the Independent is a bit of a LibDem rag and as such of no interest to anyone really. However, their Diary column is often rather good - it is written by Andy McSmith. Now I've been informed on several occasions that items which appear in Diary columns don't have to be, er, true or anything, they can be made-up slurs, and in fact usually are. This is what they have to say today, fisking as usual mine.
Something rotten in Reading
If Oscar Wilde were alive now, he might write a Ballad of Reading East, wish I'd thought of that one in which "some grow mad and all grow bad", because something is poisoning the political atmosphere in that constituency.
A few months ago, the Tories in Reading East deselected a councillor, Jamie Chowdhary, reputedly because he was too close to the former Tory council leader Andrew Cumpsty, who was on the way out. They threatened to expel another, Mark Ralph, who publicly objected. Baroness Warsi, intervened to prevent Councillor Ralph's expulsion, but to no avail. This week, he announced that he is resigning. Reading East is also the only constituency in a generation, no, the first one, there were several Labour ones later where a sitting MP was sacked no, deselected, I continued as Reading East MP for another 15 months, not even the Reading Labour boys could manage a sacking by the local members of the Labour Party. Jane Griffiths, who lost the seat in 2005 no I didn't, I stood down, has accused her former colleagues of being "racist" no I haven't, I have said that the "one of us" leaflet is racist because it is using dog-whistle language. I have not accused any individual or group of being racist. because of an election leaflet in which a Labour council candidate, Eileen McElligott, is described as "one of us" – as if to imply that there is something alien about her opponent, Azam Janjua, who, by the way, used to be a Labour councillor before he switched to the Conservatives and you don't say why he did, what was done to him by Reading Labour, and how the then Reading West Labour MP, Martin Salter, was involved
So you see, Mr McSmith. spectacularly wrong. But it's only a Diary piece, hey, so keep the lies coming