Mudsling – the Sequel

The state of politics in Lambeth

If at first you don’t succeed, try, try and try again. Having reduced the local election in the Rotten Borough to become nothing but a mudslinging contest, our friends @LambethLabour removed the youtube vile video that added nothing to the political debate.

The reason for withdrawing the disgusting piece of party propaganda was stated as ‘copyright breach.’ It seems that @LambethLibDems leader, Councillor Ashley Lumsden, objected to an image of himself being used within the video.

Fair point.

My objection was that the people of Lambeth were being denied any proper political debate. Eighteen claims against the LibDems were made in the video. @LambethLabour didn’t see fit to mention a single Labour party policy.

It was a pathetic attempt at smearing, and one which backfired badly. I thought this Nu Labour lot were supposed to be slick communicators? Not so it seems. The video has re-appeared this weekend, and the result is a clip that offers yet more repulsion and hatred, all played out at what seems like a student union hustings level.

Instead of the copyrighted image of Councillor Lumsden, @LambethLabour has used a caricature of the opposition leader. The message remains the same: throw enough mud and it might stick. It may even disguise your own failures.

As stated previously, it’s not the past that I want to talk about. We are in urgent need of solutions around my little patch of South London. Reducing rival political figures to cartoon status is not going solve the housing crisis or re-open leisure centres.

To fall foul yet again of extremely negative campaigning is all rather disappointing. Especially so since I was led to believe by @cllrstevereed, the leader of @LambethLabour that “name calling is not necessary.”

Steve Reed

Seems like the good Councillor forgot to “have a word.”

On the same day that the resurfaced vile video has appeared, @labourstockwell had the hypocrisy to claim:

The LibDems in Stockwell do not have a local web presence, none of their candidates are on twitter or have facebook groups – they don’t engage with independent local blogs either.

If an online presence means being subjected to personal attacks, I’m not surprised that the opposition wants to remain dignified in silence.

As for the claims in the re-posted video that it was “viewed by hundreds” – quality, not quantity. The voters of Lambeth may have viewed the video nasty, but that is no indication of how they felt having watched it.

Apparently it was also “genuinely welcomed.” By whom exactly? Where’s the evidence? The only comments I have seen have been negative.

I’m scratching my head to try and understand how a party with serious ambitions to be re-elected, can think that such a public act of negative campaigning can be of any help to their cause.

It is this type of tribal behaviour that I witness each month at full @lambeth_council meetings. With no interest in the empty press gallery seats, local councillors from all parties think that it is justifiable to act like idiots.

It’s not, and carrying out the chest beating online in a very public presence is hopefully going to highlight the current farce that is local politics in Lambeth.

Censorship is not the solution. Demonising your opponent as a cartoon character is no substitute for debate. I hope that the video nasty remains online. I would hate for it to be forgotten, along with such other Nu Labour classics as Keep Clapham Swimming.

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