Main article starts
The Green Party have been the darlings of the local media in Norwich for some time. Their success in local elections has allowed local news media outlets to have easy copy on politics issues that seems different and quirky, whilst those same media outlets never expose the Greens to cross examination of their policy, the conduct, their behaviour and their sheer duplicity which those of us who have analysed them for sometimes can see plain as day.
The media had something of a wake up call during the Norwich by-election when the Greens ramped themselves up, and the media fell for it hook, line and sinker.
BBC East gave the Green candidate Rupert "I was once a Lib Dem" Read a seat on the special by-election debate, at the expense of the UKIP candidate, whilst Radio 5, ITV and Sky News frothed with excitement as the Greens told the story of how they were going to cause a major upset.
The Green campaign also got plenty of press attention for a meaningless campaign pledge that the Lib Dems refused to sign for the simple fact that it was meaningless. The media made great play of the Lib Dems refusal to sign the pledge, but printed not one word when the Greens leaflets actually started to make personal attacks on the Lib Dems, despite the fact that the Green "campaign pledge" had supposedly promised not to make such attacks.
At the Norwich North Count, the extent to which the media had been suckered in by the Greens was evident when two reporters from Sky News asked me what was happening and the order of the finishers. When I said the Greens were in 5th place, they simply couldn't believe it and said "Poor Rupert". They had bought the lie, as had the BBC in their special debate. The UKIP candidate who was not on the debate panel came a very well placed 4th and beat the Greens by some distance.
The media had started to see the Greens as not always a trusted source of information. The Greens knew this and according to the EDP (in the print edition, not online) they brought up a high level delegation to speak to the local press and media to persuade them that the Greens could win Norwich South with the EDP going as saying that Adrian Ramsay was made deputy leader for the purpose of giving him a higher media profile). It appears the press learnt from this.
The Norwich North by-election should have been the springboard for the Greens Norwich South campaign, instead it had the opposite effect. The Greens had made fools of the media and would take their comments with a large dose of salt.
The Greens like to talk up the prominence of their councillors and how many they have in Norwich, but in all their literature, offer no solutions to the issues facing Norwich. They run petitions to save this, preserve that, stop the other, but never get round to looking for an answer or coming up with a realistic alternative. it's opposition for oppositions sake, only it isn't when it comes to council votes.
All too often the Greens fail to vote against Labour, leaving it to Lib Dems and Tories to vote against, knowing that Labour have more seats than the Lib Dems and Tories combined, whilst the Greens sit on their hands an abstain when Labour really could be beaten.
So on to this campaign, and the rank hypocrisy, insults and double speak of the Green Party that is endemic in the campaign.
For many months now the Green's have been complaining about the Lib Dems use of the 2005 general election statistics to show the Greens were not best placed to beat Labour. The Greens instead insist on using the most recent local election results or Euro election results.
I should stress, I am not moaning about the barchart. I am however making the point that the Greens moan about Lib Dem bar charts, but are no less willing to use bar charts to make whatever point they want to make. The difference is that the Greens only see it as wrong for the Lib Dems to do this, not for them !
This leaflet shows the statistics the Greens like to use.
You will note that it claims the Greens are in 34% and the Lib Dems on 25%. Theses figures are from the Euro elections. Is this a fair or accurate figure to quote when referring to a parliamentary election ?
Well according to the Green Party's own Norwich North candidate, Rupert Read, it almost certainly isn't.
He bemoaned the use the Lib Dems made of a bar charts showing general election votes when campaigning in the Euro elections in an article he wrote for Liberal Conspiracy.
Rupert Read said using bar charts from differing electoral systems was was
"a pre-determined, deliberate attempt to undermine the Green campaign using indefensible statistics"So we are clear, using statistics like this is considered to be wrong by the Greens. So why have they then claimed, on the basis of the Euro election results (under a form of PR) that they are therefore
"the main challenger to Charles Clarke"Surely doing this is, in the words of Rupert Read, was a cynical attempt to
" misrepresent the voting system and our prospects."Of course, as Rupert added at the end, in deliberately doing these things, people will rightly say
"we will never let you – nor the public – forget the wrong that you perpetrate, each time you draw a misleading graph, cite an irrelevant statistic, deliberately mislead readers about another Party’s chances…"Indeed Rupert, these are lessons the Green Party needs to take heed of. You like to portray yourselves as cleaner than clean and above politics. Your party campaigns in Norwich almost as a "None of the Above" party, who can always be trusted. But every time you seek to criticise the opposition for being poltiical parties and fighting political campaigns, you expose your party as hypocrites.
Of course, the result from the General Election has proved very clearly that the Lib Dems assertion that the Green Party were in fourth place was completely correct, and the Green Party were wrong.
You'd think they might just accept that they made a mistake, but this has been compounded by the comments made by their defeated candidate today. Speaking on the local news today, Adrian Ramsay claimed the Green vote had doubled, and the Lib Dem and Labour vote was falling. Now this is only true if Mr Ramsay now accepts the Lib Dems use of the last general election results were correct, something that the Greens totally reject on their leaflets.
So not only do the Greens peddle leaflets with statistics that they would themselves condemn in articles if they had been delivered by another party, they then decry other parties using the correct figures and then use those correct figures when it suits them to "spin" their way out of a bad result.
And the Greens have form here.
Just a few days ago the Greens were complaining about an opinion poll that put them on 19% in Norwich South. Interestingly, the Lib Dems chose not to complain and just got on with campaigning. Interestingly, the 19% the Lib Dems were given in the poll underscored the Lib Dems final voe by 10%, but the 19% the Greens got overrated them by 2%. It's the only time in political history that a political party had complained that they were being made to look good, but it highlights the Green Party's delusions that they somehow have a divine right in Norwich South.
So it is this driven from the top or is it endemic in the Greens ?
Well if you search the blogs and twitter, you will similarly see what the Greens are like if you scratch the surface.
One comment that caught they eye was this from a Green activist who was in Norwich yesterday before the final result was announced.
When I challenged her via twitter to justify herself and explain why Simon Wright, a former teacher who has had a real job in the real world, was a, in her words "careerist git !" where as Adrian Ramsay, a full time politician who has been on the city council since leaving university isn't a careerist
Her reply was that it was different for Adrian (presumably because he is a Green)
So ignoring the fact that Simon's family live in Norwich, he lives in Norwich, his wife is a City Councillor, he is a "careerist git".
Still worse was the Green activist's comments on Simon's unsuitability compared to Adrian Ramsay based on their life experience and professions. It seems that the Green Party don't think teachers should be MPs becaus she then wrote
To be fair, some hours later (possibly realising that twitter leaves a paper trail) she did offer her congratulations to Simon. nut it speaks volumes about the Greens' self righteous attitude that anyone else wanting to stand for the area they grew up in is a "careerist", but when a green does worse and has never had a real job and instead has devoated his whole life to one aim, that is being a politician, so long as he is a Green, that is okay.
Perhaps I should return to Rupert Read, who writes today that
"We knocked on every door – which is more than all the other Parties put together did"
Now does he know this to be true ? Can he prove it or is it a political statement based on an assertion of his ? After all if he was being 100% honest he would surely need some proof ?
And in a stunning example of ignoring the facts, he goes on to state
" a typically-untruthful LibDem campaign going on and on about the seat being allegedly a ‘two-horse race’ between them and Labour"Er ... Rupert. Check out the result. It was a two horse race. Lib Dems were first, Labour second, Tories third and you came fourth. The problem is, only one party was fibbing when it claimed that it was "the main challenger to Charles Clarke"
Who was that again ?
So let's finish with Rupert Read's own words in the earlier article for Liberal Conspiracy when he wrote
"Such a betrayal of trust will not easily be forgiven; at least, not without an expression of contrition and a sincere promise not to re-offend."
Of course, the difference was that Hereward Cooke, the former leader of the Lib Dem group on Norwich City Council offered an apology for anything that was misleading in Lib Dem leaflets in local elections a few years ago.
Even today, the Greens are telling lies about the Lib Dems conduct in the campaign yet totally ignoring their own double speak and lies.
Forget claiming you are better than everyone else. Politics is what it is and the Greens play as dirty as anyone else.