In today’s Watford Observer, a local Green party spokeswoman writes of me:
‘If the Hogwarts Sorting Hat were to be placed on his head it would undoubtedly announce his placement in Slytherin Hall.’
I haven’t actually read the Harry Potter books or seen the films, but I gather that this is not high praise. My crime on this occasion was to disagree with the Green Party on a local planning matter.
Being a veteran leaflet writer and practitioner of the vituperative arts, I think it is best to collect such brickbats from opponents as a badge of honour.
Some years ago, a Labour opponent described Lib Dem leaflets in Watford as ‘worthy of Joseph Goebbels’. At last year’s count our Labour MP made a point of thanking each of her opponents for a clean fight except the Liberal Democrats. The 14 per cent swing in our favour perhaps had something to do with this.
Invariably on such occasions you never get to find out what you are supposed to have done wrong – there are just vague accusations of dirty tricks. I suspect that many in the Labour Party resent us in taking them on in ‘their’ areas and winning and so regard almost anything we do as by definition playing dirty. Of course in Watford the Labour Party have got particularly strong reasons to feel sore on this count.
The Green Party are a different matter. Here it’s a case of believing so much in their own transparent goodness that they genuinely think that they should be above criticism. Perhaps some Liberal Democrats are occasionally guilty of this too!