What’s the Woolas case doing to Labour’s Coulson tactics?

What’s the Woolas case doing to Labour’s Coulson tactics?

Should “innocent until proved guilty” apply to all?

As the divide within Labour over Woolas continues there’s a furious attack by the New Statesman’s Mehdi Hasan on those Labour figures who are suppoprting the ex-immigration minister and former NUS president.

Looking at the reasoning of the Woolas defenders Hasan writes: “Innocent until proven guilty” is not a good enough defence – as Labour keeps reminding David Cameron over his communications director, Andy Coulson. “The Woolas debacle has rendered null and void our line on Coulson,” a former Labour minister tells me.”

Hasan concludes: “..Woolas embodies the cynical, authoritarian populism of New Labour – the party of David Blunkett, who blamed refugee children for “swamping” schools, and Gordon Brown, who promised “British jobs for British workers”….

Labour can no longer afford to be seen as the “nasty party”. Ed Miliband, away on paternity leave, needs to think long and hard about how to woo back disaffected liberals who left the party and refused to vote for it in 2005 and 2010. …

The neanderthal tendency within Labour – personified by Woolas’s supporters – has been emboldened. Miliband must confront it. There can be no “business as usual” on his watch. As the backbench MP Jon Cruddas, perhaps the party’s most thoughtful figure on the subject of race and immigration, has said: “If Labour becomes the voice for this sour, shrill, hopeless politics it will die. And it will deserve to.”

At the request of PBers who say they have got sick of seeing the same Woolas leaflet to illustrate posts I’ve found another one for people to look at. It should be noted that during the case and in the judgement it was made clear that the picture used had nothing to do with Oldham at all – in fact it was of a demonstration in London three years earlier.

And whatever the veracity of the so-called death threats the judgement records that Woolas did not feel it necessary to contact the police.

Mike Smithson

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