Monday, July 16, 2007

Defending the Lib Dems

Now THIS hurts.

According to Iain Dale, the ubiquitous talking head on all things political blogospherical, the Tories are landing the Liberal Democrats in Ealing with a writ for using copyrighted pictures of the Tory candidate.

It appears that a Lib Dem leaflet carried a facsimile of a Tory leaflet which included Tony's mugshot. I rather suspect that future LD leaflets will carry an entirely different picture.

I really don't like politicians whose first recourse is to the law over matters that should be part of the cut and thrust of daily business (cf Archer, Aitken, Hamilton et al). I think that it is nasty, cheap and an attitude that speaks of someone who has something embarassing to bury and wants to intimidate the opposition and their shallower pockets. It is petty and desperate campaigning to have to resort to legal action over a matter like this - and it just sustains the story for longer than it would otherwise run. I do, of course, make an exception for genuine challenges to results or other breaches of electoral law, where a court is the proper forum for deciding those matters.

Naturally, the LDs have pointed out that the Tories aren't quite as innocent of such foul behaviour as they would have you believe, as their candidate in a council by-election is doing the same thing. Plus there was the alleged hacking of Grant Shapps' YouTube account when someone, obviously not Mr Shapps, posed as an LD supporter to do down their campaign. Apparently, the net-savvy Mr Shapps chose the numbers 1234 as his YouTube account password. Tell me he couldn't be that stupid. Please. This man's a bloody MP for heaven's sake.

Nope, I don't believe it either.

Here's a technical question to which I don't know the answer - would the legal costs of the injunction form part of the candidates' expenses? I assume that they would and could, depending on the outcome, affect the Lib Dem candidate or the Tory.


Anonymous said...

Lost your local knowledge have you? Wife lose her seat did she?

PoliticalHack said...

Another of the anonymous family joins us. No comment to confirm or deny.

Although I'm definitely not Sir Albert Bore

Radders said...

My understanding is that it would form part of the election expenses.
All parties have been accused of this at some point, Labour used my photo of Nicola Davies during the 2004 by-election. I could have sued for breach of copyright for using the photo.

PoliticalHack said...

And the LDs used mugshots of half a dozen Tories during the 2004 election as well.

Thanks for the comment Dave - it confirms what I thought was the case.