A WORD of thanks is due to chivalrous – and dry-witted – former Camden and Islington councillor Arthur Graves, who saw the Camden New Journal taking a bit of a messenger-shooting hit among Liberal Democrats in the wake of Thursday’s reporting of the party’s local election losses and told Facebook users: “It’s not really that a shit a paper.”
On the screengrab sent to me by somebody not sure the fury was so justified, members and friends seemed to be reacting angrily to the front page which showed the cast of councillors who lost their seats. We are all ‘tossers’, apparently. Or ‘lefty misfits’.
It all sounds a bit harsh to me (the paper, one of the last independent local titles left in the country, isn’t owned by a Labour Party member). They might not see it this way now, but the fact such losses were a chief story for the local papers is actually testament to the stake the Lib Dems earned in Camden’s politics. Imagine, losing 12 out of 13 seats and nobody caring, everybody ignoring it, or tucking it away on page 92 under the scouts’ big cheque.
You can’t win, though. Many Lib Dems have congratulated the paper on its double campaign to save the Whittington Hospital, for example. And while Lib Dems seemed to be frustrated with being front page news in the New Journal, they seemed delighted with the efforts of its sister paper, the Islington Tribune, to raise concerns with the near one-party state in Islington on its cover.
Now if only we could do something about the ink…,
UPDATED: The Lib Dems have clarified that Tim Wilmott is not a member of the party.