I always appreciated your independence of mind, while you were on Norwich City Council. It was good to see you not always following the LibDem Party line. Sometimes indeed voting with us while all the rest of your Group voted against us.
That made it all the more disappointing to read your ill-advised letter in yesterday’s Evening News. In your letter, you accused us of having a pact with Labour, here in Norwich.
When I read that, I didn’t know whether to laugh or to vomit. The idea that I would be seeking a pact with the Party [i.e. Labour] who for the last several months have been attacking me (as Transport Spokesperson for the Norwich Green Party) in my ward so maliciously and misleadingly that we are taking legal advice on how best to respond is laughable.
And what was your evidence, Carl, for this alleged ‘pact’? Your evidence was the mutual endorsements for 2nd preferences between Ken Livingstone and [Green Mayoral candidate] Sian Berry in London. Combined with the fact that I had expressed my support for those mutual endorsements for 2nd preferences, so as to avoid the nightmare scenario (to which the LibDems seem dangerously indifferent) of Boris Johnson winning the London Mayoral race. [See blog posts from earlier this month.]
Pretty tenuous evidence. But, of course, it quickly disintegrates into being no evidence at all, as soon as one realises that the electoral system in London is different from that in Norwich. In the London Mayoral race, voters have a second preference. Here, they don’t.
So, there is no pact at all between Labour and Greens, even in London. All that Ken and Sian are doing is suggesting to their supporters that they trade 2nd preference votes,in order to keep Boris out. (I thought LibDems were supposed to like electoral systems that made things like that — proportional representation etc. — possible?!)
So, Carl, we face the following unavoidable question: …Either you are ignorant of the electoral system in London — very unlikely (And, if you are ignorant of the London electoral system, then what the hell are you doing writing into the Evening News about it??).
…Or, you knew that what you were writing in your letter was systematically and deliberately misleading. Sadly, that seems much the more likely.
What a shame, Carl, that your last act as a Councillor (N.B. Your standing down has made it far more likely that Labour will win Mile Cross this year — maybe YOU are in a secret pact with Labour?!) should be to launch such a scurrilous and fake attack on the Green Party, pretending that we are in a pact with Labour, when nothing could be further from the truth.
All this brings back with a strange sense of deja vu unpleasant memories of last year’s erroneous claims by the LibDems (especially by Judith Lubbock) of there being… a pact between the Greens and Labour. See http://theonlygreenroom.blogspot.com/2007/06/lib-dems-leaflet-rift-set-to-deepen.html for a reminder of Hereward Cooke’s apology to us last year for wrong claims in LibDem election literature that there was a Green-Labour pact in Norwich. Surely, Carl, we don’t have to go through all this nonsense again? Do you want to end up forcing Brian Watkins [new LibDem Leader in Norwich] to make another apology in the Council Chamber, when your foolish words in the newspaper are shown up for the nonsense they are, as I have been showing them to be, here?
[Interesting fact: the LibDems and Labour have voted together in Norwich City Council during the last year more often than either Party has voted together with the Green Party… Ought we to conclude, Carl, that there is in fact a LibDem-Labour pact in Norwich?!]
Carl; you are better than this.
One of the reasons I admired you as a Councillor was your staunch support for decent treatment for non-human animals. This is an area where I agree with you 100%, and always have done – it is a key reason why I left the LibDems…. Carl, I wish you would consider the truth: That it is impossible to be in a Party that advocates neo-liberal economics (as your Party does), and actually achieve justice for non-human animals. Free trade rules etc. kill animals — look at what has happened to dolphin and tuna, for instance, under the kind of trade rules that LibDems welcome. [See e.g. http://www.coastalpost.com/95/12/1.htm . And here are some interesting posts on the intimate connection between neoliberalism and animal suffering: http://www.geocities.com/wmids_animalaction/jonny-ablewhite-july06.html http://www.uta.edu/huma/agger/fastcapitalism/2_2/boggs.html ]
You will have gathered, Carl, that I am singularly unimpressed with your letter published in the Evening News yesterday. But I am impressed with you. And I believe that the things that you believe in can come to fruition… if you join us! I’ll forgive you for falling in with those tempting LibDem ways of being utterly unscrupulous in an election campaign, if you vow to give them up, and come and join with us in the Green Party in working for a better future for all the creatures of this Earth.
There are now three (and probably more) former LibDem Councillors in Norwich who are backing the Green Party. Two of them, in fact, have joined us as members.
I wish you would do the same, Carl. And then we could forget about this whole sorry episode, and move on, together, on the same side.
The Green Party is the Party of the future. It was a long painful journey for me to realise that — after I had spent 18 years working for the LibDems. I urge you, Carl, to think whether you really want to be in a Party whose main characteristics are opportunism and dirty tricks — or in a clean and honest Party that actually has a chance of safeguarding the future of humans and animals alike.
The future’s bright: the future’s GREEN…
Come on board, Carl! And all will be forgiven…