Thursday, January 6, 2011

The biggest fight in the Oldham East and Saddleworth by-election, David Cameron running 'Operation Quisling' to save Nick Clegg from his party's wrath

Dear All

There is a by-election on the go at present but from the coverage by the MSM, you would think it wasn’t of much importance.

Phil Woolas was elected MP at the General Election in 2010 by repeatedly not telling the truth about one of his opponents, the Lib Dem.

A Special Election Court was held and Woolas was stripped of his seat.

So, is the by-election in Oldham East and Saddleworth important?

You could say it is an early test of the coalition or an early test of Red Ed Miliband’s leadership of the Labour Party.

Whoever wins the losers will already have a narrative in place, Labour can go with ‘bad Woolas wot done it’!

The Tories with ‘we never had a cat in hell’s chance anyway’.

Lib Dems can roll out ‘we took difficult decisions on tuition fees’.

Actually the true narrative of the Lb Dems is that people might desert them because they acting like quislings.

So, as in any by-election we get the ‘big guns’ out on the campaign trial kissing babies and pressing the flesh (hands)!

Nick Clegg as the LibDem leader is hitting the campaign trail in Oldham East and Saddleworth, having committed an obscenity by betraying his party; he is trying to mask that by being all smiles and business as usual.

What else can he do?

He like any career politician seeks to try and manage the election; in this case by describing local voters as belonging to one of two camps those who agreed the Tory-LibDem Coalition’s cuts were necessary and those who did not.

In by-elections however there is the issue of local concerns which opens up the field beyond Clegg’s simple assessment.

This by-election is odd because Cameron and his gang are trying to prop up Clegg whose party is literally dying in the polls.

In effect David Cameron is trying not to win the by-election but kill internal Lib Dem dissent from having grounds to directly challenge Clegg.

Of course, they are making a show now with people like Andrew Lansley making a visit but you get the feeling that their ‘campaign’ is deliberately lacking in punch.

Although the Deputy Prime Minister was making his second visit to the constituency in north-west England it isn’t all sweetness and light for him, things have changed as he faced sporadic shows of public anger.

Openly heckled that he had stabbed a generation in the back over the tripling of tuition fees in England!

Labour leader Ed Miliband visited the constituency at the start of the week to declare the by-election was a ballot on Coalition policies.

Aye aye aye Ed!

Miliband is keen not to run the by-election on the traditional local issues platform instead he wants to focus on national issues.

It’s a tactic, in this case it’s ‘don’t mention the war’ or to be specific Woolas!

The Lib Dems, in particular are unpopular on such issues as tuition fees or the recent VAT rise so they more interested in local concerns.

Clegg appeared to accept yesterday that next week’s vote would be judgment not just on his party but on the Coalition Government.

He said:

“I think there is a sort of basic division, a basic choice between those (voters) who accept that, however much controversy there may be around individual decisions that are taken, that the Liberal Democrats are having to make difficult choices at a difficult time to deal with the unholy mess that we inherited from Labour and those people, on the other side of the fence, who somehow think that I don’t know we can hide under the duvet.”

Clegg’s authority is slipping away as a new national opinion poll suggested that support for the party had fallen to 11%.

The poll also revealed Mr Clegg’s declining popularity.

So, the Lib Dems are hoping for the sympathy vote, Labour for the win with their bright new shiny candidate and the Tories are fighting the Lib Dems by propping up Nick Clegg.

Not your usual by-election by any means, people will be voting for who they hate least.

Here is a full list of Candidates:

Debbie Abrahams (Labour)
Derek Adams (British National Party)
Kashif Ali (Conservative)
Peter Allen (Green Party)
David Bishop (Bus-Pass Elvis Party)
The Flying Brick (Monster Raving Loony Party)
Loz Kaye (Pirate Party of the United Kingdom)
Stephen Morris (English Democrats)
Paul Nuttall MEP (UK Independence Party)
Elwyn Watkins (Liberal Democrats)

In politics anything could happen but I suspect the people might be keen to give Nick Clegg a bloody nose.

Then the forces of anti Clegg will have the ammo to fire, Simon Hughes, waiting to take over will be solemn in public and full of glee in private.

He wants to be leader.

Yours sincerely

George Laird
The Campaign for Human Rights at Glasgow University

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