Posts Tagged ‘donation scandal’

Hung out to dry by Labour: I know how Woolas feels

08/11/2010, 11:30:59 AM

by Peter Watt

I have a very personal experience of what it is like to be brutally cast asunder by the Labour party. The circumstances were different than those which have led to the position Phil Woolas finds himself in – but I suspect that the personal impact was similar.

I was general secretary of the party when, in November 2007, the Abrahams 3rd party donation scandal erupted. It happened on my watch. I took responsibility and in a blaze of negative publicity I resigned.

I knew that once I’d resigned an important part of the “handling strategy” of the donation story would be to rough me up a bit. I wasn’t naive. I accepted it as part of the rough nature of politics. The more I was damaged in the short term, the less the party was going to be damaged in the long-term. That had to be the right thing for the “greater good”.

What I was not prepared for was the massive toll this took on me, my family and friends.  I expected that the party would support me personally, behind the scenes. That they would caveat their attacks. Issue some statements of personal support that recognised my contribution to the party over many years. With a few notable exceptions, what I got was a character assassination. It went beyond being “roughed-up” to being a full blown assault. The personal impact was devastating. (more…)

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