LOL has been on a "be nice to John Leech MP" crusade for some months - did you notice dear readers? - not wishing to feed this chump's "victimhood" and "everyone's out to get me" paranoia. Probably not on display in a few minutes when this curmudgeon's "charm offensive" takes another offensive and not charming turn with the Manchester Evening News "live web chat" which will no doubt be another cosy love in. Tune in and see for yourselves.
So, we have watched his Lib Dem team's lies, misleading claims, smears and whopping misrepresentations; generally in astounded silence. The odd tweet. A restrained blogpost here and there. And of course we have also watched and helped deliver the marvelously polite, positive and scrupulously clean campaign of Labour's Lucy Powell.
Extraordinary then that - on winning - John Leech spewed a stream of ridiculous negativity at the declaration. No doubt the audio or video of the great "loser's speech of the bad winner" will be up on YouTube before too long.
Even if one was absolutely shit-faced and thought one had lost one's seat, even then this was surely beyond the pale? The Manchester Evening News missed this very bitter sour flavour and a horrifying exhibition of indignity and bibulous rancour:
"The last five years we have been subject to smear campaigns by the Labour Party and during this campaign we have had to endure lie after lie and smear after smear"
This has been suppressed from the South Manchester Reporter's digital memory. Though Google shows traces for the terms [MP Leech bucks the trend]. It has been taken down. Presumably at the control freak's request. Why do the MEN group kowtow to this man?
Leechy issued a comic with "Exclusive Access" .. to himself! His "blog" was a ghost-written "blag", with the first couple of months parachuted in completely dishonestly on day 60 or so. Leaving clumsy traces naturally. His longest-standing twitter feed a robotic service from the wonderful They Work For You. His newer twitter as JLeechMp or JohnLeechMcr - also ghost-written by the Leech Youth and ditto his Facebook. LOL prefer this one about his Hospital Hoax.
All ghosted by a young woman in fact! The young woman introduced to me by the drunken smearologist Dave Hennigan. The young woman who much much later tried to engage in handbags with Eddie Izzard after her man had won. Anyway, no secret, this one "did" Leechy's blog and "did" Leechy's Facebook and "did" Leechy's twitter feeds.
Clearly not authentic. Some of his long-standing curmudgeonly terms and trite misery? Alas, lost for good. Perhaps she's doing his web chat for him too?
UPDATE 11:36: Webchat is afflicted with demons. My first Christie Q has not appeared. This is well less than live. It is controlled by freaks.
UPDATE 11:39: My second Questions:
In 2010 you repeatedly claimed that you had secured or helped secure permission and funding for a local dentist on Burton Road in the constituency. It turned out that - according to the PCT who granted the contract and made funds available - that you had had no part in this decision. Dentists were pushing at an open door. Why did you make these claims? And is it true that the dentist who conspired with you in the photo opportunities and statements is in fact a long-standing member of the local Liberal Democrats?
UPDATE 11:49: My third question:
Leaving aside a Lib-Lab-rest partnership isn't it absolutely obvious that Lib Dems would have had *more* not *less* leverage and Mr Cameron *less* not *more* if Mr Clegg had made him operate as a minority government? At very least the same policies being delivered? So isn't the only real difference all the ministerial salaries, pensions, cars, peerages and kudos? NOT the policies?
UPDATE 11:51: Comment:
This isn't really live is it? At least no-ones Qs and comments are showing unless you allow them.
UPDATE 11:54: (He's bloody slow btw) Question from me (didn't save, sorry) about the Lib Dem policies he claims (e.g. iD cards) also being Tory policy or inevitable (e.g. rising tax allowances) or Labour (e.g. restoration of link to earnings for pensions).
UPDATE 11:56: [Comment From Mike]
John, in a article for the student newspaper late last year, you said that you didn't want the Lib Dems to go into coalition with anyone but decide on a policy by policy basis. During the election campaign you accused Lucy Powell of quote "smearing" you about saying voting for the Lib Dems would let the Tories in. In last week's South Manchester Reporter you said you supported the coalition and said you didn't agree with deciding on a policy by policy basis, contradicting your previous statements. My question is how can anyone take you seriously?
UPDATE 12:00: Another Q from me:
Isn't the coalition - as opposed to propping up a minority Tory government, keeping their feet to the fire - simply about ministerial titles, salaries, pensions, jaguars and ermine for too many Liberal Democrats? It's nothing to do with policy is it? You can leverage that without prostituting whatever principles your party may have?
John Leech answering Mike (disingenuously):
Mike please don't put words in my mouth. That is not what I said at all. When the Labour Party refused to consider a coalition, there were only 2 options - a minority Tory administration and Tory policies, or a coalition which would bring in lots of progressive Lib Dem policies. Are you seriously telling me that policies like reinstating the link between pensions and earnings are a bad thing?
UPDATE 12:02: Response to Q from known Lib Dem activist:
Patsy question from Lib Dem party activist. Where are the hard Qs? Where are the "live" comments? This is a travesty.
UPDATE 12:05: Comment from LOL:
For the nth time; reinstating the link between pensions and earnings is a Labour policy and a Labour commitment. Pensions are now far better than they would have been had the link been restored in 1997. Step changes. How can an MP - even a Lib Dem MP - be so very very dishonest?
OPPORTUNITY: Did you put a question in this "Live" session to the John Leech MP machine? Did it get ignored? Please feel free to use comments here to ask whatever questions you wish. Barring our usual high standards for language and avoidance of defamation actionability there are no limits.
UPDATE 12:10: Still no hard questions. One from me on how he conducted himself on the night/morning:
You seemed to be very much the worse for wear on election morning. A very tiring and emotional business I'll be bound. And unlike the candidates of other parties you were not present for the ten hours in the room or about the building it took to count the votes. Then you launched a very intemperate attack on Lucy Powell which could not be stood up with any evidence at all. Are you going to apologise? [added his comment quoted above verbatim]
GOODNESS ME. JOHN LEECH MP IS SOOOOOOO SLOOOOOOOW.
UPDATE 12:18: Question from Carl Austin, Labour's very excellent Burnage candidate:
Is there any chance that we can look at re-opening Burnage Walk-In Centre now that the Lib Dems are in Government. A member of the Labour Party has also informed me that the Coalition Government plans to cancel the Metrolink Extension, is there any truth in that?
UPDATE 12:25: Leech's answer:
We have argued that the Burnage Walk-in centre should reopen because it is the most cost-effective walk-in centre in South Manchester. The closure has caused an unacceptable strain on blood services at Withington Community Hospital. The Metrolink extension will go ahead as planned. I have spoken to the Minister about it, after the same claim was made to me. It is simply not true. Members of the transport authority (including Labour members) were assured that the extension was under no threat.
UPDATE 12:39: After an hour or so John Leech MP - or his young woman - gets bored and pulls the plug. They point further Qs to his blog www.johnleechmp.wordpress.com where he implies he *will* answer. Here was my last Q:
In 2005 you repeatedly claimed or suggested that your Labour opponent did not vote against the war when he clearly had done so in the critical last votes - going through exactly the same lobby as your Lib Dem colleagues - and since September 2005 you have put yourself at the centre of various anti-war demonstrations.
But during 2002, 2003, 2004 and most of 2005 you were not evident in any anti-war activity, including in the ward in which you lived and the adjoining ward where there were regular protests. How can this be?