More on pavement politics...
- 10 Mar 08, 02:54 PM
There was a little unease amongst the Lib Dem high command at my presence at the conference on Friday. Political editors tend to shun the gatherings so there must be something juicy, they thought, to tempt me to take the three-hour train journey to Liverpool at the end of what had been a very bad week for their leader Nick Clegg.
But the story - juicy or not - almost failed to make air on Friday night when my producer was trapped in the lift for well over an hour at the Lib Dem run City Council's brand new conference centre.
Another example of the good old Liverpool tradition of dirty tricks?
Talking of which, and following my story on Friday about Liberals adding laxative to the milk-bottles outside Conservative HQ on polling day, a veteran Lib Dem councillor gave me another good 'dirty tricks' story dating back to the Manchester Exchange by-election in the early 1970s. The Conservatives had no base in the constituency, so they set up their campaign headquarters in a caravan on a piece of wasteland. Liberal activists soon noted, however, that the Tories failed to guard the vehicle each night - instead they just locked up and left. So one enterprising Liberal, without announcing his identity, procured some Labour posters from the Labour HQ, and in the middle of the night plastered them all over the Tory caravan.
You can imagine the Conservatives' fury the next day. So angry were they that they forced Labour's north west regional organiser to go through the humiliation of scraping the posters off the caravan one by one with a knife. Smirking Liberal activists kept their distance, of course.
Or so the story goes...