Tuesday, July 03, 2007

Susanne Lamido: something of an apology

Those of you who were involved in the 'Lamido affair' over the past months will occasionally have wondered why I've been defending her to some extent in that time. As previously mentioned, I tend to the view that there is a right to self-expression, as long as that right is used with a degree of integrity.

Featured on Liberal Democrat VoiceFollowing the revocation of her membership, Susanne repeatedly asked me how, and when, she could rejoin. My approach, probably a flawed one, was to suggest that if she ceased her attacks on individuals within the Party, and kept her head down, such a possibility might exist. However, she didn't take my advice, and continued with an astonishingly self-destructive policy of attacking the very people most likely to influence any discussion on her possible readmittance, under the misguided view that persistently attempting to bring the Party into disrepute was simply her right. I did explain that the desire to join any club did imply a willingness to adhere to its rules, but without effect.

Having said all that, I did assume that she was respectful of facts, even if she had a tendency to misinterpret them. Until now, that is. In her blog entry yesterday, she cast a series of aspersions on the manner in which Nigel Bakhai was chosen as the Liberal Democrat candidate in the Ealing Southall by-election. Sadly, they weren't accurate, perhaps a consequence of not actually being a member of the Party. However, in a spirit of accuracy, I posted a comment on her blog, noting that she had spelt Munira Hassam's name incorrectly, and sketching the factors influencing the selection of our by-election candidate. I know that it was received because, subsequently, Munira's name was corrected.

In the past, I have been critical of Susanne's tendency to publish anonymous, insulting and inaccurate comments about friends and colleagues, suggesting to her that, by publishing them, she is endorsing them. Her response has been to tell me that she doesn't believe in censorship. Well, now it appears that I have evidence that such a line is inaccurate, which rather saddens me. Perhaps my efforts last year on her behalf were wasted, and the damage sustained to my personal credibility in vain. Such a pity...


Anonymous said...

My advice would be to ignore her (get caller display to avoid her persistent calls and don't respond to her emails). I did it and never looked back.

Life's too short to spend on her - you'll get more time to do useful things rather than putting yourself out for someone who clearly isn't grateful.

Anonymous said...

Nice to recall that the first party body to take her to task for lying and kick her out was EMLD - some years ago - legally and constitutionally.

Anonymous said...

As an objective reader, I see it more as two different opinions. You're bound not to want to accept any criticism of your party but people are entitled to point these things out. Many of the anonymous comments posted on Suz blog appear to be just people's opinions. Therefore, they cannot be inaccurate. An opinion cannot be inaccurate, it is simply that - an opinion.

Mark Valladares said...

Dear Anonymous(3),

Actually, I don't particularly have problems with criticism of the Party. In a democratic society, differences of views are to be encouraged within the bounds of legality.

What I object to are those anonymous, snide comments attacking individuals. Where I know the individuals concerned, and am aware that the statements are inaccurate, I feel it fair to counterattack.

Unusually, in this instance, I was unhappy about her uninformed comments about the Ealing Southall candidate selection. As a member of the Region's Candidates Committee, and a trained Returning Officer, I know how the system works. I also know what went on behind the scenes, because I've spoken to the people directly involved.

But what annoys me most is the fact that I've effectively been lied to by someone who I defended at the cost of some of my own personal credibility. I don't think that such anger is misplaced, or unreasonable.

Anonymous said...

I can't see anything wrong in what she has written. It is here opinion which you are free to disagree with if you want.

Suz must be friends with most of the applicants. She can't write what she doesn't know. You can't stop all party members from being friends with her. It is good to talk.

We all know the party follows rules but these are often skillfully manipulated to produce the desired effect.

Those that know Nigel know he is a pussycat. Nice and friendly but is he really MP material? Let us be true to ourselves.

Where is the lie in what she wrote? I presume your annoyance is because you don't want dirty linen washed in public. Her blog is funny and from the heart. So what that she spelt a name wrong. We all do it.

Others must be of the same opinion as myself because her blog seems well read.

Anonymous said...

You also need to take into account the fact that virtually all of the comments on her blog are written by Suz herself!

Mark Valladares said...

Dear Anonymous(4),

Charming, but misleading. I do not deny Susanne the right to comment, nor have I suggested at any point that such a right should be denied. Likewise, I have the right to comment on her writing, be concerned about the impact of anonymous slurs against my friends and colleagues, and to seek correction where appropriate.

You cannot claim that you publish hurtful anonymous comments because you're opposed to censorship, yet then not publish comments that disagree with you. That is hypocrisy of the highest order, and that, in a nutshell, is the basis of my unhappiness.

But then, as you yourself have hidden behind anonymity to criticise Nigel's candidacy, I should hardly be surprised at your stance.

Mark Valladares said...

Dear LoonyWatch,

I am aware that such an accusation has been made, although I have no hard evidence to back it up.

There are also accusations that Susanne has used third parties to obtain access to information or fora that should not be available to her.

If such charges were to be proven, I would be deeply saddened, as it would demonstrate that I wasted a lot of time and sympathy on someone who in no way deserved it.

Such is life in politics though...

Anonymous said...

The more cynical amongst us might suspect Anonymous (3) and (4) of being Suzanne herself. I don't know the people involved, but I have seen her blog on occasion and followed the events through cyberspace - there is a certain writing style that a lot of the anonymous comments have that these two here adopt.
Perhaps I'm wrong, but if you're reading Suzanne - being suspected of pretending to be other people in order to comment on blogs, including your own, does your cause no good.