The Daily Mail says: Vote Ed Fordham

IN a seat-by-seat guide to tactical voting aimed at ensuring a Labour defeat and the avoidance of a hung Parliament, the Daily Mail excitedly calls on Conservatives to ‘engineer’ defeat for Hampstead MP Glenda Jackson by voting for…. Chris Philp Lib Dem Ed Fordham.

Such suggested tactics must be a choker for a punchy campaign that has had Boris Johnson, Grants Shapps, George Osborne and others weigh in, plus shed loads of work by Chris Philp himself.

Lib Dems were cock-a-hoop this morning at seeing people being directed towards their candidate in the Hampstead and Kilburn seat by a newspaper they do not usually expect help from. One cheekily suggested to me it could be a factor in winning council seats in Conservative held Swiss Cottage.

But doesn’t it add stock to one Labour line doing the rounds… Vote Lib Dem, Get Cameron?

1 Comment on The Daily Mail says: Vote Ed Fordham

  1. Mary Smith // May 5, 2010 at 4:17 pm // Reply

    By: Jonathan Sacerdoti On: 1 May 2010
    This is a guest post by Jonathan Sacerdoti
    Liberal Democrat candidate Ed Fordham must be ecstatic: Last week, the Jewish Chronicle apparently converted him to Judaism, listing him in its editorial as a Jewish Lib Dem standing for election to the House of Commons. He is, of course, not Jewish. Far from it.
    Fordham has spent weeks deliberately targeting Jewish voters in the Hampstead & Kilburn constituency, sending us special leaflets showing him on holiday in Israel, but conveniently only delivered those leaflets to homes with mezuzot. Non Jewish homes get different leaflets. Such has been his apparent attempted deception of Jewish voters that in his latest leaflet, he incorrectly captioned a photo of him meeting Knesset member Isaac Herzog, claiming that Herzog is Israel’s Diaspora Minister. He is not, and Fordham knows this, having got it right previously on his website. This can surely only be an attempt to fool us into thinking that Herzog endorses his campaign, and is the Knesset member directly responsible for diaspora Jews. Both suggestions are untrue.
    In fact, Fordham has meticulously avoided making any decisive statements about Israel at all, hoping that voters will mistake his ‘interest’ for support. The closest he’s come has been declaring his support for a two-state solution (wow!), and a belief that “the rockets should cease”, but even that gets tagged to his “belief” that “the blockades should end”, presumably just in case any traditional Lib Dem Israel-haters might be listening. In short, his outlook could be summed up as ‘I want there to be peace, and I think if all the horrid stuff could end, we might have peace’. This is hardly ground-breaking or sophisticated. In fact it’s entirely circular. It’s like something a toddler might come up with, not a man hoping to be a Member of Parliament.
    The Liberal Democrats are no friends of Israel. With Baroness Jenny Tonge still sitting on their behalf in the Lords, Sarah Teather demanding suspension of the EU trade agreement with Israel, Jo Shaw and Shoaib Patel using anti-Israel flyers in their campaigns, and Nick Clegg calling for Europe and the UK to start an embargo on Israel, we ought to remember who our friends are when we come to vote.
    Ed Fordham is not Jewish. Not that it matters. But it also doesn’t matter how many synagogues he visits, or Anne Frank gravestone or Western Wall photos he puts on his flyers: his refusal to express any real opinion on Israel and the Middle East is suspicious in the circumstances. I hope that the electorate is not as easily fooled about Fordham and the Lib Dems as the Jewish Chronicle appears to have been.
    Incidentally, Hampstead and Kilburn (where I live) does have one candidate standing in the election who is happy to tell us exactly what he thinks about Israel.
    UPDATE:
    I’ve received a few responses to this blog entry. Two are particularly interesting. One came from Ed Fordham himself, and the other from an advisor to Minister Isaac Herzog, whose photo Fordham used and incorrectly captioned in his campaigning leaflets sent to Jewish homes.
    1) Ed responded below, in the comments section of this blog. He incorrectly reasserted that Herozog is the Knesset [Israeli parliament] Minister for the Diaspora. He is not. A quick look at the Knesset website, or the Israeli Ministry of Foreign Affairs website, or just about any other reliable source relating to the Knesset, shows this very clearly. Ed got Isaac Herzog’s title correct in his own blog the week they met. I imagine he might subsequently have thought that title to be less appealing to Jewish voters in the diaspora.
    2) The response from Herzog’s office thanked me for drawing this information to his attention. Apparently Herzog read it “with great interest”. The email went on to explain that, “when Mr. Fordham asked for a meeting with the Minister we confirmed it because we understood that he came to Israel on an official delegation. The picture was taken as a friendly photograph with no other intentions.” In his blog, however, Fordham went out of his way to explain that his Israel trip was “organised… entirely by myself – I have had no official support from anyone in arranging appointments or meetings – it is all at my own initiative.” . I can’t say exactly how the two people involved had such different understandings of their meeting. It does not surprise me, though: the longer I have followed Fordham’s gestures and comments regarding Israel, the more he has confused me and many others in the Jewish community. Perhaps this confusion is deliberate.
    Ed Fordham claims he wants to develop links with MKs, and “encourage dialogue”. He’s going about it in a peculiar way. Perhaps more straightforward, up-front honesty would work better for him when dealing with the elected members of another country’s government. As a resident of Hampstead and Kilburn, I can safely say that such an approach would work better with the constituents he seeks to represent here, as well.

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