Monday, May 23, 2005

Dirty Tricks

I've just watched Dispatches on Ch4 about New Labour's use of dirty tricks in the election campaign. What can I say?
Democracy? We don't need no stinkin' democracy!

I thought this might be a good time to link back to some posts I wrote during the election campaign. They are about Professor Matt Qvortrup and his opinions on my Aberdeen South constituency. These are the posts with summaries. More details are available via the posts if you're interested.

In the first one, I noted that the professor had been quoted in the Scotsman as saying that Aberdeen South could be won by the Conservatives. I'm no expert but I knew that was a rather outlandish claim. I joked that the Professor might have some connection to New Labour.

In the second one, the professor was quoted in my local newpaper, the Press and Journal. His key points were much the same as in the previous Scotsman article. It seemed that the professor thought that the Tories could win Aberdeen South and unseat the sitting Labour candidate. I investigated a little and found that the Professor had worked as a policy advisor to both Jack Straw and David Blunkett.

I decided to email the Professor to ask him if he could provide the figures on which he based his claim (which had now appeared in two newspapers). I mentioned it half way down this post. I received a short reply from the professor which you can read in full here. It would appear that the professor had been misquoted on both occasions.

The Press and Journal did print a letter I wrote on the subject. I highlighted that the professor had connections to New Labour and that the constituency was a Labour/Lib Dem marginal.

Here is the final result for the Aberdeen South constituency. The Tories came a distant third as I predicted (not that I'm a masterbrain, it was fairly obvious). I think it is fair to say that New Labour were very worried about the Liberal Democrats winning this seat. They were not worried about the Tories winning it though.

As far as I know, Profesor Qvortrup has never received a public apology from either newspaper for their misrepresentations of his opinions . This must be rather distressing for him. After all his opinions, as quoted, imply that he has been involved in an unscrupulous, deceitful, and dishonest New Labour propaganda campaign. Twice.

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