. I hope he had their permission to use their pictures and names for political purposes!
All the above is par for the course, though it’s depressingly familiar and intensely partisan – which readers thinking a ‘hung’ Parliament would be a good thing would do well to bear in mind. The reaction on the doorstep is that people are getting rather fed up with this approach, which insults their intelligence.
What concerns me more, though, is Ed’s predilection for being photographed with serving Police officers, face to camera. When you’re the MP that’s OK because it goes with your public office. But when you’re not (and Ed is right now no more than the Lib Dem parliamentary candidate) then you’re using the images of serving officers for party political purposes and that, surely, compromises the impartiality of the Police. When I stood for Parliament in 1983 and 1987, I was told very clearly that this must not be done unless the permission of the Police has first been obtained – and yet this isn’t the first time Mr. Davey has done it. Perhaps he’s cleared it with the Borough Commander, but he hasn’t done so in the past. He didn’t in 2005 – I know this because I asked!
Also causing concern is a big photo showing Ed with children in lessons at what I take to be an Infants’ School. Again, I was always told that this was taboo unless you had the permission of their parents to photograph their children (or, better still, the parents were there with their children)AND subsequently to use their images for political purposes. At the very least the images should be smudged – but they aren’t. I do hope Mr Davey and his agent have cleared all these points.