Posts Tagged ‘Phil Woolas’

Phil Woolas is our fall guy

05/11/2010, 09:00:44 AM

by Dan Hodges

JUDGMENT day for Phil Woolas. Though not for his accusers in the liberal mob – their verdict was passed long ago. “He is guilty. Those leaflets pandered to prejudice. They have no place in the new politics”.

Save your breath. Woolas was never anything more  than a patsy. The fall guy. Ritual sacrifice to our conscience.

His campaign was “toxic” according to the Telegraph. Made him “unfit to sit on the front bench” said Liberal Conspiracy. Even Trevor Philips found himself moved to describe the leaflets as “unhelpful”.

In the eyes of the law, Woolas stood charged with misrepresentation, not inflaming racial tensions. Sharp political practice. Not racism. But that was always a detail.

Yes, we can take our positions. Swap stories from Oldham with similar tales of electoral skulduggery in marginal seats the length and breadth of the land. Debate the constitutional implications of the judiciary imposing their judgment over that of the electorate.

It would be an exercise in irrelevance. This case was not about clumsy photo shopping mixed with a few equally crude allegations. It was about the politics of immigration, religion and race. Or more accurately, about the Labour party’s shameful failure to adopt a coherent, let alone moral, stance on any of these issues. (more…)

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Phil Woolas sets the record straight to his CLP

22/09/2010, 03:53:09 PM

Phil Woolas

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Saturday News Review

18/09/2010, 07:56:32 AM

Another Lib Dem defector – How many is that now?

Solihull Lib Dem councillor Simon Slater has defected to the Labour Party. At a press conference in Solihull High Street on Friday Ian Austin, Labour MP for Dudley North, welcomed Coun Slater to the Labour fold and hinted there could be more defections to come across the West Midlands. – Solihull News

The Mirror’s final pitch

So we urge MPs, Labour Party members and those in affiliated trade unions and socialist societies to cast their votes, online or by post, for David Miliband before the ballot closes next Wednesday. Supporters of Ed Balls, Andy Burnham and Diane Abbott should consider giving second preferences to David Miliband. The head must rule the heart.  It might appear cool to vote for Ed Miliband but the sensible choice is David Miliband. – The Mirror

“If we make the wrong choice we’ll leave Labour stuck in opposition for many years, that’s why this is too important a vote to ignore and it’s the reason the Daily Mirror has backed David. The people who really want him to lose are the Tories.” – Alan Johnson, The Mirror

Kinnock wades in again

Kinnock airs their differences publicly when he tells a Channel 4 docudrama of his surprise at David Miliband’s behaviour towards his younger brother, saying: “David’s response to Ed running has, to my astonishment, been deeply resentful. David’s people are spreading all kinds of bloody bile about Ed being in thrall to the left and he would be in the pocket of the unions and all kinds of crap like that.” – The Guardian


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We should all be in the dock on immigration, says Dan Hodges

19/08/2010, 05:12:35 PM

Next month, a special election court will rule on whether Phil Woolas’ 103 vote general election victory in Oldham East and Saddleworth will stand. The verdict will hinge primarily on a number of leaflets distributed during the campaign, which were the subject of a complaint by Lib Dem candidate Elwyn Watkins. The leaflets themselves, which were doing the rounds on the internet and Twitter over the weekend, relate to the ongoing debate over race  migration and religious fundamentalism, and given the sensitive nature of the allegations. It would be inappropriate to go into details here.

However, the Oldham case has thrown into sharp focus one of the most difficult, controversial – and in my view defining – issues we face as a Party. Our stance on immigration.

Some cards on the table. I’ve known Phil Woolas for twenty years. He was in the front line campaigning against racism and prejudice long before he sets his sights on a Westminster seat. I saw  first hand how, behind the headlines, as a home office minister he tried to push the case for a fairer, more progressive immigration and asylum system. Those people trying to pin Phil to the wall are missing the bigger picture.


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