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Thursday, December 22, 2005

That petition!

The march of the egos continued yesterday with the launch of an on-line petition calling for the removal of Charles Kennedy as leader. The site is supposedly hosted by an obscure and hitherto unknown approved Liberal Democrats candidate called Ben Ramm. He edits a magazine called the Liberal. Despite claims that it is an 'in-house' magazine, I suspect that its readership can be counted on one hand. The one free copy that was sent to me was so appalling that I threw it straight into the recycling. James Graham has assessed the situation correctly in my opinion:

In all honesty, I think this petition is perversely good news for Kennedy. It will have the effect of over-egging the pudding just before Christmas. They don’t appear to have troubled themselves with the hassle of introducing any way of differentiating members who sign the petition from non-members, which means it can be easily dismissed even if they suddenly came up with tens of thousands of names. And they haven’t included a data-protection statement or opt-out, meaning they will not legally be able to use the email addresses they collect to campaign.

Tom Watson is also right to query this tactic. The one unanswered question is which of the 'cowardly conspirators' amongst the Lib Dems MPs is behind this latest escalation in the media hysteria that has resulted from the election of David Cameron as Tory Leader?
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