Tag Archives: marginal

The Conservatives are using Facebook to recruit racists

Can there be any other interpretation of this Tory campaign to build support in constituencies where the Labour MP has only a small majority?

They have been using Facebook’s facility to provide targeted – and therefore under-the-radar – advertising to attract voters in 19 Labour marginals.

And the line they have taken is hatred of foreigners.

We should not be surprised. It comes from the party that gave us racist vans telling people of foreign descent to “go home” in 2013, and followed it up with the Windrush scandal that is still rumbling on, two years after it was revealed.

Now they are stirring up offence at Labour MPs in Bedford, Coventry, Warwick, Newport and elsewhere by highlighting their opposition to the Tories’ Immigration Bill at the start of the month.

But they aren’t doing it honestly. Their campaign doesn’t say, “Your MP opposes our restrictions on care workers.” That would be honest.

Bear this in mind:

A study by the organisation First Draft which fact-checked Conservative targeted Facebook ads at the general election found that 88 per cent of them were misleading or dishonest, compared to none for opposition parties.

No – the Tory campaign says, “Your MP just voted against ending free movement.”

It shows how brainwashed some of the UK’s racists have become. They think ending free movement between nations is a good idea because it stops foreigners from coming to the UK and don’t spare a second’s thought for the fact that it means they can’t easily go abroad, either.

The Tory ads go on to engage interested racists in a data collection exercise that asks them to fill in a survey that even the Independent describes as “spurious”, with questions like, “Do you support strengthening our immigration system?”

The fact is that our immigration system no longer needs strengthening as there is now little reason for anybody to want to come to our used-up and ruined civilisation.

Would you want to come to work in a country where the jobs don’t pay and you’re subjected to racist abuse every day of your life?

Even education is a no-no nowadays, as even the biggest of our universities are finding. Who would want to educate themselves at the same place that produced prime muttonhead Boris Johnson?

But that won’t occur to the racists being targeted by the Tories as – at least in the educated opinion of This Writer – racists are simply not intelligent enough to think about this issues.

So we can see where this is leading.

The Tories will use their ad campaign – costing how much, I wonder? – to build up a database of useful idiots.

Then, when there’s an election, they’ll start sending these allies targeted messages, weighted to cause the maximum resentment of their Labour representatives.

This will be calculated to go viral, with these people mentioning the attack lines to their mates at work, online and even in the pub if it’s fully open by then (but nobody will mention the restriction being due to Tory idiocy).

The intended result is obvious: Labour loses those constituencies at the next election.

And what is Labour doing about it?

Under Keir Starmer, that party has stopped advertising on Facebook altogether – in an attempt at solidarity with Black Lives Matter after the social media platform was accused of failing to do enough to remove hate speech and racism, and after Starmer was caught badmouthing the anti-racist movement.

Good going, Clueless Keir!

On the other hand, the new New Labour leader has launched a social media campaign claiming that the party is “Under New Management” in a betrayal of all the socialist party members to whom he promised to continue the popular policies of Jeremy Corbyn.

He probably expected it to soar but it has sunk like a ton of bricks:

And what are we to conclude?

Simply this:

Labour under Keir Starmer will give constituencies away to the Tories because he is too busy chasing away his core support to fight their lies.

Source: Tories running targeted anti-immigration ad campaign against Labour MPs in marginal seats | The Independent

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Tacky Tories send ‘begging letter’ alongside postal votes in marginal constituencies

 

True to type: Postal voters have complained that they have received a ‘begging letter’ from Boris Johnson, full of false or disputed claims.

Postal voters in marginal constituencies have been infuriated after they received a “begging letter” from the Conservatives with their ballot packs.

It is illegal to send out such material in postal ballot packs – they must only contain a ballot paper, postal voting statement and instructions.

It would seem to This Writer that the Tories have simply struck lucky in the timing of their appeal to postal voters, as political parties often time the delivery of their leaflets to arrive concurrently.

But it is disturbing that this phenomenon – a letter from Boris Johnson – seems to have been restricted to voters in marginal constituencies.

The letter itself is riddled with claims that have either been proved inaccurate or have been called into question.

It promises better hospitals – but the Tory funding promise only provides for repairs to six hospitals, not the building of 40 new hospitals as Mr Johnson has claimed.

It promises an extra 20,000 police officers – but with natural wastage (retirements and resignations) these will not even cover the losses of the 21,000 police that the Tories have removed.

It promises to increase funding for schools to £5,000 per secondary pupil and £4,000 per primary pupil – but in fact only 18 constituencies will receive this, 13 of which were held by Tories before the general election. Most will suffer a loss.

So people would be more justified in complaining that the begging letter they have received from the Tories is full of falsehoods.

Source: Fury as postal votes arrive with Tory ‘begging letter’ signed by Boris Johnson – Mirror Online

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The summer is heating up – but are the Conservatives melting down?

Swivel-eyed loon: And Jeremy Hunt is a member of the government, not a grassroots Conservative association.

Swivel-eyed loon: And Jeremy Hunt is a member of the government, not a grassroots Conservative association.

The Conservative Party is eating itself from within. It is therefore an odd time for members to go into Labour marginal constituencies, trying to undermine support with a loaded questionnaire.

That, however, is exactly what we have seen this weekend. But then, what did you expect from the Party of Doubletalk? The Nasty Party? The Party that sows Divisive-ness wherever it can, while mouthing platitudes like “We’re all in it together”? The Party that claims it is responsible with the nation’s finances, while threatening to run up greater debts than any of its rivals ever did?

Let’s start on financial responsibility: Sir Mervyn King, who retires as Governor of the Bank of England next month, has warned that the ‘Help to Buy’ scheme for new mortgages must not be allowed to run indefinitely. The scheme has the state guaranteeing up to 15 per cent of a mortgage on homes worth up to £600,000, and is intended to run until 2017. Sir Mervyn’s fear is that the government will expose the taxpayer – that’s you and me – to billions of pounds of private mortgage debt. He said the UK must avoid what happened in the USA, where state-backed mortgage schemes had to be bailed out.

This particular scheme has already run into flak from those who claimed it was a “second-home subsidy” for the very rich. The new criticism raises fears that the Conservatives are actively engineering a situation that will create more unsustainable debt – and we all know what they do to resolve that kind of problem, don’t we?

They cut. Most particularly, they cut parts of the public services that help anyone who doesn’t earn at least £100,000 per year.

And no – before anyone pipes up with it – nobody receives that much on benefits.

For doubletalk, let’s look at Michael Gove. The Education Secretary was heckled and jeered when he appeared before the National Association of Head Teachers’ conference, where members passed a motion of no confidence in his policies.

The BBC quoted Russell Hobby, general secretary of the NAHT: “What I think he’s failed to pick up on is the short termism of the targets and the constant change, [which] means that people no longer feel that they’re doing the job that they came to do, which is to teach children.”

Mr Gove said he had been “delighted with the warmth and enthusiasm” that had greeted some of the government’s education policies.

But he went on to say there would be no change of course: “What I have heard is repeated statements that the profession faces stress, and insufficient evidence about what can be done about it. What I haven’t heard over the last hour is a determination to be constructive. Critical yes, but not constructive.”

Doubletalk. At first he was saying one thing when we know he means something else entirely; then he went on to ignore what he had been told – by the experts – because it did not support his policy.

Meanwhile, of course, the Conservative Party is eating itself alive over Europe. There are so many angles to this, it’s hard to know where to begin!

We know that Conservative backbenchers tried to amend their own government’s Queen’s speech with a motion regretting the lack of intention to legislate for an in/out referendum on membership of the European Union, and we know that 116 of them voted in favour of that motion. That wasn’t anything like enough for it to pass, so David Cameron didn’t have to worry about resigning (as suggested in previous articles on this blog).

Next thing we knew, the Telegraph‘s political editor, James Kirkup, told us a government figure close to the Prime Minister had said the backbenchers had to vote the way they did because they had been ordered to do so by grassroots Conservative association members, and they were all “mad, swivel-eyed loons”.

Downing Street has denied that anybody said such a thing, but Kirkup has tweeted “I stand by my story” – and anyway, the damage has been done. Conservative association members were already at loggerheads with the Parliamentary party and the government, we’re told, because they believe their views are being ignored.

(One wonders what those views might, in fact, be. This could be one case in which ignoring the will of the people is actually the more sensible thing to do!)

Jeremy Hunt, the Health Secretary, has said the Conservatives are “united” in their view of Europe – but then, Jeremy Hunt – as Health Secretary – told Parliament that spending on the NHS has risen in real terms since the Coalition came into office, and we know from Andrew Dilnot, head of the independent UK Statistics Authority, that this is not true.

Lord Howe, on the other hand, has accused Crime – sorry, Prime – Minister David Cameron of “running scared” of Eurosceptics and losing control of the party. This is the man whose resignation speech, which memorably included a comment that being sent to deal with the EU was like being in a cricket team whose captain had broken his bat, signalled the end of Margaret – later Baroness – Thatcher’s career as Prime Minister.

Who do we believe, the silly youngster or the boring old guy? That’s right – we believe the old guy who already brought down one Prime Minister. Perhaps he can do the same to another.

Meanwhile, we were told on Sunday that members of Parliament are all set to receive a pay rise of up to £20,000, starting in 2015, the year of the next general election. The Independent Parliamentary Standards Authority has been considering an increase of between £10,000 and £20,000, with the lower figure most likely – despite a consultation revealing that some MPs (all Conservative) thought they were worth more than £100,000 per year.

Backbencher pay is around £65,000 per year at the moment. This means the pay rise they are likely to get is 15 per cent, while those Conservatives who wanted £100 grand expected a rise of 54 per cent.

Average pay rises for working people over the last year were less than one per cent.

Do you think this is appropriate remuneration for the political organisation that said “We’re all in it together?” Because I don’t.

And this is the time the Conservative Party decides to float a proposal for a two-tier benefit system, in a survey sent to residents of marginal seats held by Labour.

One question asked whether benefit payments should be the same, regardless of how many years a person has paid National Insurance or income tax. If people answered ‘no’, the next question asked what proportion of benefits should be dependent on a record of contribution.

This is insidious. If benefits become dependent on contribution, that means young people without a job will not qualify for benefits – they won’t have paid anything in, so won’t be able to take anything out. Also, what about the long-term sick and disabled (don’t start about fraud – eliminating the 0.4 per cent of fraudulent claims does not justify what the Conservative-led Coalition is already doing to 87/88 per cent of ESA claimants, or what it has started doing to PIP claimants)? Their claims are likely to continue long after their contributions run out.

This is, I think, a trick to allow rich people to get out of paying higher tax rates. Think about it – rich people pay more, therefore they subsidise public services, including social security benefits, for the poor. Get people to support benefit payments based on the amount of money people pay in and the rich get a nice fat tax cut while the poor get their benefits cut off.

Fair? All in it together?

There’s a lot of doubletalk, so sections are headed “helping with the cost of living” (they tend to make it impossible for people to meet that cost) or “making our welfare and benefits system fair”Tories have never tried to do this in the entire history of that political party.

And respondents were asked to agree with one of two statements, which were: “If you work hard, it is possible to be very successful in Britain no matter what your background” and “In Britain today, people from some backgrounds will never have a real chance to be successful no matter how hard they work”. The correct answer is to agree with the second statement, of course. And this government of public schoolboys have every intention of pushing that situation to its utmost extreme, so if you are a middle-class social climber and you think there are opportunities for you under a Tory government, forget it.

The whole nightmarish rag is prefaced by a letter from David Cameron. It’s very funny if you accept that it’s full of doubletalk and nonsense. Let’s go through it together:

“I’d like to know what you think about some of the steps we’ve taken so far – and I’d like to know your ideas about what more the Government can do to help families like yours,” he begins. He means: I’d like to know what we can say in order to get you to vote for us in 2015. We’ll have no intention of carrying out any promise that does not advantage ourselves and our extremely rich friends. The correct response is: Your policies are ideologically-motivated twaddle that are causing critical damage to this country and its institutions. Your best action in the future will be to resign.

“I think helping people through tough economic times means making sure our welfare and benefits is [sic] fair. That means ensuring the system helps those who do the right thing and want to get on. That’s helping rich people through tough economic times. We’ll make welfare and benefits as unfair to the poor as we can. That means ensuring the system helps those who support us and are rich enough for us to want to help them. Your changes to welfare and benefits have led to thousands of deaths. That is not fair. You are breaking the system.

“That’s why we’ve capped the amount an out-of-work household can receive in benefits, so this can’t be more than an average working family earns. Again I’d like to know what you think about the actions we’ve taken so far, and your ideas to the future.” It’s nothing near what an average working family earns, because they would be on benefits that top up their earnings to more than £31,000 – but you couldn’t cap at that level because almost nobody would have been knocked off the benefit books (all your talk about people taking more than £100,000 in benefits was nonsense). Resign, join a monastery and vow never to enter public life again.

There is no doubt about it – the cracks are beginning to show. Last summer, the Olympic Games gave us spectacular firework displays. As public unrest mounts, it seems likely that we’ll see even more spectacular fireworks this year – unplanned.

But then, that is why the Conservatives bought the water cannons that are being tested at Petersfield. When they go into use, we’ll all know what they really think of the general public.