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Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Going negative

I caught the Wales Labour Party political broadcast on BBC2 last night. I was just finishing off some work when it came on so I paused to watch it.

In many ways it was predictable stuff but I believe that it also marked a new low in negative campaigning. If Labour are to be believed the Welsh Liberal Democrats have emptied all the local prisons in an effort to find candidates. Utter tosh, but it was insulting to the electorate and failed to recognise the huge amount of good work being carried out by Welsh Liberal Democrat Councils as well as those run by other parties in tackling crime and anti-social behaviour.

I would be very disappointed indeed if these sort of negative attack ads are to become part of the political culture here as they have in America. They devalue the political process and put people off voting. By all means parties should campaign on their own record and that of their opponents but they should not rely on lies and gross distortions for ammunition.

I had rather hoped that at a national level at least the Labour Party might have more dignity and respect for the process. It appears that I was wrong.
Well said Peter. Unfortunately not everyone in your party seems to practice what you preach. In the Olcastle ward theLib Dem candiodates issued a leaflet which contained 3 statements about me which were totally untrue and I'm not even standing for election! I also believe that poligtcs isn't helped by the description of labour party members from one of your candidates which appeared on arecent blog. Politics should be about ideas and principles not name calling and personal attacks on individuals.
I’m sorry Mr Jones if I’ve caused offence, but there has been a fair amount of name-calling going on. I seem to remember that Cllr Bill Evans came in for some diatribe from you in the “Dear Bill” article in the Glamorgan Gazette on the 17th June 2004. Clearly a case of "Do as I say, not as I do!"

...And that was a very mis-leading leaflet that came through my door on Monday; are the Llynfi Labour party reverting to desperate measures?
I find the use of name calling in politics to be pathetic rather than offensive. It lowers the tone of politcal debate.I also find it worrying that any potential public representative should be delighted that he is hated by his opponents. Throughout my political career in local government I managed and still manage to stay friends with individuals from all the politcal parties represented on the council. In fact someone once joked that my enemies were in the Labour party not outside! I am still in regular contact with leading members of the present administration in Bridgend. Only last week I had a long conversation with one of the cabinet members on the phone on an issue. As for BIll Evans I lost all respect for the man when in a Housing Committee meeting before the 1999 election he told the chair Margie Ing to " Shut your gob, Love".To make matters worse he then refused to apologise and withdraw the remark despite my pleas. In fact I had to offer my apologies on behalf of all the other committee members. Of course this was never reported in the Gazette. Bill Evans was given a final warning by the Labour Party because of this action. Today with the new Code of Conduct for Councillors Bill Evans would probably have faced a long ban from office. No one can tolerate such behaviour in any elected chamber anywhere in the democratic world. In much the same way if the phrase used on the other blog had been used by an elected member then the person concerned would soon be facing investigation by the Ombudsman. Reading today's Gazette I think that it is about time that some people grew up and addressed the real issues that concern ordinary voters. It is this lack of serious debate about the importnast issues that unfortunately will see most voters not bother to vote today because frankly many of them don't care who represents them on the local council.
Which part of the Glamorgan Gazette are you actually referring too?
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