Debate Magazine

The Hounding of Miranda Grell

Posted on the 27 February 2015 by Lesterjholloway @brolezholloway

The hounding of Miranda Grell"So what's Miranda Grell, formerly convicted of homophobic smears on her Liberal Democrat opponent, up to these days?" That was the headline of an article by the main Lib Dem grassroots website Lib Dem Voice earlier this week.

The conviction was nine years ago. Yes, a full nine years ago.

The article had nothing to do with any further controversies (for there are none). It was, instead, an ongoing vendetta, for an incident in which a heavy price has already been paid. Yet it is a case that Lib Dem Voice (LDV) won't forget. Which begs the question, will they still be administering online floggings to her on the 20 th anniversary?

The angle for the piece was simply that Miranda Grell had qualified as a barrister. And the Lib Dem website want to destroy her budding legal career before it's even started.

"Do the Lib Dems not believe in rehabilitation?" I asked the LDV website on Twitter. . They responded saying: "A handful of articles in 9 years is hardly hounding. Her actions forced someone to leave their home yet no remorse." Hmmm... clearly they believe Grell's mistake must follow her for the rest of her life.

Only the same website has been churning out articles for years on the rehabilitation of offenders. See , , and for just some of umpteen articles on rehabilitation and redemption. They even published an on "a liberal approach to the Jon Venables case". So rehabilitation for child killers is liberal (I agree), but one instance of homophobia must never, ever, be forgotten and must haunt the offender to their grave? In the Lib Dem Voice world, evidently so.

Sadly LDV has not, to my knowledge, published any article, ever, about helping black women into employment

The hounding of Miranda Grell
. The unemployment rate for black (African and Caribbean) women in Britain was 15.4% compared to 5.2% for white women in the last quarter of 2014 , even worse disproportionality than between black and white men. 74% of female barristers are white, 4.4% black . But clearly this is not an issue for Liberals.

LDV tweeted me to say that Grell had not shown any remorse. Actually the court case pretty much destroyed her for a long period, and her health suffered immensely. I know because I've met her subsequent to the case. The question, almost a decade later, is how much more, and for how much longer, do the Lib Dems want her to suffer for one error?

The fact that Grell is back on her feet and qualified as a barrister should be a cause for joy not just in the context of the employment

The hounding of Miranda Grell
challenges facing black women but also in light of how the case could have permanently ruined her.

She always denied the allegations but was convicted and barred from holding public office. Publically humiliated in the national media, her health deteriorated. Lib Dem peer Lord Chris Rennard condemned her in a parliamentary debate. It is a miracle she has survived.

Why the Lib Dem's main grassroots website is continuing

The hounding of Miranda Grell
a vendetta against her up to today, so long after the event, I do not know.

I attended two or three of the court hearings during her trial. Of all the articles Lib Dems have published about Grell I can find no mention of her claim - never refuted - that a prominent Lib Dem, a member of their family, and people from the mosque to which they were all associated were also spreading the same inaccurate and homophobic false rumour about the gay Lib Dem candidate Barry Smith. Yet it was only the black woman who ended up in court.

Grell should never have spread the false rumour to two constituents (one a Lib Dem supporter). However she has paid a heavy price in several ways and today deserves the human right to get on with the rest of her life free of harassment and continued

The hounding of Miranda Grell
malicious attempts to bring her down - all over again - over the same historic case almost a decade later.

It has gone on for far too long now, enough is enough. It's high time for LDV to quit hounding her, for the sake of humanity and the concept of rehabilitation that this website keep writing about.

By Lester Holloway @brolezholloway

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