The Labour party should expel Phil Woolas


11:43 am - September 14th 2010

by Don Paskini    


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Labour MP Phil Woolas is currently on trial in response to accusations that he made and published false statements of fact in relation to the personal character or conduct of his Liberal Democrat opponent at the last election.

I would be quite surprised, based on the evidence provided so far, if Woolas were found guilty in strict legal terms.

But even if he manages to escape prosecution, the campaign which he chose to run and the leaflets that he put out were vile and disgusting racist filth.

The Labour Party constitution says that when someone’s behaviour is “bringing the Labour Party into disrepute through behaviour that is prejudicial or grossly detrimental to the Party”, they should be expelled. You only have to look at the leaflets, or at newspaper headlines like “Ex-minister ‘tried to stir racial hate'” to see that Woolas has brought the Labour Party into disrepute.

I hope that once the trial is over, the Labour Party sends a clear and principled anti-racist message by withdrawing the whip from Phil Woolas and expelling him from the party.

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About the author
Don Paskini is deputy-editor of LC. He also blogs at donpaskini. He is on twitter as @donpaskini
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Story Filed Under: Blog ,Labour party ,Race relations ,Westminster

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Reader comments


Yup.

Yes, I agree with this.

(Alan Milburn and Frank Field should also be expelled, though for other reasons.)

I agree with this post.

However, I think that his opponent has a prima facie case of defamation against Woolas’ campaign; and even if Woolas himself escapes censure, the election result should be voided.

As for Woolas, I wouldn’t vote him onto my old school’s PTA.

The legal bar which must be crossed for Woolas to be found guilty is high. He may be innocent of the specific offence.

However even if innocent of the specific offence listed, the behaviour of his electoral team and he have been disgusting and I wouldn’t oppose him being expelled.

However, Woolas’s behaviour has only differed in degree rather than character from that of the Labour party for much of its time in office. Pots and Kettles and all that.

5. Cynical/Realist?

The whole issue of political leaflets and promotion in campaigning needs a serious review. In my area the Lib Dem leaflets played pretty damn fast and loose with the facts about past election results when campaigning. The Labour and Tory ones weren’t much better.

It seems lies and half truths on campaign are treated in the same way as standard advertising – that smudging of facts etc is just ‘part of the game’. I don’t like it in advertsising in general – but in political campaigning the rules need to be much tighter.

They should expel lots of vile people, but it’s not going to happen. They never expelled the crook Robert Maxwell, they never expelled the scab-herder Kinnock, they never expelled welfare-slasher Frank Field.

The only people who ever get expelled from the Labour Party.are those who fight for workers and the poor.

Speaking as a non-member, I think it’d be better if they pinned a sign reading “Sic Semper Twattis” to his arse, chained him to his desk and hurled him into the Thames.

Dodgy stats and misleading graphs may be deeply annoying, Cynical/Realist?, but they don’t defame anyone. Likewise, harping on about how you’re “the local candidate” when your opponent was born in raised within the constituency may be grating, but it’s only defamatory when you actually call your opponent a Johnny-come-lately outright.

Electoral promoters are used to dancing around the defamation laws in all kinds of creative ways, so the only explanation I can come up with for their total failure to do so in the Woolas case is that they were too busy toeing the boundaries of incitement to racial hatred to notice that they were merrily libelling an opponent.

(er, “was born and raised”)

“scab-herder Kinnock” ??

The leaflets were sent out in May. It is now September. The message is clearly that the Labour Party find this behaviour acceptable.

As for Woolas, I wouldn’t vote him onto my old school’s PTA.

I would.

(But only in revenge.)

Why is it racist to want to limit immigration into the UK?

@13

Beside the point. Look at the leaflets he produced >> http://politicalscrapbook.net/2010/08/phil-woolas-election-leaflets/ in a place like Oldham with its recent history that sort of campaigning should not be happening by a Labour candidate. Leave the muck-raking and race-stirring to the BNP.

Gubbs,

It isn’t. Nor is it actually racist to suggest your opponent is supported by Islamic extremists. I think dishonest (in the second point) and potentially xenophobic depending on reasons (in the first) are more accurate labels. But then who needs accuracy when you can just scream racism?

@13 again

also: his stance on immigration hasn’t been mentioned in either this article or the comments (until yours) so not sure why yr bringing it up….

@watchman

You don’t think it’s racist for Wollas’s campaign manager to say to his election agent, via email, ““We need … to explain to the white community how the Asians will take him out … If we don’t get the white vote angry he’s gone.” ??

Or for him to doctor a photo to show his opponent with armed policemen? http://nickthornsby.wordpress.com/2010/09/03/exclusive-hypocritical-woolas-caught-photoshopping/

“If you want a nigger for a neigbour vote Labour”

Now who wrote that one? Oh yes, the tory brownshirts. Don’ t remember anyone getting taken to court over it, so no advice from tory trolls is needed thanks.

I have no opinion on whether support for a limit on immigration is inherently racist – but the correlation I’ve observed between people who announce their support for placing limits on immigration and then can’t help from letting casual racism issue forth a few sentences later suggests to me that it serves as a reasonably accurate litmus test.

sally, please stop “helping”.

sally,

“Now who wrote that one? Oh yes, the tory brownshirts. Don’ t remember anyone getting taken to court over it, so no advice from tory trolls is needed thanks.”

Well, no-one was taken to court because it was not illegal then (not sure if it is now to be honest).

And I would certainly vote against anyone who wrote anything like that, but then again it was written (as a local campaign which was disowned nationally) years before my birth (and about the time of the current Prime Minister’s?). Still, can’t expect you to disassociate historical mistakes from present debates can we?

@ 14

I did look at the leaflets and on initial inspection they did not appear to be racist to me, hence I asked the question. I believe that the level of immigration into the UK is of concern to at least a significant minority of the UK population, possibly more.

You may object to Wollas’ tactics, but I don’t see how it can be called racist as is stated in the leader article and throughout the posts. I seem to recall that about 10% of the UK population were not born in the UK which makes me wonder how sustainable the last governments immigration policy was and the impact on upon those already here.

S. Pill,

You don’t think it’s racist for Wollas’s campaign manager to say to his election agent, via email, ““We need … to explain to the white community how the Asians will take him out … If we don’t get the white vote angry he’s gone.” ??

No – I think its identity politics. Nothing in there suggests the campaign manager was discriminating against people of another race, merely showing a total lack of imagination and using exactly the same sort of classification as all those government forms do to identify people.

Swap working-class for white and middle-class for Asian and this would be fine. It just happens in this case that the labels used were those of race and therefore it appears controversial. Which is clearly not to see I think it a good idea – as you may have noticed, I prefer to see people as individuals rather than groups defined by labels.

Watchman usually requires a higher standard of evidence than the rest of us before accepting an allegation made here by somebody on the left has some truth in it.

Frankly if I’m ever accused of a crime, I hope he is on the jury. Even Ian Huntley would have had a chance.

I can’t see there’s anything racist in the leaflet at all. The images are “real” ones – they were copied from photographs taken at a demo against the Danish cartoons and feature extremists carrying placards with extremist slogans on them. All perfectly authentic.

It would be racist if Labour had stated or even implied that all…. or most…Muslims were extremists. `or if it had implied that most Muslims in Oldham subscribe to the views expressed by the placards. But the leaflet does not do that.

@24 Watchman

I’m sorry but in a place like Oldham you cannot make statements like Woolas’s colleagues did and not expect accusations of racism.

Sorry for the double negatives.

As I understand it the issue isn’t about immigration it’s about the deliberate exploitation of xenophobia by associating his opponents with Islamic fundamentalists then pretending to be a victim for speaking the ‘truth’.

So racism, lies and playing the victim card: he’s got to go.

I seem to recall that about 10% of the UK population were not born in the UK

By itself, that statistic is meaningless. How many of those 10% are on temporary visas, or otherwise self-supported? How many have come in to fill high-skills job shortages? What’s the mean stay length? How has that percentage changed over time? (For example, if it’s been 10% or so for the last century, then clearly not only is it not a problem, but it demonstrates that immigration itself is not a problem, and certainly not a growing one.) There are a number of questions that must be answered before any importance whatsoever could be attached to that statistic… and when someone doesn’t go conspicuously out of their way to answer them, but instead decides that “oh, we obviously have a problem then” – it may not be unreasonable to draw certain conclusions.

@25 Planeshift,

Believe me, I expect the same standard of proof from the right as well. I regard racism as particularly serious (look at its consequences if unchecked) and therefore not something that should be thrown around.

Which leads on to…

@27

I would expect (ignorant) cases of racism wherever this was done, but in fact, if the narrative that this was to attract Conservative voters is accurate, what we have here is just ignorance and a lack of understanding. My point is that it was not actually racist in the proper sense of the word involving discrimination or victimisation because of race. There are plenty of other sins in action here, but I think this basically derives from assumptions that identity A votes this way, identity B that way and never challenging that. Then again, I think I can understand why the Phil Woolas campaign might want to keep off actual issues – he doesn’t generally do anything substantive at all well…

TOTAL FUCKING BOLLOCKS!!!

If Woolas is found innocent then he is exactly that an innocent man and thus will not and should not be punished. The Labour Party does not eat it’s own, by expelling him we would be gifting a seat to the LibDems and a news story to that sanctimonious cunt Nick Clegg.

The LibDems have no compunction in fighting the most negative, dirty campaigns! ffs Simon Hughes won his by-election by issuing rabidly homophobic leaflets while being a closet case himself, which is without doubt the most disgraceful hypocrisy. There are plenty of smearing LibDem attack leaflets and tory leaflets that would make the BNP ask themselves if they were going to far.

@ 28

As I understand it, the main issue for the trial is whether or not Woolas & Co had any grounds for asserting that the Lib Dem candidate was “wooing the extremists”. Or even whether there was any evidence that the extremists were calling on their fellow extremists to vote Lib Dem.

If Woolas had no evidence that extremists were backing the Lib Dems, or that the Lib Dems were keen to have this support, then he did wrong.

But that there are extremists is not at issue. And it is not racist to discuss them. In Oldham or anywhere else.

@31

Newsflash, Chris. This is already a news story, thanks to Woolas & co and their stupid hateful campaigning. All the more reason to ditch the bad apple, no? Galloway was thrown out for less (as was Livingstone I believe) – why throw out lefties but keep in righties like Woolas?

@ 29

Off topic I know but I would like more information on immigration into the UK, the benefits and costs. These statistics, and the additional points you raise do not seem readily available so it is difficult to assess the impact of immigration into the UK. Pointers anyone?

@Gubbs

Blogger Left Outside has some good articles about immigration here
and if you like your stats hard and pure have a search around the ONS site… hope that helps.

“These statistics, and the additional points you raise do not seem readily available so it is difficult to assess the impact of immigration into the UK. Pointers anyone?”

Well, we could always resort to assuming lack of statistics means our own prejudices are correct.

Or we could spend a bit of time using google and searching the various academic bodies for literature.

So is Woolas really in charge of David Milliband’s campaign or not ?

I keep coming across the rumour, but never anywhere reliable.

Simon Hughes won his by-election by issuing rabidly homophobic leaflets

This is factually innaccurate and defamatory towards Simon. It was the “Real Labour” candidate that ran the homophobic campaign, and none of Hughes leaflets can in any way have been said to be “rapidly homophobic”.

And I’ve read all the leaflets that allegations have been made about, most of them are available online.

The issue is not whether what Woolas put in his leaflets was racist. The issue at court is whether he said factually innnaccurate things he knew to be untrue about his opponent. His leaflets contain egregious innaccuracies, that’s obvious, whether he knew them to be true is for the courts, but if he didn’t, then he’s even more unfit for office than I currently think him to be.

The issue of this article is whether he should be allowed to continue as a Labour MP, and is written by a leader Labour activist.

If these leaflets had been put out backing a Lib Dem candidate, in this sort of way, I’d be calling for him/her to be investigated and expelled. I think Don’s right to make this post.

Regardless of the legality, for a supposedly reputable, anti-racist party to be issuing such leaflets is wrong.

Even if the court finds him innocent, that doesn’t change what he did, and a national party can set whatever standards it wants to for its elected reps, and from what Don’s quoted fromt he Labour constitution, it’s clear that Woolas has an internal case to answer within the Labour party.

@37

Good question. The Times has him as a “campaign fixer” here but that’s all I can find via google for now….

@38 Simon Hughes apologised for the campaign in 2006. Why precisely would he do that if his party didn’t have any hand in homophobic campaigning? You are talking nonsense.

Whether or not Liberal leaflets in 1983 were “rabidly homophobic”, Simon Hughes many years later issued a public apology to Peter Tatchell, which is a curious thing to be doing if he felt he or his campaign had nothing to apologise for.

If we’re looking for Lib Dem analogues to Phil Woolas, incidentally, a better bet would probably be not so much Simon Hughes as the group that ran Tower Hamlets in the early 1990s, with their racist “sons and daughters” housing policy. If memory serves, the national party never interfered with what they were doing (I’ve always assumed that this was because they were so pleased to be winning power in an inner-city area), and the councillors continued on their merry way until they were swept away in a massive swing to Labour in the elections following Derek Beackon’s by-election win in Millwall.

On Hughes again, there’s an image of one of his campaign leaflets here:

http://photos1.blogger.com/blogger/4318/65/1600/libber834b.jpg

Readers can make up their own mind whether there’s something homophobic, whether rabidly or otherwise, about the appeal, in bold, block capitals, to the STRAIGHT CHOICE between Mr Hughes and Mr Tatchell.

(Sorry to derail the thread; none of this in any way is meant to draw attention away from the fact that Phil Woolas is obviously a disgrace and should be thrown out of the Labour Party.)

44. James from Durham

As a libdem, I am quite keen for Woollas to remain in the Labour Party. He demonstrates some of the more unpleasant strands in the party’s DNA. This is one of the reasons why, although many of us are very uncomfortable with our current partner, we are not attracted to or inclined to flirt with the equally ugly other main party.

Remember, Woollas is not some back bench lobby fodder yokel. He is a senior guy in the party. Not like “Gorgeous George” or “Red Ken”. Is he a leading DMill aide? If his behaviour was disapproved, surely DMill’s response to his offer of assistance would have been “Phil, mate, I appreciate that, but I can’t distract you from your own pressing personal issues”.

Yes Chris, THE STRAIGHT CHOICE was the national slogan at the previous election – the same as the recent campaigns all went along the lines of “ONLY X CAN WIN HERE!”

While I do feel believe that in Hughes’ case, they should have been more sensitive to the local situation of campaigning against an openly gay PPC, there is a difference between stupidly using a national slogan that is inappropriate in a specific constituency, and a specifically targeted smear campaign falsely accusing an opponent of being in league with “the devil”, Muslim extremists etc, illegally funding their campaign/going over the limit etc.

46. Missing A Pint

So the thrust of this post is that regardless of the High Court’s findings, Labour should expel the Member for Oldham East and Saddleworth, thus triggering a by-election that they would almost certainly lose?

Dream on, Comrades.

47. James from Durham

Missing a Pint. I agree. The Labour party needs all the MPs it can get, even the racist ones. It is apparently either not strong enough to stand up to people like Woollas, or sees nothing wrong with his attitudes.

By the way, Tim van Hoof, you have not explained what a “Scab-herder” is. The people want to know!

LDK: Yes Chris, THE STRAIGHT CHOICE was the national slogan at the previous election

The Alliance hadn’t previously fought a national election, but I take it you mean the Liberals, with reference to the 1979 election. Do you have evidence that this is true? I haven’t heard this claim made before. (I’m perfectly willing to be convinced, and agree with what you go on to say about the specifics of the 1983 by-election campaign.)

Missing a Pint: a by-election would only be triggered if Mr Woolas were to resign as an MP. He would be free to continue to sit in Parliament as an independent, or to join another party that would have him, such as the BNP.

I have to agree with Chris.

There is no reason why Labour should drop Woolas just because he ran a racist and divisive election campaign.

Labour are, after all, the new BNP. Woolas is pretty much their perfect poster boy.

Much as I would love to see Woolas humiliated he’s the tip of the iceberg when it comes to Labour’s attitude to immigration, asylum and refugees.

As I’ve reported [http://madikazemi.blogspot.com/2010/09/analysis-labours-leadership-candidates.html], Eds Balls and Miliband are the only leadership candidates to apologise for Labour’s treatment of gay asylum seekers.

Labour went into the election proposing to continue to tell LGBT asylum seekers to ‘go home and be discrete’ and wrote the government’s defence of that policy to the Supreme Court. Jacqui Smith was the one who actually signed that defence off.

Woolas actually had the cheek to use Pride month two years ago to claim Labour had something to be proud of! But then Alan Johnson during his stint as Home Sec literally turned his back on an asylum seeker he’d supported previously as his local MP – when he wasn’t in the cabinet.

I have not seen any serious debate on what they did in this area during the leadership campaign so the only conclusion to be drawn is – no – apologies won’t be forthcoming and – no – they feel they’ve nothing to be ashamed of. After all, as I was constantly reminded by them during the election campaign, ‘stop whining! aren’t you grateful for all these things we’ve done for the gays?’

Woolas is just one bastard amongst many.

51. Missing A Pint

Chris Brooke,

“a by-election would only be triggered if Mr Woolas were to resign as an MP. He would be free to continue to sit in Parliament as an independent, or to join another party that would have him, such as the BNP”

But would Labour deliberately disenfranchise their supporters in Oldham?

Would they deliberately give up one of their precious remaining seats=votes in that casual way?

Oh, I don’t think the Party *will* expel Woolas in the event of him getting through this court hearing unscathed. I think he has too many powerful friends, and I think the Party will be reluctant to surrender control of any Parliamentary constituency. But I certainly think it *ought* to expel him, because, with the Don, I think his behaviour has been despicable, and it brings the Party into disrepute.

Hilarious passage you guys have missed from yesterday’s proceedings.

From Nick Thorsby http://nickthornsby.wordpress.com/, bit about Woolas’ diary:

“Mr Laddie referenced a diary passage in which Mr Woolas stated that he believed his chances were slim because the Tories selected an Asian candidate, and a further passage in which he stated that he was convinced he was going to lose because of his implication in the MPs’ expenses scandal. Mr Laddie contended that a significant change of attitude is discernible after The Examiner and mailshot election address had been sent to voters. Mr Woolas replied that a number of factors had led to an improvement in his mood, such as AN IMPROVEMENT IN THE WEATHER.”

Re “a straight choice” – two leaflets from around the same time are here:

http://by-elections.co.uk/brecon85/libbre852b.jpg and

http://by-elections.co.uk/kincardine91/libkin919.jpg

Both refer to “a straight choice between [Lib/Alliance candidate] and [Another party/candidate]” and I have in the past seen similar ones in addition to those two.

I know there were genuinely dirty tricks being played at grassroots level in that by-election, but the slogan itself was not unique to that campaign and was not intended to be homophobic – however its use against a gay candidate is obviously questionable.

55. George W. Potter

Further to @29, I happen to be one of those born overseas. In belgium as it happens. Of course, both my parents were english and I’ve never had any nationality but british which just goes to show how stupid and unaware people quoting the 10% statistic are.

56. Missing A Pint

Chris Brooke,

“Oh, I don’t think the Party *will* expel Woolas in the event of him getting through this court hearing unscathed. I think he has too many powerful friends…”

Also the realpolitik is that Labour has lost some supporters to the BNP around the country, and it needs them back. Labour can always (for some odd reason) rely on Muslim bloc votes, but it’s the WWC it needs to get back on side with.

BNP sympathisers are now a significant part of the Labour party coalition, and that isn’t going to change any time soon.

57. George W. Potter

Quite simply, Woolas defamed his opponent and used dog-whistle tactics to encourage racists and xenophobes to vote for him. That behaviour is worthy of expulsion whether or not he manages to wriggle off the hook or not.

I very much doubt Labour will though because, as the pay return years have shown, they have previous few principles left.

@38

What planet have you been living on? Hughes, to his credit, apologised in 2006 about his campaign which included male canvassers wearing buttons stating they’d been kissed by Tatchell.

http://www.pinknews.co.uk/news/articles/2005-349.html/

@50

Labour’s record on gay issues is second to none; they are the party that legalised it, passed anti-discrimination & equality laws, etc.

Talking of dropping people in the shit once in power, how is Gary Mckinnon? Clegg stood beside his MOTHER and promised to stop his extradition if in power, yet now strangely Mckinnon’s mum can’t seem to get through to the DPM. All that the new government is offering is all Labour offered, allowing him to serve his sentence in the UK.

Oh and what about the child asylum seekers held in detention centres? Again Clegg promised to end child detention but now the coalition are talking about “minimising” their detention. So, the coalition are offering minimised child detention, whatever that is, or immediate deportation – nice one!

59. Missing A Pint

George Potter

“That behaviour is worthy of expulsion whether or not he manages to wriggle off the hook or not!”

But would you seriously grant another parliamentary seat to the Coalition over this matter?

LDK: Thanks for that, but do note that neither of those images support your claim that the “straight choice” was a “national slogan” in the 1979 election. That’s the specific claim for which I’d like to see some evidence.

Also, I’m basically going to discount the 1985 Brecon & Radnor by-election leaflet, as that’s another election where it’s often said that the Liberals were playing dirty, claiming that their candidate was the only one in a “stable family relationship” (the Tory candidate was a middle-aged single man, the Labour candidate wasn’t married to the woman he lived with).

But – yes – I agree that the 1991 leaflet is evidence that the Lib Dems have used that particular slogan in a context where they weren’t trying to insinuate that their opponent was gay. One out of three not bad.

(Again — to everyone on this thread: this is *not* an attempt to excuse Woolas by saying that the Liberals are worse. Woolas is a wretched scrotum of a man who has no place in public life in this country.)

Talking of dropping people in the shit once in power, how is Gary Mckinnon?

Has Paul mentioned Nick Clegg? No. Has he lauded the Lib Dems? He’s not. Is human welfare more important that partisan squabbling? You tell me.

Re: @Chris

“Labour’s record on gay issues is second to none; they are the party that legalised it, passed anti-discrimination & equality laws, etc.”

And do you know WHEN this happened? Years after they were elected. It took until 2007 for discrimination to be outlawed. Ten years. Go look it up.

And this is somehow meant to make up for their treatment of LGBT asylum seekers, a number of whom lost their lives?!? We’re supposed to forget about them and just be grateful that they did the right thing in the end?!? I remind you that they still, collectively, are defending their LGBT asylum policies. This means nothing to you?

I did a float for the 2000 Pride parade with Tony Blair as Pinnochio precisely because they were so slow to do anything. At that point they were still defending the military ban on gays before the European Court.

Some of us have long memories re johnny-come-latelys. Mine goes back to the 80s and Kinnock’s desperate attempts to stop even basic adoption of pro-LGBT policy ….

The real pioneers have been for years, decades, the LibDems. Many, many Labour people have been on the right side of history – people like ken Livingstone and Diane Abbott – but as a whole it’s only very recently that the party has been in the right place.

@Chris

“Oh and what about the child asylum seekers held in detention centres? Again Clegg promised to end child detention but now the coalition are talking about “minimising” their detention. So, the coalition are offering minimised child detention, whatever that is, or immediate deportation – nice one!”

At least they’re trying. Labour would have continued locking up children.

“At least they’re trying. Labour would have continued locking up children.”

Ermmm earth to paul, the coalition are still locking up children; well I suppose they have the the choice of either being immediately deported or locked up – progress?

@56

“BNP sympathisers are now a significant part of the Labour party coalition, and that isn’t going to change any time soon.”

LOL!!! Have you visited the planet Earth recently?

@Chris

er, I saw that.

let’s just say I have more faith that the coalition will end child detention than that Labour would have.

@56 you seem to be forgetting that Phil Woolas’ campaign actually worked, and he won.

If Oldham was full of privileged liberals like you then he would have lost, but the harsh truth is that the anti-muslim sentiments in his leaflets helped him to win because Labour supporters in Oldham liked the message.

@Paul

They may well end child detention, which is obviously a good thing, but don’t expect their alternative to be much nicer; it’ll be either immediate deportation or not letting them claim asylum in the first place.

@Chris

agreed. But at least asylum peeps have more hope for better treatment from others than Labour – and that is ENTIRELY the point.

72. Chaise Guevara

“If Oldham was full of privileged liberals like you then he would have lost, but the harsh truth is that the anti-muslim sentiments in his leaflets helped him to win because Labour supporters in Oldham liked the message.”

Well, whether or not he won is being decided now. Working on the assumption that he’s found not guilty, you would have course be entirely right by pointing out that it was a valid victory. The point is, though, is this the sort of message that Labour want to be associated with their party?

Chaise Guevara,

“Well, whether or not he won is being decided now”

Not true. He DID win, they are trying to sort out whether he did so within the letter of the law. But the fact is he got the most votes, and that was based in part on his campaign, including all of the leaflets.

Labour DOES want to send out that kind of message. In certain areas of the country that message appeals to potential Labour voters. This blog may like to take the theoretical high ground, but the reality is that for Labour to get back in power ever, they will have to rely on a significant number of white working class voters. Some of those voters are unhappy with their Muslim neighbours, and their votes will have to be secured by addressing those concerns.

Labour forgets Gillian Duffy at its mortal peril.

74. George W. Potter

@59,

Yes, for two reasons. One, it is immoral to hold a seat which was won through such disgraceful tactics and, two, I’m a lib dem :)

@73

Addressing voters’ concerns is not the same as pandering to racist sentiment, or stirring up racial tension. It’s actually in all voters’ interests to fight racism wherever it happens even from a self-interested view, because it causes social division and fear, which affects everyone badly in the long run.

@75 but the fact is that the messages on Phil Woolas’ leaflets were accepted by some voters in Oldham. His leaflets helped him win a majority.

“Yes, for two reasons. One, it is immoral to hold a seat which was won through such disgraceful tactics and, two, I’m a lib dem”

LOL

Well that would rule out the majority of Mp’s in my view. Looking at some of the bullshit that is put out by them.

I’m not sure why everyone thinks the Lib Dems would win this seat if their is a re-run. The Lie Dems are tanking in the polls now people know they are the tories in disguise.

Sally, there wouldn’t be a “re-run”. Woolas would be declared unfit for office and inegligible to be an MP. Thus by-election, with a new Labour candidate.

The seat borders mine, so I might go campaign, but whoever wins it I care not, but having Woolas as a neighbour really bothers me.

Yea I take your poin it is not a re run, but it is a by election, and I can’t see the lie dems doing better than they did at the general election.

I love the way you repeat that “lie dems” insult, when the thread in question is about the Labour candidate lying about his opponent.

No counter allegations have been made, wonder why that is? Is it just OK for Labour candidates to lie then?

The lie Dems are the worst when it comes to elections. They always say we want to fight on the issues and the people are fed up with punch and Judy politics and then they come out with some of the worst crap I have seen.

Not only that but in one part of the country they are saying one thing, and at the other end of the country they are saying the opposite. I have not much time for this Labour candidate but the idea we have to take lectures about lying from the lib Dems….Please.

“in one part of the country they are saying one thing, and at the other end of the country they are saying the opposite” [citation needed]

Or just stop repeating the same tired old crap. Having moved across the country three times, now living at the third “other end” to where I started, I haven’t seen it.

Maybe if you stopped the paranoid delusion and instead fought on facts, you’d do better as well?

@76

Well… a) you don’t know that for sure and b) it’s a despicable way to campaign and as I pointed out counter-productive even in self-interested terms. Even racists would benefit from being not-racists. (Self-evident, I’d’ve thought).

” I can’t see the lie dems doing better than they did at the general election.”

That’s because you’re a Labour supporter. As such you are hardly going to be bothered by Woolas’s efforts to incite racial hatred. Compared to the attack on Iraq and all the other nastiness it’s pretty small beer.

Fortunately most normal people don’t share your distorted world view. Most normal people dislike liars and racists even when they’re wearing a pretty red rosette.

Give ’em a chance and they’ll do to you in Burnley what they did to the BNP in Dagenham.

What you think Clegg ” watch out the tories are going to raise VAT” at the last election is going to be a winner with,, “now we are helping the tories raise VAT”

Was that a lie by the way? Should Clegg be in court for all the bullshit he said at the last election?

@83

You are deluding yourself if you refuse to accept that Woolas’ campaign literature helped him to win.

A majority of voters in Oldham were not put off by the leaflets, and they voted for Phil Woolas.

Labour owes that seat in part to people who were comfortable with anti-Muslim sentiment, and they will have to keep those same people on-side in order to hold the seat at the next election.

@86

OK let’s get pedantic for a bit:

At the Oldham East & Saddleworth election this year turnout was 61.2%. That means that 38.8% didn’t bother to vote for anyone.
Woolas got – of those who bothered to vote – 31.9% of the share.
That means 68.1% of those who could be arsed didn’t vote for him. Even if we take away the BNP and UKIP votes (5.7% and 3.9% respectively) that’s still 59.3% that didn’t vote for Woolas.

My point? You can’t say this variable or that variable made people vote for Woolas. A lot of people would’ve held their noses and voted for him anyway because they have always voted Labour – especially somewhere like Oldham. And equally a lot of people would’ve been put off by his voting record on stuff like Iraq and civil libs. But to say he won (by less than 1%, remember because of his racist campaigning is jumping the gun a bit.

Matt:

Or just stop repeating the same tired old crap. Having moved across the country three times, now living at the third “other end” to where I started, I haven’t seen it.

Y’know, Sally’s assertion seems the most likely in this case. For the record, I really don’t see a problem with party activists tailoring their message according to region. That’s why I would suspect that Lib Dem activists in Devon are saying something different about Sheffield Forgemasters than Lib Dem activists in, y’know, Sheffield. If that’s the case, perhaps the Devon Lib Dems could teach the Sheffield Lib Dems a thing or two about how to sell that policy, for lord knows they haven’t managed it yet.

Maybe I’m wrong, but it’d be odd if there was such uniformity across the country. It’s politically self-defeating, if nothing else.

@85 Sally

I think you’re allowed to lie about yourself (could also point to Cameron claiming he’ll keep winter fuel payments as they were) as you can always blame “events” afterwards. It’s (allegedly) lying about other people that causes legal probs…

@84

LOL, what sanctimonious bullshit your shovelling!!!

“That’s because you’re a Labour supporter. As such you are hardly going to be bothered by Woolas’s efforts to incite racial hatred. Compared to the attack on Iraq and all the other nastiness it’s pretty small beer.”

Yawn, and your in the LibDem alternate reality where the tories are the progressives who overwhelmingly opposed the war…

“Fortunately most normal people don’t share your distorted world view. Most normal people dislike liars and racists even when they’re wearing a pretty red rosette.”

Even more fortunately a big majority of normal people don’t subscribe to your distorted world view! Where it is okay to stand in front of the 30 metre square billboard warning of VAT bombshells then collaborate with the very party you were attacking to drop said bombshell.

Currently, subscribers to your world view are fast disappearing, reading the latest yougov tracker would leave you with just 13 seats made my acid reflux subside!!!

91. Just Visiting

Mr S Pill 75

> Addressing voters’ concerns is not the same as pandering to racist sentiment, or stirring up racial tension. It’s actually in all voters’ interests to fight racism wherever it happens even from a self-interested view, because it causes social division and fear, which affects everyone badly in the long run.

I agree with that.
But there’s some interesting things happening in german politics right now that reflect on this.

Like here the level of debate on the issue of immigration has been superficial: stuck between the DailyMail style on one end; and the liberal main stream silencing such debate by premature claims of racism.

In Germany, an SDP member (that’s their mainstream party of the left), has published a book asking some of the taboo questions about immigration: and whilst he has been thrown out of his job (probably illegally) and is likely to be throw out of his party: shock horror…
… he is getting 85-95% support in polls and his book has been reprinted 3 times in a month and sites on top of Amazon Germany’s bets sellers: not bad for what is essentailly a long and dry economic volume.

Thilo Sarrazin is his name.

Polls say that most people would vote for him if he started his own party.

Look him up on english wikipedia to get a quick summary, if you’re not au fait with German (can you say that?)

As one of the wiki sources says – He’s had the racism card thrown at him, even though it exactly doesnt fit (he has said Germany needs more jewish and vietnamese immigrants because their children get way better results at school, and it’s skilled, intelligent immigrants that are wanted).

92. Just Visiting

I wrote:
> Polls say that most people would vote for him if he started his own party.

And should have added an exclamation mark – because that willingness for something new in politics is amazing for coalition_loving Germany…

… where rocking the boat is out, where unions get a member on the board for all companies with more than about 50 staff…

The lie Dems are the worst when it comes to elections. They always say we want to fight on the issues and the people are fed up with punch and Judy politics and then they come out with some of the worst crap I have seen.

sally, either provide some examples of Lib Dem literature which defames an opponent, or get yourself a nice cup of STFU.

In Germany, an SDP member (that’s their mainstream party of the left), has published a book asking some of the taboo questions about immigration…

Thilo Sarrazin is his name.

Polls say that most people would vote for him if he started his own party.

And in 1930, we could have read:

In England, a Labour member (that’s their mainstream party of the left), has published a memorandum advocating a radical new direction of government…

Oswald Mosley is his name.

Polls say that most people would vote for him if he started his own party.

Well – history records how well that turned out. And I honestly don’t see Phil Woolas being the Norsefire figurehead in this country…

95. Chaise Guevara

@73

“Not true. He DID win, they are trying to sort out whether he did so within the letter of the law. But the fact is he got the most votes, and that was based in part on his campaign, including all of the leaflets.”

I suspect we’re heading off on a tangent here, but if he’s found guilty of cheating he didn’t win, just as an athelete who crosses the line first but is then found to be on steroids didn’t win the race.

“abour DOES want to send out that kind of message. In certain areas of the country that message appeals to potential Labour voters. This blog may like to take the theoretical high ground, but the reality is that for Labour to get back in power ever, they will have to rely on a significant number of white working class voters. Some of those voters are unhappy with their Muslim neighbours, and their votes will have to be secured by addressing those concerns.

Labour forgets Gillian Duffy at its mortal peril.”

Well, yes. What individual Labourites need to decide is whether they can associate themselves with Woolas’s kind of bigotry, and what the party needs to decide is whether it’s worth the damage done to the voter bases of nearly all of its MPs when a story like this goes national.

96. Chaise Guevara

@91

“In Germany, an SDP member (that’s their mainstream party of the left), has published a book asking some of the taboo questions about immigration: and whilst he has been thrown out of his job (probably illegally) and is likely to be throw out of his party: shock horror…”

What taboo questions would these be? Every single possible question about immigration seems to be asked ALL THE TIME. The only thing I can think of is that the silent majority are all wondering when they’ll finally be allowed to discuss the possibility of eating all the Poles.

“As one of the wiki sources says – He’s had the racism card thrown at him, even though it exactly doesnt fit (he has said Germany needs more jewish and vietnamese immigrants because their children get way better results at school, and it’s skilled, intelligent immigrants that are wanted).”

Um, he saus Jewish and Vietnamese people are more intelligent, and this proves he ISN’T racist? Might wanna adjust your argument a tad there.

“sally, either provide some examples of Lib Dem literature which defames an opponent, or get yourself a nice cup of STFU.”

Why don’t you learn to read dipstick, before you claim I said something I did not. I did not say the Lie Dems had defamed anyone. I said they lied a lot.

You Lie dems are getting very touchy on the lie thing. Must be down to seeing your leader pissing away your party.

Just to clear up some myths about the Bermondsey byelection. Straight did not mean heterosexual at the time, at least not among straights. That meaning only became common speech much later. I dont think most of the voters in Bermondsey would even have known what Gay meant.
Certainly the “Real Labour” campaign didnt bother with subtleties, their slogan was “Keep out the N…. Keep out the Q…. The point was that up to that time Southwark council (Labour) had a Whites Only policy for their housing in Bermondsey, that was one of the issues the local party split about.

@90

You seem to be confused, Chris. Let me spell it out more clearly.

1 – You and your comrades clearly think that it is acceptable to incite racial hatred in order to win votes.

2 – Most normal people, on the other hand, don’t think that it is acceptable to incite racial hatred in order to win votes.

3 – That being the case, if voters are given a chance they’ll do to you in Burnley what they did to your fellow travellers in the BNP in Dagenham.

That isn’t being sanctimonious, it’s just stating the obvious. Voters dislike racist scumbags whatever the colour of their rosettes.

@99

You seem to be suffering from delusions, have you recently under gone a psychiatric assessment? I suggest you contact your community psychiatric team and arrange one if you haven’t.

“1 – You and your comrades clearly think that it is acceptable to incite racial hatred in order to win votes.”

That’s the LibDem spin, whereas non-party political voters are more concerned with the allegedly dubious associations of the LibDem candidate.

“2 – Most normal people, on the other hand, don’t think that it is acceptable to incite racial hatred in order to win votes.”

I’d have thought everybody would think that, don’t you?

“3 – That being the case, if voters are given a chance they’ll do to you in Burnley what they did to your fellow travellers in the BNP in Dagenham.”

The BNP in Dagenham were wiped out by *Labour*.

“That isn’t being sanctimonious, it’s just stating the obvious. Voters dislike racist scumbags whatever the colour of their rosettes.”

You’ve not spoken to many people outside of your cliché liberal circle have you? Anti-immigrant and racist opinions are rather more common than your world view dictates, partly the reason Clegg was so humiliated on election night was because people discovered the pro-immigration policies in your manifesto. FFS your coalition partners are home to far more racist scumbags and yet not a peep is heard about that – your sanctimonious hypocrisy will cost your dear at the next election.

@91 Just Visiting

I looked up that chap on wiki. can’t find a source for your “85 – 95%” support claim – the most it gives is “just under half the population” support his views and “18%” would support a party of his if he set one up. As for taboo questions: as far as I can tell – aside from stuff about Jewish genes – most of what he says is talked about every week in the Mail. Stuff about Muslim mothers having a higher birth rate than white women etc etc etc YAWN it’s boring. Funny how Thilo Sarrazin himself is of immigrant stock – the name’s a giveaway… so he’s a hypocrite as well as an Islamophobe. Classy combination!

You’ve not spoken to many people outside of your cliché liberal circle have you? Anti-immigrant and racist opinions are rather more common than your world view dictates, partly the reason Clegg was so humiliated on election night was because people discovered the pro-immigration policies in your manifesto.

This may well be true, but then that’s all the more reason for politicians (supposedly) of the Left to make a stand against such prejudice rather than shamelessly pandering to it as Woolas and consistently did during his time as immigration minister. Your whataboutery is getting rather tedious.

Paul Barker — thanks for that. Interesting, and significant, if true.

Can you back that up with evidence?

The OED, for example, has plenty of citations going back to 1941 for ‘straight’ being used to mean heterosexual (most N. American, it’s true, but it generally doesn’t take fifty years for American slang to cross the Atlantic); and a quick search I’ve just run on Google books from the first half of the 1980s comes up with many, many examples of ‘straight’ being used as the antonym of gay or lesbian — some from activists, some from academics, some with reference to what was going on around the Labour Party, and so on (and not obviously generally from gays writing about straights).

Also: Sussex University’s Lucy Robinson, in her study “Gay Men and the Left in Postwar Britain” (Manchester University Press, 2007), quotes the “straight choice” bit of the Liberal leaflets as relevant — given her area of expertise, I’d be a bit surprised if she was making an elementary mistake about the history of the language. But perhaps you’re right, and she was.

So I’m intrigued by your claim, but still a bit sceptical (as I still am by LDK’s claim – so far unsupported by evidence – that “the straight choice” was a slogan used nationally by the Liberals in 1979). Evidence of some kind would be good. I’m entirely persuadable.

Chris Brooke, “the straight choice” what not a national slogan in ’79 AKAIK (bear in mind I was approaching my 5th birthday at the time, this is ancient history) but it had been used in a lot of seats the Liberals were contesting strongly (ie seats where they were second already, like Torbay where I grew up).

It has regularly been used as a standard ‘squeeze’ message, similar in usage to “two-horse race” used by Labour this time in my constituency and “only X can beat the Y here” (used by the Lib Dems in a lot of places). I’ve seen “straight choice” used by all three main national parties in various constituencies, including recently.

It is, due to the unfortunate connotations, now deprecated, however… My fiancée wanted to use it instead of “only we can beat the Tories here in” her council campaign, because we both hate the latter slogan (it’s dishonest for a start, but two-horse race is only just better, straight choice, without any connotations, is actually quite good).

I, as her agent, had to say no, because, well, if someone did take it as a dogwhistle, it’d be a dishonest one as she’s openly bi.

FWIW, we’re also looking into making sure we avoid “local candidate” if the main opposing candidate is from a minority group, it’s fine, in my view, to point out your candidate has strong local links, but if it can be interpreted by racists as a dog whistle, then I don’t want their votes.

FWIW, the best analysis of what actually happened in 1983 was written by Jonathan Derbyshire for Timeout a few ytears back, his unedited version is here:

Much of this vitriol was fomented by John O’Grady, who by this time had decided to stand against Tatchell as the ‘Real Bermondsey Labour’ candidate. He toured the constituency with Mellish, often in a horse-drawn cart, from which, on one occasion, he sang the following ditty: ‘Tatchell is a poppet, as pretty as can be./But he must be slow if he don’t know that he won’t be your MP./Tatchell is an Aussie, he lives in a council flat./He wears his trousers back to front because he doesn’t know this from that.’

If you read what Hughes actually said in his apology, it’s clear he was trying to apologise for not speaking out, and for any elements in his volunteer team not in his control.

The “straight choice” leaflet itself may have been unfortunate dog whistling, but it was, definitely, inadvertent.

That it continues to be trotted out, nearly 30 years later, whenever anyone wants an example of LD supposed ‘dirty tricks’, is somewhat indicative, to my mind, especially given the nasty vitriol came from the retiring Labour MP and the leader of the Bermondsey Labour party running as an independent.

And comparing Woolas’s borderline, if not actually, illegal campaigning (above) to that by election is pure whataboutery, which is why I got annoyed int he first place.

As a bi man, living with a bi woman, and strongly involved in a number of equality campaigns, I was disgusted when I heard about Hughes supposed dirty campaign. So I investigated. I still, personally, have very little time for Hughes as a politician, but I’m satisfied, personally, having spoken to both him and others involved at the time, that he was in the clear.

Other partisan commenters will, I suspect, continue to bring it up as their ‘proof’ of LD dirty campaigns, probably for a long time after neither Tachell or Hughes is still involved in politics. And it really does appear to be the best they can do.

@103 Chris Brooke: “So I’m intrigued by your claim, but still a bit sceptical (as I still am by LDK’s claim – so far unsupported by evidence – that “the straight choice” was a slogan used nationally by the Liberals in 1979).”

For corroboration, I’d look to pre-1983 (ie Lib/SDP Alliance) campaign manuals from the Association of Liberal Councillors. The manuals were sold to the public and can be found in many libraries.

I’d also look at the campaign literature for David Alton’s two parliamentary elections in Liverpool in 1979.

MatGB,

Thanks for this.

On “comparing Woolas’s borderline, if not actually, illegal campaigning (above) to that by election is pure whataboutery, which is why I got annoyed in the first place”, please note that I haven’t come close to doing this. I was one of the first on the thread to agree that Woolas’s conduct is despicable, and twice in subsequent interventions I’ve gone out of my way to bring the subject back to Woolas, to say that I think he should be drummed out of public life as a disgrace to the human species.

I’ve also observed on this thread that the closest Lib Dem analogue to Woolas is not Hughes but the squalid little racist runts who ran Tower Hamlets council, once upon a time. When I think of Lib Dems who disgrace the Party, they are certainly the first people I think of — just as I might think of Peter Griffiths in the case of the Tories, or, now, Phil Woolas in the case of the Labour Party. All three parties have been excessively kind to racists in their time (for obvious, low-level political reasons) — and all have disgraced themselves through their indulgence of this racism.

I am a Labour Party member, it is true, but I’m a Labour Party member who is more than willing to be open about the fact that I think Woolas is a far, far bigger shit than Simon Hughes has ever been. It seems to me that Simon Hughes has rightly apologised for aspects of his campaign’s conduct in 1983, and he has admitted in retrospect that he was a bit of a coward (in that article you pointed us towards) and that seems to me to be about right: he has stuff to apologise for, and, yes, he was a bit of a coward. I don’t think any of this is controversial. And it reflects well on Peter Tatchell not only that he put up with all the shit that was thrown at him in 1983, but also that he has accepted Hughes’s apology.

On the leaftlets — well, I just don’t know. I think it is a dog whistle, you think it’s an inadvertent dog whistle, but Paul Barker invites us to think that it isn’t even that, because voters in Bermondsey wouldn’t have used the word “gay” let alone the word “straight”. And I just don’t know enough about how the vocabulary of sexual identity that was being used in Bermondsey in 1983 (I was ten at the time, though just scratching around in online reference sources leads me to doubt the strong form in which Paul Barker offered his claims).

But – as I’ve already said – I’m struck by the way in which the excuses that have been offered for Hughes’s leaflets are largely assertion, and evidence-free, and I’m further struck by the way that when LDK tried to offer evidence to support his/her claims in vindication of Hughes that (s)he picked on a leaflet from the other celebrated 1980s by-election where the Liberals were insinuating that their opponent was gay.

The leaflets, in any case, aren’t important in the grand scheme of things. Tatchell’s own claim has been that Liberal canvassers wore stickers that said “I’ve been kissed by Peter Tatchell”, and I’ve never come across anyone denying that this was the case. I read the Derbyshire article you linked to, but it felt quite familiar because, for many years, my main source of information on the Bermondsey campaign was Tatchell’s own book, The Battle for Bermondsey (my own copy of which is long lost), and much of what Derbyshire reports I first came across, once upon a time, in Tatchell’s book.

Finally, Charlieman, it’ll be a while before I’ll be in a library and able to look up the sources you cite. If you’re familiar with them, perhaps you might tell us what we’d find if we consulted pre-1983 Alliance campaign manuals and the literature from David Alton’s 1979 campaigns?

Heh, for some reason Chris, I thought you were older, as it is you’re a year older than me give or take. And yes, I pretty much agree with you on the rest–it was the other Chris who first raised Bermondsey, and his dismissive and insulting comments got me more annoyed, I should have just said “irrelevent” then we’d never have needed this tangent.

Re the ‘kissed by’ badges, the quote on wikipedia is, I’m told, accurate, they were worn by members of Liberal Gay Action, who came to the constituency partially because they were upset that Tachell appeared to have gone back into the closet and wasn’t campaigning on gay rights issues.

But yes, racists in all the parties, homophobes in all the parties, blinkered partisan idiots as well. When growing up, I never thought it would be Labour ministers doing this sort of thing.

Problem is, of course, if the court case is succesful and Woolas is disqualified, I’ve moved across the country and it borders onto my branch. And I’m not sure Watkins is much better on some of the stuff I care about. Then, media reports, ought to confirm it (even if I have met, and trust, that specific journalist).

When growing up, I never thought it would be Labour ministers doing this sort of thing.

Yes, well, New Labour’s got a hell of a lot to answer for.

@107

Peter Tatchell: “Some of their male canvassers went around the constituency wearing lapel stickers emblazoned with the words ‘I’ve been kissed by Peter Tatchell’, in a blatant bid to win the homophobic vote.”

So these were actually homosexuals going around courting the homophobic vote themselves? Do you have an answer for every event or alleged event during the by-election?

Whataboutery the billboard, the one with the VAT bombshell on it, that Nick Clegg was standing in front of doing that piece to camera about the tories VAT policy? Did some other organisation put it there? Wasn’t it Clegg doing the piece to camera? While I first mentioned Hughes the are numerous examples of libdems lying to get elected well within recent memory…

@100

“You seem to be suffering from delusions, have you recently under gone a psychiatric assessment? I suggest you contact your community psychiatric team and arrange one if you haven’t.”

I know this will be news to you, comrade, but shrilling abuse doesn’t help your argument.

On the plus side, I see a bright future for you in the Labour party. You seem to be exactly the sort of individual they like to promote.

Lucky them.

111. Robin Levett

@Chris #109:

“So these were actually homosexuals going around courting the homophobic vote themselves?”

Would you believe John Hein?

“Actually, these were worn by members of the Liberal Gay Action Group. I
wasn’t there the day they were worn (or I would have had one saying ‘I
wouldn’t WANT to be kissed by Peter Tatchell’). We were protesting at
the way in which Peter had gone back into the closet for the duration of
the campaign. ”

(Quoted by David Boothroyd in this post – http://groups.google.co.uk/group/uk.politics.electoral/browse_thread/thread/857d2d9c98bfb854/ba04213b2e4cc9a5?hl=en&lnk=gst&q=john+hein#ba04213b2e4cc9a5)

If anyone wants to comment on the Bermondsey by-election I suggest that track down Peter Tatchell’s own book on the issue, The Battle of the Bemondsey.

In the book he hardly makes a reference to the Liberal Party or Simon Hughes. He does however devote large sections of his book to attacking the Real Labour candidate during the campaign, the record of the former Labour MP Bob Mellish and how the local Labour party was run by him and his supporters, his lack of support from the Labour party leadership and obviously the vile attacks from the tabloids.

Instead of people making up history to suit their own agenda I suggest people go back and check what really happened directly from someone who was at the heart of the by-election campaign.

I doubt it was illegal but I’m appalled at any of our candidates putting out this appalling race baiting crap. I’m less concerned about Woolas per se than ensuring that there are systems in place going forward to ensure rubbish like this never again goes out in our name.


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    RT @sunny_hundal The Labour party should expel Phil Woolas says @donpaskini http://t.co/DzPqBeb << Bet he ends up in the Lords.

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    RT @libcon: The Labour party should expel Phil Woolas http://bit.ly/94QaQo

  36. DatingOldie

    Trouble stirring Woolas needs to go. http://ow.ly/2EqbD

  37. DatingOldie

    Woolas is trouble maker. http://ow.ly/2EpSU. Avoid dating a man like this. http://ow.ly/2EpVQ

  38. Polleetickle©

    Labour should expel Phil Woolas anyway – his electioneering is wholly unacceptable http://bit.ly/94QaQo #legal

  39. The Fat Councillor

    “@polleetickle: Labour should expel Phil Woolas anyway – his electioneering is wholly unacceptable http://bit.ly/94QaQo #legal”

  40. Dave Weeden

    http://liberalconspiracy.org/2010/09/14/the-labour-party-should-expel-phil-woolas/ by @donpaskini h/t @NickThornsby http://bit.ly/9DPWhg

  41. An Open Letter to Ed Miliband, re: Phil Woolas | Nick Thornsby's Blog

    […] A few weeks ago I posted a blog asking whether there were any Labour party members or supporters willing to defend Phil Woolas’s actions. Not one person did. Indeed, many even want him expelled from the party. […]





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