My flatmates (but not me!) received a letter recently from a Mr. John Szemerey that was published and promoted by Islington Liberal Democrats.
John Szemerey is someone who readily admits to having spent many years of his life campaigning for the Conservatives in Islington (hardly a productive use of anyone’s time). Apparently he has twice been the Tory parliamentary candidate for the constituency of Islington South and Finsbury. A Conservative man through-and-through, you might think.
However, John Szemerey says that he is so “desperate to see change in Islington” that he is now supporting the Liberal Democrats. Nevermind that the Lib Dems have been in control of Islington council since 200o! Szemerey clearly thinks that the Labour Party is the principal enemy of both Tories and Liberals.
Let me quote some of this at you:
In Islington South & Finsbury, the Conservatives just can’t win. In fact, a Conservative has not been elected round here for 45 years.
Suggesting that Szemerey’s years of campaigning for the Tories did not do much good.
Just 484 votes separate local campaigner Bridget Fox and Gordon Brown’s Labour Party. Voting Conservative will actually help Gordon Brown and his failed Labour Government hold on.
Comically, Mr. Szemerey seems to think his Tory-sympathising readers must be a bit slow on the uptake. He repeats the above message almost word for word at the end of his letter:
I hope you’ll join me in lending your support to Bridget Fox and the Lib Dems at the next election.
With best wishes,
P.S The Conservatives can’t win in Islington South & Finsbury. Voting for them will just help Gordon Brown hold on. Only Bridget Fox’s Lib Dems can beat Labour here.
I was always brought up to believe that the postscript was meant to contain additional information to the main body of the letter, but nevermind. Szemerey wants to bang his point through.
This letter basically makes me think that:
a) The local Liberals are terrified of the middle-classes turning to the Conservative Party rather than voting for them.
b) The local Liberals would prefer a Conservative government to a Labour one. Szemerey is essentially saying that the best way to get Cameron into No 10 is to tactically vote Lib Dem in this constituency, and Islington Liberal Democrats are happy to print this.
Shame on these Tories of both the blue and yellow variety! The next time I come across a voter on the doorstep who mistakenly sees the Lib Dems as a left-wing alternative to the Labour Party, I will draw their attention to this letter.