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Mr Gun, meet Mr Foot Apr 04

Once again, quite unnecessary embarrassment has been caused for the LibDems by dubious campaign advice, this time suggesting rounding up children on council estates and getting them to deliver election leaflets.

Anyone with a bit of political nous could surely spot that that was asking to be picked up and made into a “Pied Piper” story. But despite what’s implied in the BBC story, this isn’t a centrally-produced party guide – it’s published by the Association of Liberal Democrat Councillors, and therefore no more a Cowley Street publication than an LDYS drugs campaign flyer. Nonetheless, it has the capacity to look bad by association and the party should distance itself from it.

The biggest crime in this case is that it’s actually an appalling piece of advice. Rounding up strangers on an estate and trusting them to deliver your carefully written, neatly printed and fastidiously bundled leaflets is lunacy.

Update: James notes that this guide was published 12 years ago. So why not point that out rather than trying to defend it?

8 Responses

  1. 1
    Rob F 

    The party’s response thus far has been unfortunate – quite why it can’t be said “this was a foolish piece of advice. Though it wasn’t produced by the party itself we apologise” I don’t know.

    I imagine the children’s charities will be kicking the party in the gut in the papers tomorrow – and rightly so, after the line put out in response to this piece of Tory stirring today.

  2. 2
    Paul Griffiths 

    I suspect that the intimate if not downright incestual ties between Cowley Street and Hebden Bridge preclude the robust response suggested by Rob. But, really, something needs to be done about ALDC. When it’s good, it’s really good, but when it’s bad it’s a painful embarrassment.

  3. 3

    Who needs kids when LibDem Bloggers are so willing to deliver in return for a Tuna Sandwich and a trip to Wetherspoons?

  4. 4

    Shameful confession #128:
    I sometimes get the kids on the estate I manage to deliver newsletters and such like for me. However, I never ply them with sweets to get them to do this – they much prefer cigarettes.

  5. Oh, brilliant.

    Cameron is clearly desperate to change the story from the present loans scandal, and so has gone on the offensive against both us and UKIP in quick succession – and Rennard has done him a massive favour by taking the bait.

    Putting this down quickly and quietly in a short statement would have been the bright thing to do, but even complete silence would have been better than the actual response.

    I can’t imagine any serious Lib Dem activists finding the “advice” in question anything more than laughable. Was it even intended to be serious or was it just some bizarre in-joke from the 1990’s?

  6. Isn’t Rennard the author of this unfortunate publication (even if not author of the ‘Freitag method’? I’m sure Labour had hold of this before Winning Elections was reissued though.

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