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Friday, September 30, 2005

Tackling the New Labour culture

Walter Wolfgang, the 82 year old man who was unceremoniously bundled out of the labour Party's Conference for utilising his right to free speech gave an impromptu press conference yesterday. The Guardian takes up the story:

The scene was more Kate Moss than Kier Hardie. Then, to cries of "welcome back Walter" from a small crowd of supporters, he began to speak, his voice retaining a trace of his German origins. "What happened to me yesterday isn't really important," he said - but the lunatic scene all around him disproved the claim. Trapped inside a surging prison of cameramen he denouncing Labour for being "irresponsible enough to hire heavies. The party has to be open, it has to debate important issues," he said.

His message was simple and it stung Labour where it hurt. He wanted "a culture which is open and open to argument. This we are in danger of losing". He was certainly winning as he rolled forward in a media ruck that came close to crushing him and everyone else.

We already know that Labour are treating our civil liberties in the same cavalier and authoritarian way. Perhaps we should have guessed that they would do this by the way they run their own party. Walter Wolfgang should know better. He is not in danger of losing the fight for an open culture, he has already lost it.

No doubt if Mr Wolfgang had been a cheeky teenager and done his stuff off camera he would have an ASBO by now.
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