Monday, February 21, 2011

The Liberal Democrat scandal that never was

On Wednesday Andrew Neil used his Twitter account to tell the world of a scandal involving a "senior Lib Dem" that was due to break at the weekend. Then Guido Fawkes then joined in, adding some juicy details.

I rushed out to by all the Sunday papers, leafed through them eagerly, but found nothing. You can imagine how disappointed I was.

False rumours are what you read Guido for, but it was Neil who forecast the downfall of Charles Kennedy when no one else saw it coming. I expected better of him than this.

How did this nonsense come about?

Andy McSmith explains in today's Independent:
Those who closely watched the ensuing Twitter flurry will have noticed the name of the Lib Dem president Tim Farron cropping up, for no apparent reason ... The fuss was set off by a court case in Cumbria in which a man was given a jail sentence for trying to blackmail a prominent member of the local community. 
Tim Farron's seat, Westmorland and Lonsdale, covers a chunk of Cumbria. Hence, certain people leapt to the conclusion it was Farron who harboured a compromising secret that was about to burst into the public domain.
Featured on Liberal Democrat VoiceStill, I hope Guido will carry on with this sort of thing. As McSmith points out, it is illegal to "out" the intended victim in a blackmail case, and those who were bandying Farron's name around could have got into serious trouble.


Guido Fawkes said...

You can't have it both ways.

Couldn't get into trouble if it was wrong.

wolfi said...

I just followed that link to Guido and from there to the Mirror and the latest "lake monster" ...

Until then I hadn't believed that the (in)famous British press could get any worse - compared to my latest visit to London in 2008.

But now I know different. Is there any hope for the press, is there any paper still worth reading ?

crewegwyn said...


I used to subscribe to the Guardian but these days it has joined the 'Condem government will leave the poor starving in the street' faction.

i is a useful cheap summary.