Today, Charlotte Vere, the Tory PPC for Brighton Pavilion, made a crass attack on Caroline Lucas by asserting it was shameful that Caroline Lucas could support both ex-service personnel and Cpl. Joe Glenton, the soldier who refused to serve in Afghanistan on the grounds that he believed the war was illegal.
On Twitter, Ms. Vere posted:
Ms. Vere further added:
Not only was this a crass attack on Lucas, and one might add, a new low for Ms. Vere (who was previously criticised over a link on her blog to an article comparing the Greens to the BNP), but it is an attack on the courage of Cpl. Glenton who, despite the media backlash against his good name, was courageous enough to say ‘no’.
Rather than acknowledging courage, Ms. Vere was quite forthcoming in letting us know what kind of opinion she had of Cpl. Glenton. I wonder if Ms. Vere also holds Quakers and other conscientious objectors in such high esteem.
It is perfectly clear what Ms. Vere thinks of pacifists and, as a pacifist myself, I’m insulted by Ms. Vere’s use of the term as a political insult.
I have family members currently serving in the armed forces in Afghanistan, I also stand firmly behind Joe Glenton’s conscientious objection to serving in an illegal war with no possible end. I am proud of both, why would I not be? Both the step-cousin, currently serving in Afghanistan, and Joe Glenton, who refused to participate in an illegal war, have acted upon principle and conviction. My uncle, step-aunt and step-cousins are all fully aware of my politics and convictions, I’ve never once, ever, been refused entry into their home.
Just because Caroline Lucas- like myself and many others- opposed the Iraqi and Afghanistani conflict, it does not mean she lacks respect for those men and women serving in the country. Ms. Vere’s lack of respect for her fellow candidate, and her improper and nasty smear of Joe Glenton, should not be forgotten too quickly.
If Charlotte Vere wants to be the representative for the people of Brighton Pavilion she has to focus her election campaign around policy, ideas and vision, not the cheap nonsense like this afternoon’s Twitter outburst.