Tuesday, 25 October 2011

the Filth is at it again

the irrepressible Hugh Muir (who?) in the Filth (some call it the Guardian Diary, most are not so kind) refers to ten questions about Liam Fox sent to No. 10 by Jim Murphy MP (the sight of whom in skin-tight white satin shorts, emerging from the Commons gym at 3 am during an all-night sitting to quell the antics of.. but that will do for another day).  Here is what he says, fisking in red of course mine.

We must look again at Liam Fox, says Labour via 10 unanswered questions sent to No 10 at the weekend. What was the rightwinger up to? Who was paying so he could be shadowed by his mysterious friend Adam Werritty? And as the inquiry continues, someone might wonder how he had the brass neck to whinge on in parliament about the iniquities of the "vindictive" media, knowing full well that he himself had been involved in spreading stories about another figure in the public eye; stories which, unlike those written about him, weren't even true. For many in Reading still recall how in 2005, the same Dr Fox, then Tory deputy chair, featured in a libel case that arose after he and two parliamentary hopefuls accused the then Labour MP, Martin Salter, of improper conduct and corruption Reading had two Labour MPs in 2005.  One of them was me.  One of the "parliamentary hopefuls" was Rob Wilson, elected in 2005 as Conservative MP for Reading East and comfortably re-elected in 2010. . Dr Fox was the first MP to be sued by a fellow MP in more than 100 years. Except he wasn't sued.  This is a lie.  Put about by Mr Salter.  And dutifully copied out by the Guardian.  Which ought to know better but does not.All the accusations were proved false, This is a lie.  No proof was furnished.  The allegations were denied by the then leader of Reading Borough Council, David Sutton. who was lying  One of the allegations made, that Mr Salter threatened Mr Sutton with removal from his position if he did not ensure that the outcome of certain planning applications was in accordance with Mr Salter's wishes, was in fact false.  The threat was made, and the demand for the fixing of planning applications was also made: both of them were witnessed by me and others, but they were not linked.  But in any case no proof of falsehood was ever furnished, because there is none.  Hugh Muir you are publishing lies.  Not for the first time, Guardian. The other allegations made, about bullying, corruption and improper conduct, were all true. and having made it to the high court the trio were forced to back down, with £60,000 spent on lawyers and £15,000 gifted to Salter in damages. Instead of gifting the damages payment to an appropriate charity Mr S. went on holiday to Sri Lanka.  Was that vindictive? You decide. But it wasn't nice, was it?

Evidence for the allegations made was supplied by me. And I said publicly at the time that it had been. Before m'learned friends got involved I had spoken once, briefly on  the telephone with Mr Fox.  I had supplied, of my own volition, some documents to Mr Wilson and had had several conversations with him. As background, a member of my staff had in 2002 issued a formal grievance warning against me which he said he would withdraw if I no longer required him to attend liaison meetings with Reading Borough Council.  These meetings were also attended by Mr Salter, and the member of staff concerned refused any longer to witness, in his words, "attempts to twist the planning process" by Mr Salter.  Mr Sutton was given a copy of that letter at the time.  I asked Mr Sutton for MP-council liaison meetings to be held separately, i.e. that I could meet council leadership and officers without Mr Salter, and he informed me by email that there could be no liaison meetings without Mr Salter's attendance.  I therefore attended no further such meetings, after 2002.  I repeated all this subsequently on this blog and my previous one.  No-one has ever tried to sue me on this.  Why not?

I've sent the no doubt delightful Mr Muir at the Guardian a link to this post for his comments.


Anonymous said...

I have always liked Dr Fox - much more than Mr Salter anyway.

Satin shorts forsooth.

Anonymous said...

Well - as yet silence from Mr Muir?
Amazing that Salter is pulling the strings ( being polite) of The Guardian as well as The Reading Post and The Reading Chronicle.

What does he do for them?

( No - don't answer.........)

He just seems like a slob who is a few apples short fo a picnic - to use John Major's deathless phrase - but then, perhaps others are seeing something else in him. What?