What Dale didn’t mention


1:54 pm - May 24th 2009

by Unity    


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Iain Dale is running what, at first sight, seems to be a rather damning story about Tamworth MP, Brian Jenkins.

Labour MP Brian Jenkins is a prat. And a bully. The Mail on Sunday reports that he has sent a letter to a constituent, Warren Clegg, threatening legal action over a letter Mr Clegg had sent him about the Gurkhas. Mr Clegg pointed out in a letter to the local paper in Tamworth that he hadn’t had a reply. Mr Clegg is a student at Cambridge about to sit his finals. His father has just gone to serve in Afghanistan. Now Warren Clegg’s mother has written to the Prime Minister to protest at this letter.

However, there’s an important piece of the story missing from both Dale’s and the Mail on Sunday’s coverage…

clegg

In circumstances, it seems perfectly reasonable to ask the Tory activist, Mr Clegg, to provide evidence to show that he did, indeed, write to his MP before rushing to judgement on Mr Jenkins actions but, unfortunately, it seems that Clegg may have some difficult in fully substantiating his claim…

But Cambridge University student Mr Clegg said: ‘I have a copy of my letter to Mr Jenkins on my computer.

I have never written to him about Gaza. I don’t see I have anything to apologise for.’

A copy of a letter on his computer, of course, proves exactly nothing given that its stupidly easy to fake the file creation date on word-processed document simply by altering the computer’s system date, never mind that there are numerous freely available utilities that can be used to perform the same feat.

In view of recent events, one might have thought that Iain would exercise rather more caution before placing his faith in an article published by the Mail, but clearly some lessons are more difficult to take in than others.

Hat Tip – Bob Piper

UPDATE

Let’s clarify the situation here.

Clegg claims to have written to Jenkins regarding the Gurkhas and received no response.

Jenkins claims not to have received any such letter from Clegg.

In the circumstances its possible that either Clegg or Jenkins is lying or it may simply be the case that the letter was sent by Clegg but not received by Jenkins due to a foul up in the postal system.

However, there is nothing in the reports relating to this story, as yet, to suggest that Clegg, on failing to get a response, took the obvious step of contacting Jenkins’ office to confirm that the letter had been received and enquire as to why he had not received a reply. Instead, Clegg wrote to his local paper in terms which suggested not only that Jenkins hadn’t responded to his letter regarding the Gurkhas but that such failures were, according to his own experience, a far from unusual occurrence.

Like it or not, Jenkins has reasonable grounds for complaint in this matter and for asking Clegg to either substantiate his claims or retract them.

Whether a threat of litigation is the right way to go about it is another matter entirely – personally I think he would have been better served by issuing a rebuttal to the newspaper in question and then forwarding a complaint of his own to CCHQ – but in the current febrile climate surrounding MPs and their conduct one can well understand his decision to take some form of action against Clegg, who’s own conduct has been far from exemplary in this matter.

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'Unity' is a regular contributor to Liberal Conspiracy. He also blogs at Ministry of Truth.
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Reader comments


1. the a&e charge nurse

Is young Cleggy an example of the new breed of politico the British public are hoping for?

If faking the letter is so easy, why is the MP then demanding a copy of it? Also, if the issue did go to court, a computer forensics team would be able to track back through the file memories to acertain exactly when the file was originally created by comparing it with other actions on either side of the file creation point.

It’s quite difficult for that sort of data to be faked by anyone other than a skilled computer geek.

However, does it really matter if the person writting the letter is an activist or not? The MP is supposed to represent ALL their consituents, and reply to their letters.

I do not always agree with my MP’s stance on national issues, but he is a good constituency MP and always replies to my letters.

Anyhow, regardless of whom the letter writer is – sending a note threatening legal action is just plainly stupid.

I have also covered this story and pointed out that

Tory blogger Iain Dale libels yet another Labour MP

4. Charlieman

Whist RADA may be missing a few drama queens, I doubt whether the real world has noticed their absence or their antics.

This form of idiocy (and I include the MP and letter writer as culprits) has provided fodder for the diary column in national newspapers for as long as I have read them. It provides a few chuckles but rarely changes how people vote or feel about politics generally.

@IanVisits

Jenkins is asking for both a copy of the letter and proof of posting, the latter of which I doubt Clegg will be able to furnish.

On faking file creation dates, you are assuming that Clegg is prepared to spent several thousand pounds on a detailed forensic analysis of his hard drive in order to back up his claims.

As for a relevance of Clegg being a Tory activist, that may have no relevance at all if if the letter was sent, but be of considerable relevance should it turn out that it wasn’t.

6. Caseworker

An MP gets hundreds of letters a week. Some arrive after being sent to the wrong MP, some people don’t get the email address right (if you add a “co” into “parliament.uk” then it never gets delievered) and sometimes it just takes a long time for a response to be drafted and sent as the staff are, as well as being PAs, diary secretaries, researchers, and everything else, the correspondence unit for 70,000 constituents.

If he had called up and asked where his letter was in the system as most do, then I’d think he was telling the truth. MPs only tend to have a couple of members of staff and a huge mailbag, and sometimes things take longer than they ought to. A phonecall is usually logged and remembered by both parties.

Is there any suggestion that Clegg called? Or are we just expected to take the word of a Conservative activist who tried to pose as an ordinary voter that he’s telling the truth about sending the thing in the first place?

Did Karl Rove write a book about how to write invisible letters – or something like that to smear, yet not smear, a political opponent?

Or I could be wrong.

Why does the picture of Clegg’s mother’s letter on Iain Dale’s post have spellcheck squiggles on it?

http://bit.ly/jxBP1

Is it a screengrab? How did he get that?

Wireman: You are right I recall seeing that. I use Microsoft word and I get those come up. It would suggest that it has been sent to Iain Dale in it’s original form. This being the case, why has Warren Clegg not supplied a copy of the supposed letter he sent to the MP?

I think they need to change the language from US English to UK English – that’s pretty easy to do.

11. peter_dtm

sorry; the MP is being at best stupid and at worst a bully

Clegg accuses him of NOT replying to letteres.

Correct action : write to newspaper AND Clegg with copies of his replies requesting a retraction &/or apology.

(and just as some people have demanded Clegg produce the original letter I think it not unreasonable to assume an MP would definately have copies of Clegg’s letter AND the reply)

If an a appology is NOT forthcoming from Clegg then another letter DEMANDING an apology should be sent to Clegg & the newspaper.

If nothing results THEN it just may be appropriate to take legal advice & issue legal threats.

Bullies go straight to ultimatums; civilised people negotiate !

AND – according to the normal usage of the UK it DOES NOT matter what political affiliations a constituent espouses; the MP is SUPPOSED to represent any constituent.. Clegg could be Labour Libdem even BNP or Communist; it is NONE of his MP’s business.

So… Peter tells us that the MP should have been reasonable but instead went straight for the jugular.

But actually, young Warren, as a number of people have pointed out, did not act reasonably and follow up his letter with a phone call… he went straight to the newspapers in an attempt to make political capital out of it. Or… straight to ultimatums, whereas civilised people negotiate, I think we should put it.

Not only that, young warren’s mammy sends her letter of complaint to Gordon Brown to shy and retiring publicist Iain Dale to blast all over his blog, and the Mail on Sunday to maximise their political capital.

it is a deliberate attempt to smear a Labour MP in a Labour/Tory marginal, and if the kid is sued for his lies, perhaps he will learn.

Peterdtm

AND – according to the normal usage of the UK it DOES NOT matter what political affiliations a constituent espouses; the MP is SUPPOSED to represent any constituent.

Surely irrelevnt.

The point isn’t that Mr Jenkins, knowing Mr Clegg is a Tory activist, decided he was making trouble and chose to ignore the letter (he replied to 2 previous letters after all).

It is that Mr Jenkins (uncharacteristically) didn’t reply to the letter and claims not to have receipt. The fact Mr Clegg is a Tory activist (and the whole anti-Labour tone of the letter to the press) could give grounds for belief that the whole episode was made up to discredit Mr Jenkins in a marginal constituency. That is not saying it does – just that it is a possibility in the absence of proof either way.

Peterdtm

AND – according to the normal usage of the UK it DOES NOT matter what political affiliations a constituent espouses; the MP is SUPPOSED to represent any constituent.

Surely irrelevent.

The point isn’t that Mr Jenkins, knowing Mr Clegg is a Tory activist, decided he was making trouble and chose to ignore the letter (he replied to 2 previous letters after all).

It is that Mr Jenkins (uncharacteristically) didn’t reply to the letter and claims not to have receipt. The fact Mr Clegg is a Tory activist (and the whole anti-Labour tone of the letter to the press) could give grounds for belief that the whole episode was made up to discredit Mr Jenkins in a marginal constituency. That is not saying it does – just that it is a possibility in the absence of proof either way.

15. the a&e charge nurse

[12] “if the kid is sued for his lies, perhaps he will learn”.

Oh, I’m sure the young Tory activist IS learning, all the time – he has seized on the Gurkha issue but despite being embroiled in finals at Cambridge he still finds time to write letters to his MP and local newspaper before calling in the heavies (aka Mummy) to settle a score.

Mark my words Cleggers is destined for big things?

I envy anyone who has such a fantastic Royal Mail service that they can be sure not receiving a letter isn’t due to it having been sent but Royal Mail losing it. Alas, in much of the country not receiving one letter is hardly great evidence for it not having been sent.

17. dreamingspire

Who is fooling who here? The simple response is for MP Brian Jenkins to write to young Mr Clegg and ask for a copy of the letter, saying that he cannot find it and apologise if it has been mislaid. And Iain Dale should keep his nose out of it, and the same goes for everyone else. Meanwhile let the lad get on with sitting for his finals, and we all hope that his father being posted isn’t going to unsettle him.

As someone said last week, Dale is nothing more than a Tory hack. Why anybody thinks he is some genius of internet politics I do not know. You may as well call in at Tory Central office and pick up a pamphlet as read his ramblings.

Mind you , it is always amusing watching the trolls come on here to defend their leader. There is nothing more guaranteed to get the trolls on message than pointing out their great hero is full of shit.

Isn’t one Clegg in politics enough?

Warren Clegg.

Name noted.

No doubt we’ll be hearing from him again, sooner or later.

Too… many… Cleggs… next we’ll be reading about a young student called Will Cameron who rang the constituency office of their Conservative MP but no one picked up the phone.

All very confusing.

Sally, yeah, completely controlled by CCHQ. That’s why I called for a Tory MP to be deselected two weeks ago. Forgot that did you? Back in your box, there’s a good girl.

That’s why I called for a Tory MP to be deselected two weeks ago.

Wow, a really brave decision that, given the political climate. You truly are leading the pack Iain.

Iain,

As I’m sure your being used as a puppet here and cruelly manipulated (as your sarcastic response above implies), will you take the opportunity that as Mr Clegg is a Conservative activist and member of Conservative Future the story you report to seems quite fishy and that, while maybe heavy handed, a legal threat in response to what Jenkins sees as a politically-motivated slur is entirely reasonable and not “bullying”?

Or do you think that he should just bite his lip and accept being libelled is a fact of life for a (Labour) MP?

Wow, you lot are obsessed with Iain Dale.
Really.
Obsessed.

IanB

Labour make libellous smears. Chaos. For weeks. Particularly from right-wing blogs.

Conservatives make (allegedly) libellous smears. This is pointed out. Obsession, apparently.

“Sally, yeah, completely controlled by CCHQ. That’s why I called for a Tory MP to be deselected two weeks ago. Forgot that did you? Back in your box, there’s a good girl.”

You mean you only called for one Tory MP to be deselected. Wow! RADICAL.

There have got to be about a dozen who should go.

But this blog can’t go 5 mins without mentioning the guy!

Not just this, but EVERY DAY!

IanB

So this misreporting should be ignored because Iain Dale has it on his site, and to report on it would be obsession?

Strange.

I see the usual dozy trolls have climbed , bleary eyed from troll central, to come and defend their great white dope. Priceless.

If only it was this post… but in totally unrelated threads his name pops up by at least the fifth post.

Strange? it definately is.

“I see the usual dozy trolls have climbed , bleary eyed from troll central, to come and defend their great white dope. Priceless.”

This is exactly what I’m on about.

Fair play to Dale then – he’s certainly influential and posts some *controversial* things.

I still don’t get the “obsession” thing though.

And BTW doesn’t Draper/McBride fulfil this role on Iain Dale’s and Guido’s sites?

Is that obsession too?

Or fair comment?

“Fair play to Dale then – he’s certainly influential and posts some *controversial* things.

I still don’t get the “obsession” thing though.”

Try comparing LC to other left wing blogs, Bob Piper mentions Iain at least 50% less of the time.

“Fair play to Dale then – he’s certainly influential and posts some *controversial* things.”

HA HA HA HA

The trolls really are Completely delusional .

““Fair play to Dale then – he’s certainly influential and posts some *controversial* things.”

HA HA HA HA

The trolls really are Completely delusional .”

Err… texas wrote that, not me.

“And BTW doesn’t Draper/McBride fulfil this role on Iain Dale’s and Guido’s sites?

Is that obsession too?”

Yep.

IanB

So, I take it every time Draper/McBride get a mention over there you are trying to divert the discussion in the thread away from the article by saying Wow, you lot are obsessed with Derek Draper. Really. Obsessed.

Or do you only do that here?

40. Mr. Feathers

Iain Dale is mentioned on a regular basis because he views himself, and is viewed by others, as an expert on blogging and the world’s top blogger, despite being no such thing.

It is right that his kneejerk assertions, hackery and utter mediocrity are pointed out.

I admire your work ethic.
Even over a holiday weekend Vol. 28 is written!

“So, I take it every time Draper/McBride get a mention over there you are trying to divert the discussion in the thread away from the article by saying Wow, you lot are obsessed with Derek Draper. Really. Obsessed.”

No. Why would I do that?

Why do you do it here then?

Iain Dale is fool of himself, I would never trust anything from the Right Wing Lunatic Fringe. They are fool of themselves and its them what allow the BNP to rise. Shut them all down thats what I say.

Bryan – if you are going to produce a spoof Sally post you need to be a bit ruder, and make sure to use the term “brownshirts” as often as possible. They are all “brownshirts”. Otherwise good first effort!

cjcjc

What do you think about this article?

Do you think that the fact that Mr Clegg is a Conservative activist would make you question his version of events, in the absence of hard facts? Do you think there might be a reason why Mr Clegg might have something to gain from lying in this case?

Well the libel threat is bullying and pathetic.

My view – based on no more evidence than anyone else’s – is that Clegg is probably not lying about the facts (ie I suspect he did not receive a reply) but obviously saw that as an opportunity to have a go at Jenkins (who he?) in the paper.

Where does this story stand now. Is Jenkins suing? Has Clegg retracted?

I can’t get terribly worked up by any of this really.

Quick question – do the numerous people in the comments equating this letter written by Warren Clegg claiming that his MP hadn’t replied to a letter with the McBride/Draper smears about the mental health of political spouses etc really think they are equivalent?

On the topic of the letter itself, it would be a remarkably tenuous libel action – “MP didn’t reply to letter”. Care to quantify the damage to reputation done there? It’s practically an abuse of process, and certainly it’s assault with a blunt instrument, to whit: a lawyer.

The idea that an MP didn’t reply to a letter is unlikely to cause the level of personal distress that allegations about the mental health of political spouses might cause.

But most people view an MP’s job as being, crudely, to vote on stuff, listen to debates, and respond to constituents. If the belief that an MP wasn’t reliably doing the latter became widespread then it could well damage their professional career by losing them votes.

I’d incline to the belief that their MP resorting instantly to legal threats when confronted with a constituent writing disobliging things to the local paper would have a worse effect on his reputation than someone claiming he didn’t always answer letters.

51. Cllr Robert Pitchard

I am a Conservative Councillor in Tamworth and when I caught out Brian Jenkins MP telling the council chamber mistruths – he said he was completely opposed to the Staffordshire ambulance merger, but he voted for it in the commons – I too received a similar letter threatening legal action unless I withdrew my comments- which were completely correct and backed up by his voting record. He also reported me to standards and they threw out his complaint and his appeal. He is an MP that will not be missed. I was just 23 when he wrote me those letters. I ignored them and he went away.

I am slightly more worked up now – Jenkins sounds like a complete c***

” am slightly more worked up now – Jenkins sounds like a complete c***”

Well you would know.

cjcjc and others,

So you think it is completely acceptable for a Conservative activist to publish damaging smears in the local press against a sitting Labour MP?

And that the MP should have no right to demand a retraction and public apology?

And no recourse to libel action should the retraction and public apology forthcoming?

And for that said Conservative activist, the Mail on Sunday, Iain Dale and others to dishonestly misrepresent the position of Mr Clegg as an innocent student and resident in Mr Jenkin’s constituency being threatened by the “nasty Labour Party”?

Sheesh. If this was the other way around (Labour activist who has been hiding it, Conservative MP), you and others would be portraying this as “MP demands apology for Labour party ‘dirty tricks'”, talking about how this shows “the nasty streak running deep into Labour’s core and supporting the libel action being taken. And you know it.

I do not know whether the Gurkha letter was sent or not (neither do you – you’ve got the word of a Conservative activist). But it beggars belief that Mr Jenkins would make up 2 letters about Gaza in private correspondence with Mr Clegg. As Mr Clegg claims he has never written about Gaza (in the Mail on Sunday) in addition to dishonestly never stating his role in the Conservative Party either in correspondence with the press, or in the MoS piece, I think it is more likely that Mr Jenkins is telling the truth that he did not receive the letter.

55. peter_dtm

you really don’t get it do you.

It is the INSTANT recourse to a legal threat

There are so many other things that could/should have been done; the law is the last resort – not the first 9& yes; it would be fun to see if he has claimed the legal advice as an expense; just to hear the reasoning; it may be reasonable after all).

It is normally a requirement in law that an attempt has been made to gain recourse BEFORE issuing writs/legal threats/legal action.

Civilized people try to sort out all the areas of possible mis-understanding FIRST – as is pointed out; the once reliable Royal Mail can no longer be trusted to deliver letters; so just as Cleggs letter may NOT have been received; so also might the reply have gone astray.

The MP’s reaction is well and truly over the top; un-necessary and is a form of bullying

Peterdtm,

I seem to get it better than you.

IF the MP is correct that he did not receive a letter (which I suspect he is, given the demonstrably dishonest behaviour of Mr Clegg in this episode):

The MP has asked for an apology and retraction after being smeared and libelled by a Conservative Party hack.

He personally wrote Mr Clegg a letter (i.e. no lawyers) to ask for this retraction.

How is this bullying? Come on. The guy has an official role in the Conservative Party, and wrote the letter to the local press in this role (though he didn’t want to say so). Poor Conservative Party hack getting asked to apologise after smearing political opponent. Shame on Jenkins. I mean,, really?

Jenkins has form if Mr Pitchard is correct.

And as someone has already pointed out “MP fails to answer letter” is rather less damaging than “MP bullies constituent” even if that constituent is a political opponent.

A c*** and an idiot, both.

(Needless to say Jenkins voted against allowing the Gurkhas in.)

Still, Majority: 2,569 votes. — 538th out of 646 MP’s, I don’t think we’ll need to worry about him for much longer.

Sally – please – never change.

Right cjcjc.

Assuming the letter was not sent (as I suspect for reasons above).

Conservative Party hack smears and libels political opponent.

How can asking for an apology be ‘bullying’?

MP demands apology for Conservative party ‘dirty tricks

And, BTW, I see your relying on more anecdote from Conservative Party members to make your argument. And changing the subject from whether or not Mr Clegg has been lying or not, and whether you think he may just perhaps have a motive to have done so

Well, there is no *evidence* on either side, is there?

I assume there will be a record somewhere of Mr Pitchard’s case, if it was referred to the Standards Board, so that’s probably more than “anecdote”.

As I say, Jenkins is *probably* a c*** but *definitely* an idiot!

Still, he’ll be gone by next year….

Well, there is no *evidence* on either side, is there?

So why do you assert so strongly (as the MoS and Iain Dale also did) that Mr Jenkins is “a c***”, “an idiot” and “a bully” then?

Also, it is clear Mr Clegg has been dishonest in at least some of this (even if the judgement is out on whether he sent the Gurkha letter).

Firstly, not making clear the fact he was writing to the local paper in his capacity as a Conservative Party activist.

Secondly, not making clear he was an active Conservative Party activist when moaning to the MoS when this is a crucial piece of information about his potential motives and what he has to gain from lying in this instance.

Thirdly, It adefies belief that Mr Jenkins would pretend that he received and replied to 2 letters re Gaza when he is engaged in private (i.e. not for public consumption) correspondence with Mr Clegg.

Fourthly, if Mr Jenkins replied to a Gaza letter in January 2009, why would he not reply to a Gurkha letter sent “last year” by Mr Clegg. Doesn’t that strike you as a little odd?

I thought the definition of bullying is more likely to encompass making up false and malicious gossip and propogating it to as many people as possible who then proceed to call the subject of the malicious rumour all sorts of insults, rather than the subject of this behaviour asking for an apology.

I said “probably” a c*** – well he has form and voted against the Gurkhas if nothing else.
Unless you think Cllr Pitchard is lying too on the case he cites.

Clearly he is a bully – when I ask someone for an apology I don’t start by threatening legal action, do you?

But he most definitely is an idiot – he’s played right into this guy’s hands if your view is right, hasn’t he?!
If Jenkins had just said “terribly sorry, I didn’t receive it” – it would have been forgotten, assuming anyone took any notice of it in the first place.
Instead he threatened legal action….as I say, an idiot.

Still, he’s on his way out…

Unless you think Cllr Pitchard is lying too on the case he cites

It’s anecdote by a Conservatve politician who Mr Clegg works for in his role as a Conservative activist. Forgive me if I’m sceptical.

If Jenkins had just said “terribly sorry, I didn’t receive it

So you think that an MP who is publicly smeared should be the one apologising to a Conservative activist who smeared him (if this is what has happened).

Clearly he is a bully – when I ask someone for an apology I don’t start by threatening legal action, do you?

Actually, I think the letter referred to a willingness to take legal action if a retraction was not forthcoming at its end rather than its beginning

Still, he’s on his way out…

Well, if he is we know that Mr Clegg’s alleged smears repeated by Iain Dale and the Mail on Sunday have had some success then.

63. Cllr Robert Pitchard

“Forgive me if I’m sceptical.” – no need I still have the letters filed away, both from Mr Jenkins and the Standards Board.

Robert,

Not particularly interested in the Standards Board allegations.

The quote below is a relevant one, though obviously would have no bearing on whether or not Mr Clegg wrote the letter he claims, and never receives replies as he claims:

when I caught out Brian Jenkins MP telling the council chamber mistruths – he said he was completely opposed to the Staffordshire ambulance merger, but he voted for it in the commons – I too received a similar letter threatening legal action unless I withdrew my comments

Do you have the proof of this?

1. Jenkins telling council chamber he opposed merger
2. Jenkins voting for said merger in House of Commons
3. Jenkins letter that said that you were lying about points 1 and 2

Actually, I think the letter referred to a willingness to take legal action if a retraction was not forthcoming at its end rather than its beginning.

Hahaha – you know perfectly well what I mean.

So you think that an MP who is publicly smeared should be the one apologising to a Conservative activist who smeared him (if this is what has happened).

I don’t know whether “he didn’t reply to my letter” really counts as a “smear” – but yes, that would have been the most sensible and tactful way to have dealt with it, leaving Jenkins looking quite good. Instead he looks like a c*** / bully / idiot.

Oh, and Robert, while you are here.

Do you think it is acceptable (if indeed Mr Clegg did not send a letter re Ghurkas and also replied to 2 previous letters re Gaza) for Conservative Activists to smear and libel their political opponents with impunity?

Do you think it is acceptable to whinge in the media about how “a poor innocent student is being bullied by a nasty MP” without making clear that the “poor innocent student” is in actual fact an active Conservative Party activist looking to unseat the person he is making a complaint about?

Do you think the reporting of all this should jump to conclusions so quickly?

All the best (and well done for becoming a Mayor at 23 – that is some going!)

67. Cllr Robert Pitchard

Do you have the proof of this?

1. Jenkins telling council chamber he opposed merger – yes a chamber full of councillors, press and puiblic heard it

2. Jenkins voting for said merger in House of Commons – yes see his record

3. Jenkins letter that said that you were lying about points 1 and 2 – for fear of repeating the above –

“Forgive me if I’m sceptical.” – no need I still have the letters filed away, both from Mr Jenkins and the Standards Board.

on your other questions –

Do you think it is acceptable for Conservative Activists to smear and libel their political opponents with impunity? if its true then its not libel.

Do you think it is acceptable to whinge in the media about how “a poor innocent student is being bullied by a nasty MP” without making clear that the “poor innocent student” is in actual fact an active Conservative Party activist looking to unseat the person he is making a complaint about? do you require the editord contact details?

Do you think the reporting of all this should jump to conclusions so quickly? I think when an MP thretens legal action on a student he would be a daft to think he will not get attention.

many thanks

when an MP thretens legal action on a student

What about when an MP asks for an apology, and notes legal action will be taken if one is not forthcoming, for an allegedly libellous statement made by a Conservative Party activist looking to unseat him?

The fact he’s a student as well is surely irrelevant. Unless you consider this is a good defence to libel. Do you think he could use that in court – “but I’m a student”?

Do you think it is acceptable for Conservative Activists to smear and libel their political opponents with impunity? if its true then its not libel.

So you accept that if the statements are false then it is libel then?

Given the 4 areas of likely dishonesty I noted in a post above, why do you believe him, other than the fact that Mr Clegg works closely with you? Surely best to wait for the facts before condemning Mr Jenkins?

What about when an MP asks for an apology, and notes legal action will be taken if one is not forthcoming

“notes” ?

.FFS – I think most people consider that to be a threat of legal action when contained within the same letter!

Is that how you go about asking for apologies?

Please say sorry…or I’ll sue.

Or do you wait to see if the “please say sorry” bit works first?

If you can’t see how Jenkins has been *at least* an idiot…

cjcjc,

So which lawyers wrote this threatening letter? Did Mr Clegg wake up to find a horses head on his bed?

Allegedly libel has taken place. If true, this has obviously been done by a Conservative Activist for political reasons. Why should Mr Jenkins not remind Mr Clegg that legal action will be taken if libellous statments are not retracted?

Bullying is not making up falce and malicious statements and spreading it.

Bullying is asking for an apology.

I think I understand now. But could you confirm that these definitions only apply when Labour politicians are libelled?

Did you read the letter?

Anyway, the idiot Jenkins is toast and it’s time to move on.

cjcjc

I read the letter. There’s 4 points re the letter and Mr Clegg’s honesty which I note you do not find important enough to respond to. Or the point on what the definition of bullying is.

Yes – you’re probably right. Good smearing by Mr Clegg, the MoS and Mr Dale. Mission accomplished. I’m sure the retraction or successful libel prosectution when it comes will be given far less prominence (and the correction to the articles making clear Mr Clegg is an active Conservative Activist will never be made).

You are all fantastic hypocrites – I bet you are proud.

FFS – neither of us has evidence as to Clegg’s honesty, so I cannot respond to it.

However we do know – from Mr Pritchard – that Jenkins has form.
Or do you think he is lying too?

I’m sure the retraction or successful libel prosectution when it comes will be given far less prominence

I expect neither to occur.

However, the prominence has only come about as a result of Jenkins’s stupidity, hasn’t it?
If he hadn’t sent that unattractive letter, we would be left with a by-now-forgotten letter to the Tamworth Herald with the oh-so-shocking headline “MP fails to reply to letter”.
He’s only got himself to blame.

Of course the main charge of Clegg’s original letter – that Jenkins “complained” about the unfair treatment of the Gurkhas after having himself voted to keep them out, and that he told locals he supported their post offices having voted to close them – doesn’t seem to matter to the idiot.
Of course he can’t complain about that – it’s all true!

It’s the dastardly accusation that he didn’t answer a letter that is the dreadful “smear” he gets worked up about…well if a smokecreen can backfire, his has backfired with a vengeance.

Blimey, that Warren Clegg is a bit of a Tory twit isn’t he? I note the whining tone of the letter to the newspaper he wrote and the excruciatingly over-simplistic reasoning it relies on. This man will go far in our Stupid Party.

Bob Piper at number 12 sums the affair up nicely.

Mr Clegg is yet another self-aggrandising Tory with egg on his face.

I think it’s Jenkins with the egg on his face, isn’t it?

In fact, given his thin majority, it’s egg on toast…poor idiot.

Unless you think, like texas, that he comes well out of this?
Defending his honour, not against the charge of voting against the Gurkhas, or voting against the local post offices, but against the killer “failure to answer letter” smear.

If Clegg is lying then his own scheme has worked brilliantly – hardly a twit at all – provoking Jenkins into a bad-tempered reply. Couldn’t have worked out better for Clegg’s party, could it?

2. Jenkins voting for said merger in House of Commons – yes see his record.

Oh dear, you must be new here to throw out that kind of invitation on one of my posts.

You claim that Brian Jenkins specifically voted for the merger of Staffordshire’s Ambulance Service into the West Midlands Regional Trust…

…and you’re completely wrong, because the merger was never put to a vote in the House of Commons.

To be precise, the merger was approved by the Secretary of State without recourse to a Parliamentary vote and the only Parliamentary proceedings undertaken relating to this merger amounted to a single statutory instrument, which legally dissolved the Staffordshire Trust and which is listed in the annex to 28th report of the Joint Committee on Statutory Instruments as not having been subject to parliamentary proceedings and, therefore, not laid before parliament.

http://www.publications.parliament.uk/pa/jt200607/jtselect/jtstatin/191/19111.htm

As Jenkins was not a member of SI Committee, he has never had the opportunity to vote on any measure relating specifically to this merger.

In the circumstances, the very best your claim that Jenkins voted ‘in favour’ of this merger could amount to is a generic claim that he voted for the Act of Parliament which conferred, on the Health Secretary, the authority to execute these mergers without recourse to a Parliamentary vote, making that claim disingenuous, if not downright dishonest.

78. Cllr Robert Pitchard

Oh dear, you must spend far too much time on blogs…

The Conservative in motion in the commons to stop the merger – Jenkins voted against – sorry dont have links n all that.

…however if I was wrong, why didn’t he sue me like he said he was???

as he didn’t, that leads to one conclusion – I must have been right.

I spend enough time on blogs not to be anything like as careless with the facts as you evidently are.

For the record, the motion that you incorrectly believe Jenkins opposed was tabled as a generic opposition day debate on the regionalisation of emergency services in October 2005. Jenkins, as you’ll see from the Public Whip (and confirmed by Hansard) was not present and did not vote on the motion.

http://www.publicwhip.org.uk/division.php?date=2005-10-12&number=53&showall=yes#voters

The other debate, which took place on 29 March 2009, was a Westminster Hall debate in which Jenkins spoke…

“I am against the Staffordshire ambulance merger. I want to make that perfectly clear because, as my hon. Friend Dr. Wright indicated, when I went to speak to my Conservative-run local authority and explain my position—quite clearly, I thought—the Conservative party’s spin machine in my part of the world accused me of lying and of doing one thing in Tamworth and a different thing in London, because I voted against the Opposition day motion. I do not want to pursue that point because it is now in the hands of the lawyers. The man involved is not working, unfortunately, so I shall not get much money off him. He is on his own account rather than his party’s account—I am sure that I could have got a sufficient amount off the party.”

Jenkins in actually mistaken in thinking that he voted against the opposition day motion.

His speech in that debate also suggests that the reason he didn’t pursue a libel action against you was simply that you weren’t worth suing.

Good work Unity – shows that I was right to suspect what a close colleague of Mr Clegg chose to say in his support.

It’s a full-time job checking all these “statements of fact” from Conservatives to see exactly where the inevitable “fact that isn’t true” is.

I doubt whether Clegg is worth suing; worth threatening though.

Jenkins – voted against the Gurkhas, for the PO closures – he must make you guys so proud!

Egg on toast…yummy

cjcjc

So that means Conservative Activists should be able to libel him with impunity right? Only fair.

Very funny to see Conservative Jerk and the Daily Mail supporting the immigration of Gurkhas, seeing as they are normally against immigration. Put a gun in some ones hand and the Right goes all week at the knees.

I think the very fact that the Tory trolls are supporting this activist shows how little credibility he has. It would be interesting to know if this is being orchestrated by Tory Central office. Baring in mind that money bags Ashcroft has targeted marginal seats, and it has all the hall marks of a dirty tricks campaign, which the brownshirts like to indulge in.

Iain Dale, Sunday May 24th, 9-59am “Labour MP Bullies Constituent Over Gurkha Letter”

Labour MP Brian Jenkins is a prat. And a bully. The Mail on Sunday reports that he has sent a letter to a constituent, Warren Clegg, threatening legal action over a letter Mr Clegg had sent him about the Gurkhas. Mr Clegg pointed out in a letter to the local paper in Tamworth that he hadn’t had a reply. Mr Clegg is a student at Cambridge about to sit his finals. His father has just gone to serve in Afghanistan. Now Warren Clegg’s mother has written to the Prime Minister to protest at this letter.

No mention of the fact that Warren Clegg is a Conservative activist and member of Conservative Future

And decides not to add this crucial fact when it is pointed out.

Dale has supportive comments saying whether or not Mr Clegg is a Conservative activist is irrelevant.

Iain Dale, Wednesday May 27th, 10-58am “In Defence of Julie Kirkbride”

The woman behind it is a leading light in George Galloway’s Respect party, yet as far as I know this fact hasn’t been mentioned once. She’s portrayed as some kind of heroic local citizen. And so she may be, but shouldn’t her political background be transparent?

LOL

Well spotted Texas.

Always good to show up Dale as the discredited Tory hack that he is.

He was on here the other day boasting about the fact that he had called for one Tory MP to resign. Just ONE mind.

Interesting he is supporting that Trollope Kirk bride. I wonder if it has anything to do with the fact that she used to be,, like him, a useless Tory hack.

86. Cllr Robert Pitchard

so why didnt Mr Jenkins sue me??? as he said he would???

“The man involved is not working, unfortunately, so I shall not get much money off him. He is on his own account rather than his party’s account—I am sure that I could have got a sufficient amount off the party”

What a lovely chap, and a great loss to his constituency after the election.

88. Carl Eve

Texas

Excellent observation of Dale’s double-think… hoisted by his own pet-toad.

@robertpitchard

You criticised Mr Jenkins re getting Conservative activists to retract libellous smears, because you believed that threatening legal action was heavy-handed.

Yet you say the fact Mr Jenkins didn’t sue you proves that your allegations were true (even after someone provides the evidence to show they were not – surely better advised to scarper from the debate and try and get together with Mr Clegg to devise a strategy to attack Mr Jenkins without smearing or libelling him)

How can you hold both positions simultaneously?

Surely following the logic of your second point would lead to an inevitable conclusion that Mr Jenkins is quite right to threaten legal action against Mr Clegg, otherwise it proves the allegations are true, right?

I get completely lost in all the double-think you Tories compulsively engage in!

Oh. And @84 I missed out an important part of the quote (in bold):

but perhaps the media – especially Sky News – might like to defend its reporting of the petition in Bromsgrove (because) the woman behind it is a leading light in George Galloway’s Respect party, yet as far as I know this fact hasn’t been mentioned once. She’s portrayed as some kind of heroic local citizen. And so she may be, but shouldn’t her political background be transparent?

I feel my original doesn’t quite demonstrate the full hypocrisy of Dale’s position. To mirror:

Might he like, for example, to defend his reporting of the Clegg/Jenkins argument as the man behind it is a leading light in the Tamworth branch of David Cameron’s Conservative Party, yet as far as I know Dale and the Mail on Sunday have not mentioned this fact once. He is portrayed as some kind of heroic local citizen.

I notice the Conservative Party has now removed the photo from their website (at least the publicly accessible part).

The truth too embarassing and needs to be re-written?

Truly Orwellian.


Reactions: Twitter, blogs
  1. Liberal Conspiracy

    New post: What Dale didn’t mention http://bit.ly/GTQeh

  2. Michael Haddon

    RT @libcon: New post: What Dale didn’t mention http://bit.ly/GTQeh (Wonder why the byline is ‘Mail on Sunday Reporter’?)

  3. Tim Ireland

    This is the kind of thing you miss when you trust Iain Dale’s version of events: http://bit.ly/TCVPS http://bit.ly/Y690m

  4. Rob Fahey

    @chris_coltrane http://bit.ly/6zVWc – not cut and dried, but it does start to look like a young Tory trying to make an impression.

  5. Chris Coltrane

    http://bit.ly/6zVWc Looks like the guy being sued by his Labour MP might actually be a Tory activist! Cheers to @robfahey for the link.

  6. Chris Coltrane

    http://bit.ly/6zVWc That guy who might receive legal action from his MP might actually be a Tory activist! Cheers to @robfahey for the link

  7. Mike Power

    Crock of shit from Unity: http://is.gd/CYku Only question is did MP threaten legal action. Answer: YES Ergo the MP IS a fucking great twat!

  8. Liberal Conspiracy

    New post: What Dale didn’t mention http://bit.ly/GTQeh

  9. Michael Haddon

    RT @libcon: New post: What Dale didn’t mention http://bit.ly/GTQeh (Wonder why the byline is ‘Mail on Sunday Reporter’?)

  10. Tim Ireland

    This is the kind of thing you miss when you trust Iain Dale’s version of events: http://bit.ly/TCVPS http://bit.ly/Y690m

  11. Tim Ireland

    This is the kind of thing you miss when you trust Iain Dale’s version of events: http://bit.ly/TCVPS <b>http</b>://bit.ly/Y690m

  12. Rob Fahey

    @chris_coltrane http://bit.ly/6zVWc – not cut and dried, but it does start to look like a young Tory trying to make an impression.

  13. Chris Coltrane

    http://bit.ly/6zVWc Looks like the guy being sued by his Labour MP might actually be a Tory activist! Cheers to @robfahey for the link.

  14. Chris Coltrane

    http://bit.ly/6zVWc That guy who might receive legal action from his MP might actually be a Tory activist! Cheers to @robfahey for the link





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