Do you have “creative flair, originality and a strong visual sense”? Then perhaps you could be Lib Dem HQ’s new airbrushing guru!
With a requirement that the applicants are experienced with Photoshop, there is certainly significant scope to use this tool across a range of campaign materials. They can have this freebie courtesy of Scrapbook:
Nick Clegg’s version of events on the harassment allegations against Lord Rennard is unravelling at an alarming rate. The deputy prime minister had previously claimed that his office were informed of “general concerns” regarding the party’s chief executive in 2008.
But with a former Lib Dem MP revealing she told the deputy prime minister about Rennard’s behaviour when he became party leader in 2007, Clegg was forced to defend himself on a radio phone in this morning.
His poor attempt to account for this gap is already being likened to Richard Nixon:
“I can only tell you the truth as I can recollect it now”
And it got worse, with caller “Cathy from Dulwich” turned out to be, errr, Cathy Newman from Channel 4 News, who seized on his admission that Rennard didn’t simply resign as chief executive for “health and family reasons” as claimed at the time. LBC producers didn’t seem to be impressed, however, and cut her off before she could follow up.
If it looks like a cover up and smells like a cover up …
Top Liberal Democrats linked to the cover-up of alleged sexual harassment by former party chief exec Lord Rennard are to address a party rally on, erm, International Women’s Day. In an ironic turn of events, the gathering on “meaningful gender equality” will be addressed by Nick Clegg, who despite previous denials was forced to admit he had known about Rennard’s behaviour for five years, and women’s minister Jo Swinson, who has been accused of “not acting” over allegations.
The Liberal Democrats and our predecessors have long championed this agenda. Whether it be in the campaign for women’s suffrage, legislating to recognise economic and legal rights, demanding equal pay, fighting for the right to choose, and challenging continuing discrimination and barriers to equality.
One barrier to equality being an alleged of a “sex-for-favours” culture in which female candidates and staff were pressured into sex.
The Tories’ candidate in the Eastleigh by-election described David Cameron’s coalition deal with Nick Clegg as a “pact with the devil”, according to The Sun. In an bitter online tirade after she lost to Chris Huhne in 2010, Maria Hutchings wrote:
“The Lib Dems have a reduction in seats and yet they might help govern Britain — INSANE”
Labour sources told the paper that Hutchings was “lurching from gaffe to gaffe”.
No wonder Tory spinners are so desperate to keep her away from the media.
Nick Clegg’s spinners were quick to distance themselves from MEP Graham Watson after the top Lib Dem made light of the Algerian hostage crisis on Twitter last night:
“it is clearly sick and offensive and is utterly condemned by Nick Clegg.”
While the DPM would have been expected to heap fulsome praise on Watson when he was appointed president of Liberal grouping in the European Parliament in 2011, this particular formulation strikes Scrapbook as somewhat ironic:
“In uncertain times we need strong leaders in Europe who are prepared to do the right thing in very difficult circumstances.”
Nick Clegg’s grasp of economics has been called into question after he was found to have exaggerated the level of Sheffield Council’s cash reserves by more than £120m in an attack on his own city’s leaders.
In an open letter, the Sheffield Hallam MP accused the council of sitting on £167m in “usable reserves” which could have been used to “protect front line services.”
While there is a line item in the city’s statement of accounts labelled “usable reserves” valued at £167m – Nick conveniently fails to mention more than £123m of that figure is already ringfenced or earmarked — mainly at a national level — for specific purposes, and can’t be spent on front line services.
David Blunkett, MP for neighbouring Brightside & Hillsborough constituency, told Political Scrapbook:
“I’m afraid economics and accountancy are not the Deputy Prime Minister’s great strength”
The “usable reserve” includes £57.2m reserved for capital projects, £14.4m which must be spent on social housing and £10.1m reserved to pay for repairs to buildings – all of which is required by national legislation. A further £42m is reserved under a variety of other mandatory earmarks.
Clegg’s £120m spin came in response to a letter in last Sunday’s Observer from a trio of northern council leaders, including Sheffield’s Julie Dore, claiming that Clegg had yoked himself to a brand of Conservatism with “no social conscience”.
If Nick’s so proud of Coalition investment in Sheffield, why would he need to fudge the figures to prove it?