Blogging from the Highlands of Scotland
'From fanaticism to barbarism is only one step' - Diderot

Friday 14 September 2007

The seedy underside of British political life

A local election in Waltham Forest, east London, may be long over, but allegations about the conduct of the winning candidate rumble on long after.

Labour councillor Miranda Grell is alleged to have spread rumours about her Liberal Democrat opponent, Barry Smith, that he is gay (which seems to have been widely known, anyway), but that he claimed to be married and more importantly had a 14-year old Thai boyfriend; obviously this would be illegal, if true. However, she has admitted telling one voter that he is gay and had a "19-year-old Thai boyfriend", not in itself illegal but undoubtedly designed to alienate any potential voters for Mr Smith. Ms Grell said she believed in hindsight her remarks were indiscreet. Reports indicate that Mr Smith has a long-term 39 year old Malaysian boyfriend; Barry Smith is 56 years old.

Councillor Grell claims she is the victim of a plot concocted in revenge for her electoral victory.

Stuff and nonsense! She knew precisely what she was doing. Whatever she said was clearly designed to turn people off her opponent and it succeeded. Whether she is a 'homophobe' herself I have no way of knowing, but it seems very clear that her intention was to expoloit anti-gay sentiments amongst some voters.

Other references here and here.

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