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.
Following 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...