Tag Archives: misleading

Tory MPs share doctored video of Starmer in abortive smear attempt

Here’s another tweet by ‘Mad Nad’ Nadine Dorries – which she could now more accurately use to describe herself.

Health minister Nadine Dorries, former Tory vice-chair Maria Caulfield and Lucy Allan have made an abortive attempt to discredit Labour leader Keir Starmer by sharing a misleading video created by far-right activists.

They quote-tweeted a video post that claimed to show Starmer explaining “why he didn’t prosecute grooming gangs”, when in fact he was explaining why he implemented reforms as the Director of Public Prosecutions.

A Labour source said: “This is a doctored video tweeted by far-right social media account. As a government minister, we hope Nadine Dorries acknowledges this and takes it down.”

Dorries and Allan have now deleted their posts, while Caulfield has deleted her Twitter account.

But the real question is how the three Tory MPs obtained the video in the first place: the original Twitter user – whose account is now deleted – has previously shared racist content.

The trio’s decision to post this anti-Starmer propaganda has been questioned by many on the social media, who point to the fact that the new Labour leader had just exposed false claims about Covid-19-related deaths in care homes by Boris Johnson:

(I think he means they’ll be asking anybody who retweeted their falsehood to retweet their apology.)

Perhaps more revealing is the fact that any reference to the prosecution of child grooming allegations in connection with Boris Johnson brings us back to his own – genuine – remarks, that the investigation into historical allegations of child abuse is “spaffing money up the wall” (an extremely unwise comment when one considers the meaning of the word “spaffing”):

So, while we wait for Mad Nad and Loathsome Lucy to delete their accounts, perhaps BoJob would like to explain why he wanted to stop investigations into child sexual abuse?

Source: Tory MPs share doctored video of Starmer promoted by far right – LabourList

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Coronavirus: Maitlis praised for pointing out nobody is saved by fortitude and character

Speech: Emily Maitlis laid out some facts about the coronavirus that made laid bare the falseness of Tory rhetoric.

This is an extraordinary speech:

It’s a spot-on speech; the coronavirus doesn’t affect us all equally.

She accurately states that: “Bus drivers and shelf-stackers, nurses, care home workers, hospital staff and shopkeepers are disproportionately the lower-paid members of our workforce.

“They are more likely to catch the disease because they are more exposed.”

When was the last time you heard of a member of the so-called “one per cent” – society’s highest earners – falling victim to coronavirus? If they did, it was probably due to Boris Johnson-style stupidity.

The speech flags up a new attitude in the BBC.

Maitlis, and her editors, are showing more criticism of the Tory government than they have in the last, what, 10 years?

Those of us who bother to watch the daily briefings have even seen it in Laura Kuennsberg’s questions to whichever Tory minister is standing in for Johnson at the time.

The decision to highlight the fact that poor people are disproportionately likely to suffer, because of the way our society is currently ordered, is extremely important – if media organisations like the BBC follow through on it.

Public opinion is hugely influenced by the media – and public opinion is what shapes our society.

Source: Emily Maitlis praised as she slams ‘misleading’ language used amid coronavirus crisis | London Evening Standard

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This is a list of misleading words used by politicians and the media. Can you add to it?

This was posted on Twitter by Mark Curtis (@markcurtis30) with a request for additions or criticism.

Feel free to get in touch with him with suggestions.


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Is this the kind of NHS hip replacement operation that Lord Carter thinks is too pricey?

Earlier today, Vox Political reported that Labour’s Lord Carter had claimed some hip operations were “costing more than double the amount that they should, with some expensive replacements not lasting as long as cheaper ones”.

A quick stroll through the Internet has now turned up an example of the kind of operation it is likely he meant – and, don’t be surprised, it’s by a private healthcare company.

The report is a few years old (from 2012) but there’s no reason to believe standards have improved at all. Here’s what the Daily Mail had to say about one person’s experience:

Mrs Collett had been sent to the Haslar Hospital in Portsmouth, under a contract agreed between the NHS and Netcare, a South African health company.

When she came round from the surgery, she was shocked to be told she’d suffered a third-degree burn to her foot, which was scorched almost to the bone.

But worse was to come. She was also in constant pain from her hip replacement.

Within two months, it dislocated twice.

Mrs Collett says a GP told her the prosthesis in her leg was too short and was also loose because insufficient cement had been used to fix it.

The Mail reckoned 17 per cent of hip replacements were being carried out privately in 2012. It seems doubtful that this number has fallen in the years since.

Private healthcare is now monitored by the Care Quality Commission – but that organisation has itself come under fire for failings of its own.

A report by the Centre for Health and the Public Interest, dated August 2014, states very clearly that the NHS is gambling with patients’ health every time it passes them on to the private sector:

The same requirements to report incidents do not apply to private providers as they do to the NHS, which in itself makes it hard to monitor how safe or otherwise private services are. Information about clinical negligence claims against private providers are not publicly available, as they are in the NHS.

Patients themselves have fewer rights in the private sector. Whilst there is a general requirement to operate a complaints procedure, unlike the NHS complaints procedure, those used by private providers afford no statutory rights to the complainant and there is no recourse to the Health Service Ombudsman in the case of private care. There is no statutory requirement to provide for independent advice and support with complaints which is the case with the NHS. Consequently it is much harder to hold a private provider to account.

Even taking legal action for clinical negligence against a private provider is more problematic than with the NHS, where everything is overseen by the NHS Litigation Authority. A claimant against a private provider can be faced with complications over whether it is the hospital or the individual surgeon or sub-contractor who is liable.

All too often, in addition to the patient who is harmed through no fault of their own, it is the NHS which ends up picking up the pieces (and the tab) when things go wrong in private healthcare.

Worse still, the Conservative Government is clearly complicit in this failure of care:

Bizarrely, as recently as [2014] the Government passed the Care Act, which exempted providers of privately funded care from the new criminal offence for providing false or misleading information to the regulators. As if this could only happen in a publicly run service.

So, if you’re an NHS patient sent to a private hospital for a hip replacement, you could come out in worse condition than you went in, with very little ability to gain financial redress or even to have the mistake corrected – and this is the way the government wants it.

Follow me on Twitter: @MidWalesMike

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There is no such thing as an ‘England-only’ issue.. – Skwawkbox

On the right: Kate Hoey.

On the right: Kate Hoey.

If you were incensed at Tom Pride’s ‘crackpot’ article, this one should make your blood boil. Here’s Steve Walker of the Skwawkbox blog:

Much talk continues in the media of the ‘inevitability’ and supposed fairness of ‘English devolution’ – which is nothing more than a cynical Tory attempt to neutralise the 58 out of 59 Scottish MPs who are not Tories, preventing them from hindering the Right’s plans to further strip away vital supports from vulnerable and ordinary people and making it far harder for a Labour government to achieve good in government or resist Tory predations in opposition.

The purported logic behind this effective coup is that, if the people of Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland have the right to decide issues such as health and education spending and (in the case of Scotland) to raise revenues, ‘then it’s only right’ that English people have the ‘freedom’ to decide on so-called ‘England only’ matters.

But this is a complete red herring, because there is no such thing as an ‘England only’ issue.

This was highlighted and elaborated by an excellent comment by a reader called ‘Pete’, who runs another blog:

The false premise behind all these comparisons between England and Scotland (and Wales and NI) is the assumption that they are in some way comparable: they’re not. England has 80-odd percent of the UK population, London alone has more people than Scotland and Wales combined. Scotland’s GVA per capita looks good – ranking it 3rd behind London and the SE in English regions – however is only the 6th UK region by gross GVA – behind 5 English ones. Those disparities mean there is *no* change to English tax, public services, inflation, employment legislation, company law, trade union law … that *does not* affect Scotland. A reduction in English VAT, for example, would instantly have an adverse affect on Scottish manufacturing, retailing, pay rates and more. Because of its relatively very small population and economic activity, the reverse is not true to any meaningful extent. England is 80-odd percent of the UK changes there will always affect the other 15/17 percent – i.e. Scotland, Wales, and NI.

(emphasis mine)

The media, from the BBC to the vast majority of the written press, appears to be completely (deliberately?) ignoring this very obvious fact in their coverage of this issue and are giving free rein to various right-wing politicians to voice this ‘obvious truth’.

They are also giving excessive weight to a handful of ‘blue’ Labour MPs who are shamefully supporting the right, such as Kate Hoey, who claimed that Labour should back the moves ‘even if in the short term it looks that it might be a disadvantage to our party‘, describing a few dissenters as ‘serious pressure’ on Ed Miliband.

To read the rest of the article, please visit Skwawkbox. In the meantime, let’s all make a note of Kate Hoey’s name, in preparation for the day when Labour ejects the neoliberals.

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