Tuesday, 3 May 2011


I've have just had the pleasure of being able to appear on BBC Berkshire to dismiss allegations by desperate Tories accusing the Lib Dems in Henley of distributing 'Conservative Yes to AV' leaflets. The claim has no foundation in truth and ignores the fact that there is indeed a Conservative 'Yes' campaign which is probably responsible - check Google for more about this. Unfortunately, the Conservatives can brook no internal dissent so they accuse their opponents instead. Weak.

The claim was based on the fact that a LD leaflet was delivered on the same day as a Conservative 'yes' leaflet. Well, as I mentioned below, I received a Tory leaflet at exactly the same time - and in the same distinctive manner - as a 'No to AV' leaflet. Does that mean the Tories are running the No campaign? David Cameron says no. Do Henley Tories think their leader is mistaken or even possibly lying? If they don't, they must withdraw this accusation against Henley LDs and apologise.

The 'No to AV' campaign shows itself more and more to be a desperate attempt by vested interests to cling on to an unfair system and this latest attempt to spread untruths is more of the same. If you think politics is fine in our country, vote no. If you think it needs radical overhaul, perhaps you should vote yes.

NB: the Tory MP for Henley was elected by 33% of voters in the constituency. I wonder why he supports First Past the Post.


  1. As a life-long Liberal Democrat I was sad to hear on BBC Berks this afternoon that you made up the figure of 33% in your interview yesterday which you claimed was the percentage of people in the Henley constituency who voted for our Member of Parliament. Is it not acutely embarassing for the BBC to have to correct you in this blunder, and for our party to be seen in what will be described as another dirty trick?

    I would have thought that with you having been the PPC for us in last year's election and therefore having been somewhat involved in the result of 6th May that you may have noticed the actual results? As the beeb made clear today, the figure you were searching for is in fact 40%.

    With John Howell receiving over 56% of the vote (bearing in mind only 217 MPs received over 50% of the vote in their respective constituencies), like it or not he has a very clear and solid mandate and I feel that your inaccurate claim which has no bearing on any of the official figures makes it hard for the voters to take us seriously.

    I am glad to see on your website that you "still agree with Nick" - I wonder whether you would therefore still agree that AV is a "miserable little compromise"? David Owen seemed to.

  2. I did not make up the figure of 33%, that was the figure I used during the election campaign in 2010 which was the percentage the Tory receivd in the by-election at which he was elected. It was therefore a mistake, not a 'dirty trick'.

    You are correct to note that the Tory won 40% of the vote in 2010 which, correct me if I am wrong, is still a minority vote and which still ignores 60% of the electorate. The essence of what I said therefore remains valid.

    Finally, the Independent today (5th May) put the 'miserable little compromise' quote into its correct context: the miserable little compromise was that this was all Labour offered us in 2010 as they scrabbled to cling on to power. The Lib Dems have for years been clear that we want STV, which is the only completely fair system but AV would be a small along the path to that.