You can tell there’s an election coming up.. #1

You can always tell when there’s an election coming up when stories start appearing in the press in the category of: “Someone with an (incredibly tenuous) link to a Lib Dem has done a Bad Thing.”

The Guardian’s been guilty of two of those recently.

First they published a story saying that an “aide to Vince Cable” had tweeted that convicted rapist Ched Evans was “probably not guilty.” The person in question was a civil servant in Vince’s department.  I would imagine that the spokesman for Vince Cable quoted was also a BIS press spokesperson, not a Liberal Democrat.

Even more disgracefully, they then run a story suggesting that a “former aide to a Lib Dem peer” was charging £300 a time to former participants in his unpaid “junior associates” programme, which sounds pretty much like internships, for references.  Now, Jan Mortier worked for Tim Garden, who was a massive loss to the party when he died in 2007. This is not something the Guardian felt it needed to mention, certainly at the time of writing (9:30 am Sunday 11 January).

What’s next? The woman who sat next to Tim Farron on the bus got a parking ticket once? Jo Swinson’s greengrocer was once 3 days late filing their tax return?

UPDATE: As Simon McGrath has mentioned in the comments, Jan Mortier was one of a group of 4 Liberal Democrats who left us to join Labour in 2010 – when he was the subject of disciplinary action. The article Simon linked to also shows that he was a member of the Conservatives till 2006. The Guardian didn’t tell us that. I wonder why.


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  • Such a story about Jo Swinson would oviously be a complete fabrication .

    A greengrocer ….. in Scotland?!?!?!

  • Simon McGrath 11th Jan '15 - 12:02pm

    They also don’t mention that the ‘former aide to Tim garden’ joined the labour party in 2010

  • I am not sure we should feel that hard done by with these stories. We escaped much scrutiny when the Leader of the Lib Dem Group on East Hants District Council made revolting public comments about rape back in November. My local party was taking disciplinary action when he resigned but did not bother to put out a press release condemning his remarks.

  • David Allworthy 11th Jan '15 - 2:32pm

    Thanks for finding that Simon brings back so many “happy” memories of the run in to the last election.

    But more importantly as the article said we were in the process of expelling Mortier when he defected.


  • Let it never be said that political people (let alone Lib Dems!) are not capable of causing trouble. However, Mortier’s ability to do that while he was a member was incredible, irrespective of, and before his defection. As is said above, to link him now with Lib Dems is pretty unfair. However, I must agree with Ruth that there are others who can and do escape scrutiny. Which is one of the reasons I have always favoured a strong disciplinary process.

  • Simon McGrath 11th Jan '15 - 4:34pm

    @David – thanks I had missed that point!

  • Has the Guardian deserted you? If so then you should be worried.

  • Caron Lindsay Caron Lindsay 11th Jan '15 - 7:37pm

    Thanks, Simon. There’s also the fact that he used to be a member of the Tories up until 2006. Funny how the Guardian mentions nothing of his association with the other parties.

  • Simon McGrath 11th Jan '15 - 7:42pm

    @caron – he is probably in UKIP by now!

  • Little Jackie Paper 11th Jan '15 - 10:57pm

    Isn’t all of this just a reason to stop taking news too seriously?

    The first non-story (in that I understand it) seems to be someone in a private capacity expressing a personal view on a high-profile case. Frankly it’s a sad day for liberalism when people can’t do that. Or have I missed something?

    I’m not even sure what the story in the other non-issue is? Or what this actually has to do with anything.

    I don’t see anything in the public interest in either situation.

    We have a massive over-supply of media and people have zoned out because of nonsense like this.

  • Nick Tregoning 12th Jan '15 - 8:35am

    Surely Anne, the appropriate emotion upon losing the support of that house publication of the insufferably self-righteous which the Guardian became years ago is relief?

  • richard boyd 12th Jan '15 - 9:35am


    The Guardian has, for many years, been spiteful about “Libs” as opposed to “SDP” wings of the party. We have moved on from that – the Guardian remains firmly rooted in the past. The Mail remains robustly rooted in the ’30’s and the Express has returned to Beaverbrook rightwing views. So, nothing has changed really for the print media.

    Richard Boyd

  • Oh dear, Anne, when did you last read a newspaper other than the Daily Mail?

    The Guardian has brief spurts of supporting us in between long periods when it’s clearly trying to get us out of the way. We’ve been in one of those periods since the coalition agreement.

    On specific policies it often supports us, true, but sometimes without mentioning us. That’s life.

  • Chris Burden 12th Jan '15 - 12:02pm

    Well fancy that. The Labour sh*t machine is back in action.

  • Peter Galton 13th Jan '15 - 9:40am

    Any mud will be thrown at us. We do not have friends in the press.

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