Everyone's favourite young Conservative blue coloured fluffy bear has a shock headline this morning: "Lib Dem PPC in Bribery Scandal".
It turns out that the "scandal" is that Lib Dem York Outer parliamentary candidate Madeleine Kirk has put out a statement where she talked about the record number of people they had signed up to the party and the "bribery" portion is that local students were able to join the party for free rather than for £5 (an already heavily subsidised rate of the sort that all parties do).
So it's not really a scandal and it's not really bribery. It's just the sort of thing that political parties do to attract members.
There are other ways of looking at this story. How about: "Lib Dems help increase student involvement in politics". Or: "Young people given civic encouragement by political party". I would have thought that Tory Bear, being a young person involved in politics himself would be pleased to see all the stops being pulled out to try and increase student involvement.
TB himself in the comments to the post (in response to a comment I left) points out that it's the "deception and lies" that he objects to in Kirk's press release. It looks more to me like the sort of thing you get from all parties including the Tories highlighting what is perceived as good news within the party. Is he honestly saying that every single Tory press release highlights everything that pertains to the story? Come off it.
As it happens, if I had been putting out that press release, I would have been singing from the rooftops about how we had offered free membership for students. I don't think it's a bad thing at all, I think it reflects very well on us as a party.
TB also says in his comment to me that there is a big difference between "giving away flashy tat" and actually paying for people's membership. Really? It's all just part of the same continuum as far as I am concerned. In these days of falling party membership the parties have to adapt to try and engage people, especially the young. This is one way of doing that.