Phil Woolas needs to fight this judgment

Phil Woolas, now ex-MP for Oldham East and Saddleworth

Phil Woolas, now ex-MP for Oldham East and Saddleworth

Phil Woolas has been stripped of his parliamentary seat of Oldham East and Saddleworth, which he won by just 103 seats in May for, of all things, lying about his opponent, Elwyn Watkins of the Liberal Democrats.

Some judges really need to get out more.

Politicians lie.

We have seen this on a massive scale over the last few years with the expenses scandal and the ease with which political parties put a match to their promises and political manifestos, particularly the Liberal Democrats.

So it is a bit odd to find the Liberal Democrats complaining about lies when they are the masters of the art.

As they say, they can give it but they can’t take it.

Phil Woolas was only doing what thousands of politicians have done throughout the hundreds of years of British politics; slightly bending the truth.

His big whopper was to accuse his Liberal Democrat opponent of wooing Muslim extremists.

The judges have also failed to take into account the times in which we now live.

Only yesterday a young woman was sentenced to life for trying to murder the MP Stephen Timms because he voted for the Iraq war.

She was so easily radicalised. All she needed to do was sit in front of youtube for a few hours and view the uploads of a radical Islamist.

The election in Oldham East and Saddleworth itself was complicated by the sinister presence of MPAC (Muslim Public Affairs Committee) which had a hit list of “Zionist” MPs whose opponents it supported. One of those on the hit list, Lee Scott of Ilford North, received death threats.

In the 2005 elections the Liberal Democrats directly benefitted when MPAC spread rumours that Lorna Fitzsimons of Labour was Jewish. She wasn’t but she lost her Rochdale seat by a mere 442 votes, very possibly because of this Jewish “slur”.

MPAC seems to have little care or interest for the United Kingdom as a whole. It is a wholly pro-Muslim/anti-Israel outfit which interferes in elections using the highly intimidating tactic of labelling its opponents pejoratively either as “Jewish” or “Zionist” in the hope of whipping up an unsavioury atmosphere in Britain.

The headline on its website today reads “Election 2010 Success: FOUR Zionists Taken Out by MPACUK”.

The article reads:

MPACUK have taken another scalp – this time of the infamous electoral cheat and, ironically, the former Minister for Race Relations, Phil Woolas.

For all those Muslims who think you can’t make a change, here’s proof you can. For all those Muslims who think democracy doesn’t work, here’s proof it does. For all those Muslims who said Woolas would never lose, here’s proof he did. And for all those Muslims who joined us in the fight and thought we had lost, here’s proof that we won.

We targeted six Zionist, pro-War and Islamophobic MP’s in the 2010 general election. Here’s a list of our scalps:

1. Labour – Clare Ward – Watford. OUT
2. Labour – Andrew Dismore – Hendon. OUT
3. Labour – Terry Rooney – Bradford. OUT
4. Labour – Phil Woolas – Oldham. OUT

One of the commenters underneath has written “4 Zio-Nazies have been removed from Parliament by your efforts”.

Elwyn Watkins may not have openly wooed the likes of MPAC but did he loudly and explicitly denounce them? If he did then this was the right court decision.

If he didn’t then, in my book, he has as good as wooed them and Woolas should appeal this decision and be allowed to reclaim his place in Parliament.


30 responses to “Phil Woolas needs to fight this judgment

  1. Michael Cohen

    “So it is a bit odd to find the Liberal Democrats complaining about lies when they are the masters of the art.”
    Richard this is so true -Pot and Kettle spring to mind

  2. modernityblog

    The judges found based on the evidence, “the respondent is guilty of an illegal practice with regard to the statements”.

    So either you have a Court system based on evidence, or on “he’s right so must be not guilty” type of nonsense.

    I think I know which is more preferable.

    • richardmillett

      All politicians lie. A lie is a lie or are some lies bigger than others? He was just electioneering! That’s what politicians do. I think the decision is extreme in the circumstances.

    • And your point? This is a non-argument. The judge in Hove “found based on the evidence” (as he saw it), and was rightly reprimanded by the Lord Chief Justice. Judges make mistakes based on political prejudice. The one in Hove did.

  3. modernityblog

    Legally, he shouldn’t.

    Of course, we could accept that as axiomatic, but it will herald in a new era of politics, much like the vicious backstabbing that goes on in America, probably not a good idea, for politics, or society, eh?

    Quite frankly, I am coming round to Peter Tatchell’s view that Woolas should be thrown in jail.

    Hard on lying, hard on the causes of lying!

    • Then how about throwing some senior LibDems – and some of Tatchell’s beloved Greens – in clink too? Quite a few have been in serious breach of the Race Relations Act.
      Oh, sorry, I forgot, they were only talking about Jews. Nothing to see here, move along.

    • richardmillett

      MB, i think Woolas has been scapegoated here. Punish them all or punish none. Like the expenses scandal Woolas was only following the herd and he is the only one to pay for it. It is unfair. No?

  4. Richard
    is MPAC the organisation the British government worked together with for some time?

  5. richardmillett

    Nooooo, G-d forbid. That was the Muslim Council of Britain.

  6. Richard,

    You should forward your post to Woolas,

    He’ll probably welcome the support, as most decent people wouldn’t touch him with a political bargepole, but you’re not that choosy in this instance 🙂

  7. modernityblog

    Do we live in an alternative universe, Richard?

    I ask that because rationality and objectivity seems to have been thrown out the window, in preference for “I like him, therefore he must be innocent”, which is nonsense to anyone with more than two brain cells to rub together could see.

    If you want to ignore the evidence, because it doesn’t suit you, well that’s your prerogative, but I hope I am never on jury service with any of you 🙂

    • richardmillett

      MB, I don’t know Woolas and have never followed his career. I am not saying he didn’t do wrong but he has just followed the culture of electioneering. If he is punished then so should others, plus you are ignoring the malicious presence of MPAC who are freely and blatantly lying but whom the Lib Dems don’t seem to complain about when it benefits them. What should be done about MPAC?

  8. “If you want to ignore the evidence”
    Like about the number of countries that restrict strikes in essential services…

  9. MB seems to have a penchant for setting up strawmen, incl. putting words in people’s mouths. Nobody has said “I like him ergo he’s innocent”. I don’t even like him, he spouted mealy-mouthed platitudes when I wrote to him about his ministerial fudging (as did his entire party on these issues, I have little time for any of them, even those who have not betrayed this country outright, they are only marginally better than the LibDems). However, the lack of evenhandedness is quite breathtaking. Plenty of LibDems have told election porkies, let alone “Respect” and their like.
    It’s also interesting that MB is admitting by default that he can’t answer my point about the supposed infallibility of judges. That’s what my MP claimed also, when I asked him to complain about the Hove case. You know, the one where the infallible judge ended up being reprimanded.

    • richardmillett

      And then you get Simon Hughes saying that it is dangerous to start using race and religion like Woolas did. Meanwhile, the Lib Dems look at a district and if it is more Jewish they are pro-Israel and if it is more Muslim they are anti-Israel.

  10. Yes, although they do the former only as a last resort, it goes painfully against the grain …

  11. Jonathan Hoffman

    There is something wrong with a political Party that suspends Woolas but embraces Kaufman and Linton, both of who have made antisemitic remarks. And Corbyn hosts meetings in Parliamentary Committee rooms where antisemitic discourse occurs.

  12. Richard

    What should be done about MPAC?

    is the Muslim Council of Britain doing anything to restrict MPAC or get it out of business? lobby people to stay away from it? explain to people that it is wrong?

  13. “MB is admitting by default that he can’t answer my point about the supposed infallibility of judges.”

    Not really, Yoni,

    I can’t be arsed.

    You’re assuming I’m arguing in bad faith, not really trying to understand what I’m getting at, so with such disrespect for an interlocutor, why should I give a toss about your views.

    I think you have much intellectual depth as Gert.

    I tend to ignore thick antizionists, stupid SWPers and others that can’t manage to grasp simple arguments. I was ignoring you.

    I am not really bothered about bitter pointless exchanges.

    I *was* going to explain the wider issues in a long reply, but I can’t be arsed and bow out.

  14. mostly harmless

    Yep let’s blame the messenger – Woolas has been found guilty of knowingly spreading lies about a political opponent – good riddance.

    • richardmillett

      Can you imagine if during the expenses scandal only one person was picked on? It is the same as this. Woolas has done wrong but why has only he been prosecuted?

      And did Watkins disown MPAC’s lies against Woolas? Without MPAC Watkins might not have done nearly as well as losing by only 103 votes.

      It seems to me that MPAC is having a sinister impact on certain election results and no one is speaking up about this.

      • mostly harmless

        ‘MPAC is having a sinister impact on certain election results and no one is speaking up about this’

        Apart from a couple of unwise comments / actions in the past (surely you can forgive a new organisation for some teething problems?) I don’t think that MPAC are ‘sinister’ in any way. They seem to take the voting and public records of candidates and use them to further their aims. They sound like a pretty standard lobbying organisation to me.

      • Do try answering the even-handedness question, Mostly. You keep ducking it.

  15. And are you saying that no other MP has lied about political opponents? Go on, say it.
    Do you really need to look up ‘even-handedness’ before you grasp the concept? If so, please do look it up.

    • mostly harmless

      I’m sure loads of PPCs have lied about their opponents, Woolas has been caught and found guilty. I am sure if a PPC had felt someone had lied about them they would have followed a similar course of action to Elwyn Watkins.

  16. Richard I canvassed for Richard Harrington in watford. May I remind you he is a staunch supporter of Israel, and was very involved with Conservative Friends of Israel and proudly so. Believe me he had no truck with MPAC. In fact he had an anti-israel documentary by Peter Oborne on dispatches targeting him for his involved in Conservative Friends of Israel. Clare Ward from my own personal experience was not a strong supporter of Israel. Yes she supported the Iraq war, but she was also quite anti Israel.

    Matthew Offord the new MP for Hendon is a strong supporter of Israel. So in that respect there is no difference between him and Andrew Dismore. He has already spoken up for Israel in parliament and on Conservative Home.

    As for Phil Woolas what he did was wrong. Two wrongs do not make right. I know the Liberal Democrats can be equally bad. However the law has to be followed and clearly Mr Woolas didn’t.

    I agree with your premise that MPAC has far too much influence and Lorna Fitsimmons is an example of this. However the cases of the elections in Hendon and Watford do not add up considering that the new MPs are proud supporters of Israel.

  17. richardmillett

    Hi Stephen, I agree with you about Watford and Hendon. I would just like to see more MPs who are supported by MPAC disowning them. I should imagine that Watkins benefitted from MPAC’s support and got closer to winning than he would have done without them. I wonder if he publicly disowned what MPAC was doing. It seems, though I might be wrong, that Woolas felt under pressure from MPAC, like Dismore felt similarly under pressure, and thought that if he was going to lose the Muslim vote he wanted to try to woo other voters, albeit he went about it in the wrong manner. I wonder why this wasn’t given prominence at the trail. Or maybe it was.

  18. Stephen
    I don’t know about the UK of course but with German politicians the “strong support for Israel” is a claim that always always needs scrutiny i.e. what exactly do they support ?

  19. Here is Watkins: “[my] comments … supported by quite a few million people” [and that proves what, exactly? There are more than ‘a few million’ Israel haters in the world. And?] “It’s not an anti-Israel thing. I would not sell rockets to Hamas either” [the dishonest equation ‘Israel and Hamas are as bad as each other’. No, not dishonest; antisemitic equation] “I was following the party line” [well, yes, we know that the LibDems don’t like those organ-stealing Jews] “I would equally condemn Hamas, Hizbollah or whoever targets civilians” [oh, you would, would you? But did you?].
    What a despicable waste of oxygen.