Missed this until tonight, because I'd got bored of debating with Peter Black. I find that's easy to do since he seems to love attacking me and jumping to Lembit's defence. Never done anything to directly upset Peter as far as I'm aware - well except refuse his repeated requests for me to be his facebook friend - but never the less, he seems to hate me. Ah well. He seems to have taken it to heart that I've dared say out loud what everyone else is saying about Lembit Opik. And thinks I can learn some lessons from the Lib Dems in how to run a clean campaign. The difference between me and them though is that all I've said about Lembit has been true! I haven't made anything up at all. Unlike the Lib Dem tactics in Ceredigion when they campaigned against Simon Thomas.. Now that was dirty politics at its worst.
To give you some background, this is some of what I said:
"A considered and honest response on Montgomeryshire would be appreciated by you as well as your honest opinion about Lembit and the damage he’s doing to the party. You must admit it’s bad for the party that you’ll have to fight so hard in a constituency that you should be winning easily? And what are you going to do as a party about all the members that are abandoning you because of his public persona?
I do find it sad and pathetic that you as an elected representative have taken it upon yourself to be as petty and bitchy towards me at every possible opportunity. I don’t think there’s any point in rising to it, but maybe you should think carefully before always jumping to Lembit’s defence. Something has gone wrong in Montgomeryshire for you as a party, and you need to address that rather than attack those who dare to point out the truth about the situation. Throwing a few punches at me might make you feel better, but it doesn’t tackle the internal problem. Something for you to ponder over anyway."
This is what I got in response:
"Heledd, my honest answer is that I have no problem with Lembit whatsoever and neither does Kirsty. She may be critical of some things he has done but that does not mean that she does not think that he is an outstanding MP and an asset to the Liberal Democrats. It is also why she has been out campaigning in Montgomeryshire with him.
As it happens we fight every seat hard and never take anything for granted. That applies to Montgomeryshire as much as it does to Ceredigion, Swansea West, Cardiff Central and Newport East. It is part of the service we offer to voters that we as politicians are accessible, hard-working and approachable.
We have no worries about Montgomeryshire, I am confident that we will hold it comfortably, much as you predict. Obviously with a national swing back to the Tories we will have to work a bit harder to achieve that but that is not a problem.
As for bitchiness, you have taken it upon yourself to fight a nasty, personal campaign against Lembit in which you have questioned his morality and his integrity. I have never stooped that low with you and do not condone that sort of campaigning. I have though responded robustly to you when I have felt you have overstepped the mark. There is a rule in politics that you may wish to familiarise yourself with, if you cannot take it then you should not dish it out."
So there you go, the Lib Dems in Wales are fully behind Lembit Opik and they don't think he's done anything wrong. Plus they don't care that they're losing genuine supporters in Montgomeryshire because they don't think there's a problem. Reading Hello or OK magazine during a debate in parliament, like Lembit did, is perfectably acceptable if you're a Lib Dem. As is going on a paid for cruise whilst parliament is sitting. Oh, and living with your girlfriend, renting your flat out, and claiming for it. And don't get me started on his latest Daily Sport column. All ok, and perfectly acceptable if you're a Lib Dem. I could go on, but I think the point has been made...
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