Diane Abbott speaks out against Woolas


10:00 am - November 11th 2010

by Sunny Hundal    


      Share on Tumblr

Labour MP Diane Abbott yesterday spoke out strongly in support of Harriet Harman and against Phil Woolas.

In a comment posted in response to an article by Dan Hodges at the Guardian, she said:

Dan Hodges is so anxious to defend Phil Woolas that he is missing the point. Phil is not a martyr, or a scapegoat or anybody’s fall guy. He has been convicted of lying about his election opponent’s character. And Phil has certainly enjoyed due process. No fewer than two high court judges deliberated over his case at length. Precisely because they were two high court judges there is no right of appeal.

The judicial review that Woolas is seeking is NOT the same as a right of appeal and relates to the process not the finding of fact. Unlike Dan I believe that, if this judicial finding discourages parliamentary candidates from attacking their opponent’s character (as opposed to their policies), that will be a good thing. Nor does Dan recognise that although he (as a Westminster insider) may be blase about politicians lying, the public hates the idea and will welcome any judicial check on it.

It is perfectly possible to be sympathetic to Woolas and his family but still accept that Harriet Harman was right in the stand that she took.

The courts did not take into account the nature of the campaign Woolas was waging.http://www.guardian.co.uk/politics/gallery/2010/nov/05/phil-woolas-campaign-literature But the email trail disclosed to the court reveals that the leaflets were not the product of an over-enthusiastic volunteer. The were part of a conscious strategy to enrage white voters and frighten them into voting Labour.

Is that a responsible path for an experienced MP to go down in a town that had already experienced race riots? And even if the courts did not (and could not) take that aspect into account; it weighs with many of us.

The loyalty of Phil Woolas’s friends does them credit. But they need to try and see this how the public does. The Labour Party should never get involved in the politics of racial division. And although lying about your opponents (both inside and outside the party) may be commonplace to Dan, it is a way of doing politics that the public loathes and the party should be moving away from.

Well said Diane.

    Share on Tumblr   submit to reddit  


About the author
Sunny Hundal is editor of LC. Also: on Twitter, at Pickled Politics and Guardian CIF.
· Other posts by


Story Filed Under: News

Sorry, the comment form is closed at this time.


Reader comments


“The Labour Party should never get involved in the politics of racial division”

PMSL coming from Diane Abbott

2. John Bracewell

‘……missing the point. Phil is not a martyr, or a scapegoat or anybody’s fall guy. He has been convicted of lying about his election opponent’s character.’

Well said indeed Diane. If Woolas succeeds in trying to overthrow the latest appeal verdict then Labour will be tainted with this ‘dirty election tricks’ story for a long time.

Let Phil Woolas back in, let Lutfur Rahman back in.

They should balance each other out.

It’s taken this long for them to twig that public perceptions are important. Good grief!

It’s a pity that nobody in the Labour Party said this when the leaflets were going out. It’s even more of a pity that Abbot didn’t decline Woolas’ nomination for leader when she was a couple short and desperately needed them – the facts and details of the leaflets were all known by then.

Nor did she feel able to comment about Woolas’ disgusting literature when she was continuously asked to do so during that leadership contest.

CW
I am baffled by your comment. Like most people, I did not see copies of Phil Woolas’s leaflets until the Guardian posted them online recently. As for being asked “continuously” about Phil Woolas’s literature during the leadership campaign. I did over fifty official hustings as part of the Labour Leadership campaign. Not once was I asked about Phil Woolas’s election literature!

It is sad that Diane Abbot has actually had to write this letter.

As a Liberal Democrat I suppose I should be pleased about the increasing racism and nastiness of Northern Labour. It makes it unlikely that my disillusioned colleagues will ever really side with them.

On the other hand it’s worrying that a mainstream party like Labour seems to be degenerating into a sort of BNPlite.

What makes it worse is that the Milliband Elect obviously lacks the courage to tackle this tendency. Instead he hides behind Aunties Hattie and Diane like some sort of latter day Bertie Wooster.

<I.What makes it worse is that the Milliband Elect obviously lacks the courage to tackle this tendency.

Hmm, named person, policy implying a conclusion about character, made by a self-identified Lib Dem party member, and the serious accusation of ‘racism’.

Are you confident you are legally safe in saying that?

Diane,

Completely forgot you accepted Phil’s nomination for leader.

Really missed a trick there…

Dan

@8

Yep.

Read it again. I didn’t say Milliband is himself racist. I just said that he’s too gutless to take on those within his party who are, especially if they’re union backed.

His pathetic dithering over the past few months has led to Harriet, and now Diane, having to do his job for him.

BTW, check this out. I know that Conservative Home is hardly the most credible of websites, but this article is quite interesting.

http://conservativehome.blogs.com/leftwatch/2010/11/harman-woolas-and-labours-north-south-divide.html


Reactions: Twitter, blogs
  1. Liberal Conspiracy

    Diane Abbott speaks out against Woolas http://bit.ly/dAoE2E

  2. Natacha Kennedy

    RT @libcon: Diane Abbott speaks out against Woolas http://bit.ly/dAoE2E

  3. TeresaMary

    Abbott warns against the politics of racial division RT @libcon: Diane Abbott speaks out against Woolas http://bit.ly/dAoE2E

  4. P. S. Wong

    RT @libcon: Diane Abbott speaks out against Woolas http://bit.ly/dAoE2E

  5. Abbott4leader

    http://www.DianeAbbott.tk RT @penn48 RT @libcon: Diane Abbott speaks out against Woolas http://bit.ly/dAoE2E

  6. Abbott4leader

    http://www.DianeAbbott.tk RT @natachakennedy RT @libcon: Diane Abbott speaks out against Woolas http://bit.ly/dAoE2E

  7. Abbott4leader

    http://www.DianeAbbott.tk RT @libcon Diane Abbott speaks out against Woolas http://bit.ly/dAoE2E

  8. conspiracy theo

    Diane Abbott speaks out against Woolas | Liberal Conspiracy http://bit.ly/duzdQC

  9. Abbott4leader

    http://www.DianeAbbott.tk RT @conspiracyboy Diane Abbott speaks out against Woolas | Liberal Conspiracy http://bit.ly/duzdQC

  10. Steve Glover

    Diane Abbott speaks out against Woolas | Liberal Conspiracy http://t.co/201rj3L via @libcon Pity she's not the party leader!

  11. Abbott4leader

    http://www.DianeAbbott.tk RT @akicif Diane Abbott speaks out against Woolas | Liberal Conspiracy http://t.co/201rj3L via @libcon Pity she's …

  12. Sophie Cameron

    RT @libcon: Diane Abbott speaks out against Woolas http://bit.ly/dAoE2E

  13. Jonathan Taylor

    Diane Abbott echoing my own sentiments on this matter: http://j.mp/bekeYu

  14. Abbott4leader

    http://www.DianeAbbott.tk RT @Jon2aylor Diane Abbott echoing my own sentiments on this matter: http://j.mp/bekeYu

  15. Abbott4leader

    http://www.DianeAbbott.tk RT @SophieCam RT @libcon: Diane Abbott speaks out against Woolas http://bit.ly/dAoE2E





Sorry, the comment form is closed at this time.