Come on, Charlotte. It is quite simple, take off the “Vote Green – Go Blackshirt” link.

Charlotte Vere is not doing herself any favours by keeping the link on her blog to the website that likens the policies of the Green Party to that of the extreme right “Vote Green – Go Blackshirt”.  The longer she leaves the link, and thereby undermining her ‘apology’, the longer she will cause offence, the longer she will be guilty of practicing the politics of the gutter, and the more embarassing her ultimate climbdown will be.

Nobody can truely believe that by voting Green one will, in any way whatsoever, result in the policies of the extreme right being delivered.

Come on, Charlotte.  It is quite simple, take off the offending link.


Charlotte Vere’s continuing promotion of the “Vote Green – Go Blackshirt” website is the politics of the gutter

In a letter in today’s Argus, Charlotte Vere has again repeated the ‘nudging someone on a train’ / ‘snowstorm in a teacup’ lines about her re-Tweeting a link to a website that says “Vote Green – Go Blackshirt”.  She says “If I have caused offence, I apologise – it was certainly not intended”.

But what is still intended is that people are still directed, through her Blog, to that vile website. This blog called on Ms Vere 24 hours ago to take down the link.  Yet it remains in place.

While the link remains, Ms Vere’s ‘apology’ remains empty, and she continues to attract criticism for what I regard is politics of the gutter.  (See also my blog yesterday How effective are Nancy, Caroline and Chuck in using new technology in Brighton Pavilion?).

Was Charlotte Vere’s apology empty words? It appears so.

Charlotte Vere has made a point of apologising for the “snowstorm in a teacup” yesterday for re-Tweeting a link to a blog that likened the policies of the Greens to those of the BNP.   The blog she thought worthy of promoting was headed “Vote Green – Go Blackshirt”.  Disgusting and outrageous.  Yesterday she has said in her blog  “As I have explained in a subsequent letter to The Argus, retweeting or RT on Twitter is rather like nudging someone on a train and muttering “have you seen what this says about …”. And that is all I did. I retweeted a message, which was originally sent to Caroline Lucas, which linked to an old blog post about the respective policies of the Green Party and the BNP by someone I have never heard of. If I have caused offence, I apologise – it was certainly not intended”.

So should we leave it at that? Actually, no.  In her ‘apology’ Ms Vere once again provides a link to the offending blog.  She should remove the link and make a clear statement that she does not in any way subscrive to the view that the poolicies of the Greens in any way resemble those of the BNP, and she should remove the link to the website.

Already a Facebook site has been created calling for her resignation as candidate.  I think that that call is premature, but she must take this matter seriously.  It is more than a snowstorm in a teacup.

How effective are Nancy, Caroline and Chuck in using new technology in Brighton Pavilion?

The “snowstorm in a teacup” incident where Charlotte Vere re-tweeted a link to an outrageous blog that likened the policies of the Green Party to those of the BNP (for which Charlotte apologised), raises the two edged sword that is the mighty Twitter.  It is so easy to Tweet or re-Tweet something and for it then to get ‘legs’.  It has caused me to think about how the three candidates for Brighton Pavilion are using Twitter and other new media.

Nancy Platts has for some considerable time made very effective, and at times, humourous use of new technologies.  Her style is warm and engaged with a strong focus on local issues and what she is doing.  Anyone following her will have no doubt about her commitment to Brighton Pavilion and be impressed by her personal campaign.  A great example of her blogging can be found on “Tory stories, Tory cuts, my thoughts on what it’s meant leaving social care in Tory hands in Brighton” . Nancy has had a very high profile regarding the campaign to save the Preston Circus Fire Station, just one example of street-level activity for which she is know and respected.  Nancy has 693 Twitter followers.

Caroline Lucas, as the national leader of the Greens, has a different focus – more on national issues and events.  Even though this blog has called for a Green tactical vote in Brighton Pavilion, there remain concerns about Caroline as a local candidate.  Her Tweets refect this, although there is an increased focus on local issues, such as the campaign to save the Brighton History Museum.  That campaign has a high Twitter profile and can easily be supporter from Brussels.  What Caroline needs to do is to raise some original, local issues that are original to her, and not issues fed by her campaign team or joined online.  Her new website is impressive, but again the local issues are all those championed by Green councillors locally.  Caroline has 978 Twitter followers.  As yet she has chosen not to follow @BrightonPolitic, the rather wonderful Twitter of the Brighton Politics Blogger which this blog highly and without reservations recommends!

Chuck Vere (you notice that, following her apology, it is back to the rather familiar and intimate ‘Chuck’ as opposed to the sterner Ms Vere) has, as previously stated on this blog, hit the ground running with her website although she is yet to define herself as either local or London.  A lot of her Tweeting and blogging is on issues such as Gordon Brown’s leadership.  She doesn’t need to do that since it does not add to the overall debate and makes her come across as a party political hack, and being a cheerleader for David Cameron is not going to be a big vote winner, even if she thinks it will.  She also adds to an image as a hack by making direct and rather shallow jibes at Caroline over her expenses as an MEP.  Chuck has 190 Twitter followers.

Where Caroline has done well is to avoid responding directly to the jibes from Chuck Vere.  She addresses the issues but gives no name-check to Chuck.  She knows the number 1 rule of local political campaigning.  The electorate don’t respond positively to name-calling by candidates against their opponents.  To quote that great political strategist, Thumper, from the Disney film Bambi: “If you can’t say something nice, don’t say nothing at all”.

Why do some Labour Elders want to see the Party defeated?

What an interesting week this is turning out to be.   With the polls narrowing, David Cameron barely able to cope with the questionning at his press conference on Monday (even calling Nick Robinson a stooge of the Labour Party – the man was a yopung Tory for goodness sake!), and today Gordon Brown was far and away the most compelling at Prime Minister’s Questions, we see some Labout elders trying to commit electoral suicide.

Geoff  Hoon and Patricia Hewitt have raised the issue of Brown’s leadership. The Blairites in Labour clearly have a death wish.  And then Charles Clarke calls for a secret ballot on the leadership.  What is their problem?  Do they have to sow the seeds of division?  It seems that for some Blairites, a Cameron victory would be less undesirable than Brown being successful at the polls.  The bitterness and divisions may run deep, but now is the time for them to shut up.

A disgraceful error by a naive Charlotte Vere: she must apologise

In a Twitter post on January 3rd, the Conservative candidate in Brighton Pavilion, Charlotte Vere, re-tweeted a post by Thomas Byrne, that provided a link to a website that compared the policies of the Greens to those of the BNP.

I am sure that Ms Vere did not intend to make such an inappropriate and insulting link.  She cannot possibly think that it could ever be appropriate to link the Greens with the BNP.  I believe it was a disgraceful error and she should, without delay, make it clear that it was an error and put on record her belief that this slur on the Greens is wholly wrong. 

To forward a Tweet from another has its risks, as I am sure Ms Vere will now realise.  She may say, as she does in today’s Argus, that  these are not her own views, but she has chosen to promote them through Twitter.  This is a sign of her naivety. I hope she will apologise without reservation before the day is out.

Dave Cameron: What a diamond geezer

Today’s Sun has an article penned by David Cameron that aims to convince us that he is not a Tory toff. It is full of Gavin and Tracy, Gary Barlow and the new year television viewing habits of the Cameron household.

From this article it is clear that Dave Cameron is an everyday bloke, a real diamond geezer.

Actually his article is an insult to the intelligence of ordinary people. They won’t suddenly be convinced that he isn’t upper middle class, via Eton and Oxford and the Bullingdon.

This remains Cameron’s Achilles Heal, and he knows it. He is a Tory toff and the more he tries to pretend he is otherwise, the more we will know he is worried about this.

The Tory Party website still refers to the schools attended by Shadow Cabinet members if they attended Comprehensives but is silent on Eton and other private schools attended by Cameron, George Osborne et al. This in spite of an assurance to “sort out the website” given to Jon Soppell on The Politics Show.

When it comes to playing the class card, Gotdon Brown is not guilty. Just once, at PMQ, did he refer to the playing fields of Eton. The shame is that he has not done so more often.