19 July 2007

Rapid Rebuttal

I have no special knowledge about how the voters of Ealing vote and we will know soon enough, but I will say that the Tory rebuttal of the "Tony Lit donation" smear was far too weak and was a blemish in an otherwise excellent campaign. As Mark Twain said;

“A lie can travel halfway around the world while the truth is still putting on its shoes”

and indeed the lie that Tony Lit was a Labour donor was not rebutted strongly enough. Lit's response that he attends many such events in a business capacity was simply not forceful enough. The media scrum following the revelation was a chance for Tony to really put the knife into Labour. In his shoes I would have been delighted to make the following points to the press on the Sunday ;

1. I was at the function for business purposes. I agree that it is not ideal that Labour organise events like this as a front for fund-raising activities, but from a business perspective it made sense for Sunrise Radio to be in attendance.
2. The payment for the dinner was made by Sunrise Radio Ltd not me. Therefore, my lawyers will be in touch should any journalists continue to libel me by calling me a Labour donor.
3. I understand that Sunrise Radio Ltd are contacting the Labour Party as a matter of urgency in respect of this apparent breach of privacy, copyright and Data Protection.
4. Is it any surprise that the British people have so little trust in Labour when Labour can't even be trusted to keep private business arrangements confidential?

Monday's headlines start looking a bit different if he rebuts in that style. Might have been worth a few votes, but I guess that Tony Lit is new to politics. One thing is crystal though. Tony is a Tory and he has put in a sterling effort for the party. Best of luck.


Danvers said...

Those lines would have been great if he hadn't been photographed looking so pleased to meet Blair. Am not surprised he was keeping his head down on this - not the Tories finest hour. Fingers crossed we win tonight though

PoliticalHack said...

Tosh, tosh and more tosh.

1 - It was hardly a 'front' for fundraising purposes. If you buy a ticket for an event openly organised by a political party, you would have to be exceptionally dense not to realise that part of your money goes towards the party funds. Naturally, the Tories don't do this, do they? What about the shadowy Midlands Industrial Council, clearly a front organisation?

2 - While the payment was made by Sunrise Radio, Lit was then the MD and carries a legal responsibility.

3 - Bring it on. Unity has dealt with this whinge far better than I could.

4 - You call it a private business arrangement - surely you are in favour of greater openness about donations? Sunlight is a wonderful way of cleaning sleaze. The Midlands Industrial Council was established as a ploy to get around identifying donors, wasn't it?

Tony Lit may be new to politics, but that's a condemnation of the selection process. Parliamentary candidacy is not a job for those new to politics and that is a poor excuse.

Prague said...

1. Someone from Sunrise said that Vaz had told them that the proceeds were going to charity. Besides, it is a tacky way of fund-raising.
2. Bollocks - a company making a legal transaction doesn't need to reflect the personal views of company officers. You're conflating two entirely separate concepts.
3. Unity isn't correct on any level.
4. There is a set process for the reporting of donations. This isn't it.

I agree that Parliamentary candidacy is not for newbies. I hope that the Tory leadership learns its lesson.