As you may have heard, after I questioned Soubry’s manners when she called a constituent a liar in public, and had a spat with ‘Conservative Campaign Manager’ Michelle Patel after she waded in to defend the indefensible, stuff took a turn for the nasty (party).
I was alerted to individuals on the NET Tram Ranting Room discussing how much they wanted to physically attack me. This was scary: I was assaulted previously out of the blue in an unprovoked attack; and was severely beaten, burnt with cigarettes and had my head plunged under water until I choked and swallowed bath water when I was subject to a home invasion by three coked-up thugs when I lived abroad. Violence is an awful thing, and threats do exactly what they are meant to do: they terrorise, they intimidate, they try to silence with force. Anna Soubry and Michelle Patel were seemingly endorsing those who use this method.
I called the police, who are now investigating. I was also advised to write to my MP to see if she would calm her rhetoric and not incite, and to request the Conservative Campaign Manger, Ms Patel, not to keep fanning the flames that were scorching any chance of reasoned debate.
Soubry and Michelle Patel (white hat, back of pic) on the campaign trail together.
I thought this a good idea, and duly drafted an email. Soubry responded, evading the question and instead turning the blame on to me instead.
I wrote back: the full, unexpurgated transcripts of these emails are below.
Then today, this story broke: Soubry had been filmed, allegedly calling Ed Miliband A ‘sanctimonious c—‘. I’m loathe to link to the Daily Mail, but will have to make an exception this time, hold your nose and click: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2967589/An-unspeakable-obscenity-Minister-s-rant-Ed-riddle-scene-cut-BBC-Inside-Commons-documentary.html
Soubry of course denies it, in a blustering response where she threw legal threats out willy-nilly, demanded they didn’t print it, claimed as she was ‘an old feminist’ so would never use that word (although I have been told she has used it against me off record before, as well as to others -I’m sure CWU reps would agree), and, hilariously, manages to use an (albeit much milder) swear word in her blustering counterblast. When requested she view the footage, she claimed she was ‘too busy’ and scampered off.
She has form, of course. After an interview she gave to Total Politics where she comfortably used other words for a female genitalia I wrote a piece explaining that her definition of free speech was not universal, but seemingly restricted to her own effing and jeffing.
She also behaves like a spoiled child in the House of Commons, bringing the good name of Broxtowe into disrepute with behaviour such as this:
Below, I have reproduced the emails uncut, unexpurgated, aside from leaving my personal contact details out. I think they give a measure of the character of the politician who is now in deep trouble for the very behavior I have been trying to make public for many years:
Dear Ms Soubry
As my MP, I am writing to you to inform you of the effects of your behaviour, and that of others who are part of local Conservative Party activism, purporting to be Conservative Campaign Manager.
As you are aware, I am an active member of the Beeston Community, co-running the hugely successful Oxjam Music Festival; editing the popular and purely volunteer-ran community magazine The Beestonian; an active member of Beeston and District Civic Society, a co-founder of Beeston Continuum, a non-political advocacy group looking at ways to bring a more democratic approach to local planning issues; as well as working on various freelance projects in my capacity as a journalist, including the very exciting bid to make Nottingham a UNESCO City of Literature. I am not, and never have been, a member of a political party. My view is to put the civic before the political every time.
As such, in my spare time (what little I get these days) I run a well-read blog called Beestonia, which has no fixed aim, writing about anything from my grandmother’s passing, to civic matters, from pieces on local culture to local politics. I am sure you are aware my politics are left of centre, but I don’t identify with one party, or indeed, one fixed ideology.
I have been subject to many attacks through my writing on the blog, including many disparaging remarks from yourself, and threats of legal action from your partner, Neil Davidson. This is part and parcel of my role as a freelance journalist; the legal threat was evidently spurious and thus easily ignored, and even if you don’t agree with my reporting. I’m sure you approve that pluralistic debate from your constituents is the very life-blood of parliamentary and local democracy, especially in these times of voter disengagement and disapproval of the worst excesses of our elected members.
However, of late, the attacks on me have taken a very nasty and violent turn for the worse, to the point where yesterday I had to call in the police, who are now launching an investigation.
This began on Twitter, where I noticed you accused a constituent and well-respected member of the civic community of’lying’. I thought this an awful allegation to publicly make. If you used that language in the Commons, you would be suspended by the Speaker, and rightfully so. When I pointed this out, MIchelle Patel, who’s Twitter biography describes herself as ‘Conservative Campaign Manager’, and is frequently part of your doorstepping activity, took over from you to attack me. After not backing down, she stormed off.
A few hours later, after she variously threatened to ‘sue me’ (on what grounds I do not know), and suggest I should not be involved in the Beeston Oxjam Festival, editing The Beestonian Magazine, judging the Beeston Business Awards and writing a monthly column for the Nottingham Post. These comments were all made on the aggressive Facebook group NET Tram Ranting Room. This sparked a torrent of comments against me, calling me mentally ill, various parts of genitalia, a ‘mother-fucker’ (as I’m aware you are friends with my mother perhaps you’d like to ask her about that one) and suchlike. As I mentioned before, I do not mind this abuse, as it shows itself up for what it is: a lack of coherent rational debate leads to childish abuse.
However, things took a dark turn for the worse when a contributor to the site, Rob’Chopper’Harris wrote the following:
This if of course unacceptable. Threatening physical attacks on journalists for holding a view is absolutely against democracy and freedom of expression. As a former journalist, and an active and vocal member of the NUJ, I am sure you find such threats abhorrent.
I have no right of reply on the discussion group, due to the moderators blocking me, but I did post up a note on both Twitter and Facebook explaining that I would be taking this matter to the please. I assumed Michelle Patel would be as horrified as myself, but no, as the following exchange on the ‘Ranting Room’ demonstrates:
Not only is she condoning Mr Sinclair’s actions, but also labelling him a legend for doing so.
This is abhorrent behaviour from a Michelle Patel, and your continued endorsement of the NET Tram Ranting Room is also serving to create a tone of argument that has gone well past fair comment. I do not want the Ranting Room to shut down: as mentioned before, I passionately believe in free speech. I would like you to please consider this strategy of siding with those who call for violence against me; and consider Michelle Patel’s position in your campaign.
I am aware there is an election on, and your slim majority means desperate times require desperate measures. Yet using proxy attacks on myself is a nasty tactic. I can’t see why you and your Tory colleagues resort to this: it sickens the electorate and does you no good whatsoever. For a politician who is well-known for hardly espousing the virtuous theories of One Nation Toryism (stating ‘I got into politics to fight lefties’ is hardly an inclusive message to those who are paid to represent), this can only be damaging for your reelection chances.
Please assure me that you condemn all threats of violence, and those that label those that make these threats as ‘legends’.
Dear Mr Goold,Thank you for your email.I am more than happy to condemn genuine threats of violence and I also condemn the use of foul and abusive language on social media sites.Over the years and especially more recently, I have received a significant number of complaints from constituents about blogs and postings made by you. In some instances, my constituents have expressed their distress at being on the receiving end of your comments.
On a personal note, you have made numerous comments about me, many of which have been of the offensive nature that you profess to abhor. For example, you have previously directed the following comment towards me in one of your blog posts, “Please, please piss off to Rushcliffe asap, Anna. You are a fucking disgrace. An utterly shit politician and Broxtowe cannot wait to see the twatting back of you.”
As I am sure you will appreciate, comments like this do not reflect the attitude that you promote in your recent email, however, I look forward to your future postings being considerably more measured.
Thank you for your response.
I am very disappointed with your response on a variety of levels and feel it is highly insufficient.
Let’s get your mischief out the way first. You quote a line from a blog post, without acknowledging the context. The swearing was written to satirise an interview you gave to Total Politics: http://www.totalpolitics.com/articles/368512/anna-soubry-on-tory-and39twatteryand39-and-refusing-to-be-nanny.thtml
where you freely swore on record. I picked out these words and phrases and refashioned them to show an example of how you communicate. The article was on how you claim to believe in free speech, and I gave examples to the contrary, then showed the only free speech you seem to truly believe in was the use of offensive language. If you can’t grasp the concept of satire, however ham-fisted, then you’re really going to struggle with the notion of irony.
I am also curious to your claim that:
“I have received a significant number of complaints from constituents about blogs and postings made by you. In some instances, my constituents have expressed their distress at being on the receiving end of your comments.”
I find this hard to believe. I write primarily, if not exclusively, about politicians. When doing this, I submit to the first principle: talk truth to power. I have never cajoled, bullied or made threats against anybody. I have held politicians to account on numerous occasions, and will continue to do so. As the traditional media dies back, the checks and balance system of democracy is increasingly having the donkey work done by people like myself.
I take offence that you accuse me of bullying others. If this has been done unwillingly, to the extent that the offended has sought advice from their MP, then why has this never been reported to me? I have a very visible, very open presence on the internet, allowing comments on my writing and willingly encouraging debate. I have never been accused of bullying in seven years of published writing. If the allegations were this serious, how come they were never followed up? How come you have never written to me to represent said complainant, or passed the matter onto the police? If you judged these serious enough to warrant mention in your reply, then why have I not been made aware of them until I push for an inconvenient answer from you? Is it perhaps that such complaints do not exist?
I do not have your legal training, or experience at the Bar. My work in law is solely confined to eight years photocopying documents at a local law school, and doing the occasional security guard shift at weekends for the same place. I learnt much about toner, less about tort. However, I am savvy enough to recognise a legal trick you have applied here.
Instead of addressing the issue to hand, you have swiftly dismissed it then bought up other issues to distract and divert my point. The very clear issue at hand here, the reason I was driven to write in the first place, and the very point you refused to address with anything but the most vague touching upon, was that of the Conservative Campaign Manager, Michelle Patel, and her endorsements of violent threats made against me.
I would think that with the application of the consistency that you call for the sacking of others caught behaving appallingly, you would have already assured that Michelle Patel has been told that her activities have led to her being dismissed from your campaign. If this has not been done, then I am now calling for it to be done. She is bringing your party, and your campaign, into disrepute with her activities. She is endorsing violent threats against me.
Please let me know that you have done this, and issued an apology for her behaviour, and the mistake in hiring her.
I await your response
Your Faithful Constituent
Dear Mir (sic) Goold,
Thank you for your email the contents of which have been noted.
With best wishes,
Member of Parliament for Broxtowe
Minister of State for Defence
That is where we are up to. Soubry and Patel have both blocked me on Twitter, and my insider in the Tories claim they are in something of a meltdown, with CCHQ not too happy. More as I get it. Please feel free to share as widely as possible. At last, she has been exposed to the nation for what she really is.