The trial was scheduled to begin on 8 May 1979. The trial had been moved so that there would be no conflict with the general election, in which Thorpe would be campaigning.
At the suggestion of the editor of “Private Eye”, Auberon Waugh stood in North Devon as a candidate against Jeremy Thorpe in the 1979 general election. Waugh’s campaign address was published in “The Spectator”, 28 April 1979, and also in the “The Guardian”. Thorpe’s solicitors attempted to have an injunction slapped on his address and have Waugh committed to prison for contempt of court on the grounds that the address might prejudice a jury. After going back and forth between various courts and appeals, Waugh had no address. He did still manage to receive 79 votes. Thorpe, however, lost his constituency to the Conservatives.
You will, of course, note the allusion to Sodom. Making this piece of satirical political theatre the "Dog Lover’s Party" was a clever stroke. As far as the English are concerned, shooting a defenceless dog is about as perverse and unnatural as a taste for light recreational buggery (vide the Marc Boxer cartoon)
CITIZENS OF BARNSTAPLE AND VOTERS OF NORTH DEVON
Unaccustomed as I am to public speaking I offer myself as your Member of Parliament in the General Election on behalf of the nation's dog lovers to protest about the behaviour of the Liberal Party generally and the North Devon Constituency Liberal Association in particular. Their candidate is a man about whose attitude to dogs - not to mention his fellow human beings - little can be said with any certainty at the present time.
But while it is one thing to observe the polite convention that a man is innocent until proven guilty, it is quite another thing to take a man who has been publicly accused of crimes which would bring him to the cordial dislike of all right-minded citizens and dog lovers, and treat him as a hero.
Before Mr Thorpe has had time to establish his innocence of these extremely serious charges, he has been greeted with claps, cheers and yells of acclamation by his admirers in the Liberal Party, both at the National Conference in Southport and here in the constituency. I am sorry but I find this disgusting.
I invite all the electors of North Devon, but especially the more thoughtful Liberals and dog lovers to register their disquiet by voting for me on 3 May and I sincerely hope that at least fifty voters in this city will take the opportunity to do so.
Genesis XVIII 26: And the LORD said If I find in Sodom fifty righteous within the city, then I will spare all the place for their sakes.
1 Samuel XXIV 14: After whom dost thou pursue? after a dead dog, after a flea.
Rinka is NOT forgotten. Rinka lives. Woof, woof. Vote Waugh to give all dogs the right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.