I’ve been a bit slow on the uptake writing this as I’ve been away in Belgium for the last 5 days. Contrary to what I had so much hoped Miranda Grell was found guilty of 2 charges of claiming a Lib Dem opponent was a paedophile in a court ruling on Friday last week. The news story from the Waltham Forest Guardian tells more, there’s an opinion piece from Black Information Link, and a good post from Paul Burgin at the Mars Hill blog.
What can we make of that? First of all it’s scary and strange to have a friend facing that situation – I simply cannot imagine Miranda said those things. Either the judge was wrong, or I’ve been wrong for years about how she is as a person. I don’t know quite what I can do to help, but whatever I can do I will do. I will back her throughout, and I hope plenty of other people that know her will do so too.
Secondly the wheels of the law turn very slowly in comparison to everyday politics, so even if (as I hope) Miranda will appeal this is going to rumble on for ages.
Thirdly, and most importantly, this shines the light once more on the very grim and nasty way that local politics goes, especially in London councils. Everyone is ready to start baying about how gruesome the others are, rather than getting on with the job of sorting out local services, often with the Liberal Democrats muck-stirring viciously as well. Why would you want to bother being a local councillor as the atmosphere is so sour?
[UPDATE] Miranda’s appeal is now confirmed.