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Saturday 11 April 2009

Lies, damn Lies, and Campaign Leaflets

I’ve got a lot of time for the Tory party. Oh yes I have. And to prove it, I have given pride of place to one of their leaflets from the Crewe and Nantwich by-election. This pamphlet is entitled “Change”, and has this jaw-dropping first paragraph:

“As the by-election campaign turns nasty, Conservative candidate Edward Timpson has chosen to rise above the tactics of the Labour campaign”

It’s a pity that the rest of the Tory team didn’t follow suit. On Page 3 of this priceless leaflet is “Out and about in Crewe and Nantwich – Edward Timpson’s campaign diary”, and the entry for Thursday 8 May caught my eye:

“It is Gwyneth Dunwoody’s funeral today and so, as a mark of respect, we paused our campaigning. She was a real one-off who wasn’t afraid to speak her mind. My thoughts are with her family”

Why should this stand out, apart from the faux respect for someone whose reselection he was whingeing about only months earlier?

Why indeed. On the morning of Thursday 8 May, I had to negotiate my way round one Edward Timpson (the man with marginally more charisma than a Burton’s dummy) en route to the station. Timpson and his supporters were, er, campaigning outside. After I had declined the offer of a leaflet, he spluttered “have a nice day” as I walked on. There’s an orator in the making.

I detect the hand of Fat Eric in the wording of the leaflet: note the use of the word “paused”. This can be interpreted in more than one way, in case an inconveniently minded hack were to pick up on it: a “pause” does not have to be for a day, does it?

“Mark of respect”? Pass the sick bag.

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