Tag Archives: truth

Latest Lib Dem election leaflet leaves a lot lacking – like HONESTY

Jane Dodds: The backcloth suggests we should “demand better” and it is absolutely right, for once.

The Liberal Democrats proceeded with their propaganda onslaught on the people of Brecon and Radnorshire last week, with a leaflet that – it seems to This Writer – should be investigated regarding the accuracy of its claims.

That in itself should speak volumes about what was printed on the front and back of a single sheet of paper.

The leaflet, on behalf of candidate Jane Dodds, brands her as “the strong, effective voice to fight for our community”, yet it makes policy claims that do not bear out this message.

“As our next MP, Jane will fight for more ambitious broadband targets from Westminster and force big broadband and mobile companies to deliver these decent services,” it claims.

But communications regulator Ofcom has already announced that everyone will have the right to demand a fast broadband service at a reasonable price from March next year.

This ‘universal broadband service’ safety net is set to help 620,000 homes and offices in the most remote parts of the UK – such as Brecon and Radnorshire.

So it seems all Ms Dodds would have to do, were she to be elected, is wait. She wouldn’t have to lift a finger because somebody else has already done all the hard work for her.

That is hardly the kind of conduct we should expect from an MP.

The leaflet states: “Jane will bring investment to our area to create good jobs, properly funded public services and affordable housing so people are not forced out of the communities they have grown up in.”

This seems very positive but, considering the claim about broadband, we should be cautious.

Work is about to begin on a new competition-standard BMX cycle track in Rhayader which, it is hoped, will encourage people to visit the town and make it the biking capital of Wales. The local county councillor has said this success is entirely due to the involvement of local people – but would Ms Dodds, as MP, try to take the credit?

Plans are well under way for a new “global centre of rail excellence” on the Neath Port Talbot/Brecon and Radnorshire border near Ystradgynlais, which would be a testing facility of international significance. This would be a huge economic boost to the constituency, so would Ms Dodds try to claim credit for it? If so, it would be a slap in the face for the real architect of the project, Labour Assembly Member and minister for the economy and transport.

Powys Teaching Health Board is about to receive a £1.5 million boost from the Welsh Assembly – a substantial investment in the public health service courtesy of Labour Assembly health minister Vaughan Gething. While health is a devolved issue, I wonder, would Ms Dodds try to say she had a hand in it, once the money comes through?

It may seem that my doubts about this Liberal Democrat’s honesty are a little too strong. If so, may I draw attention to the now-obligatory block graph on the leaflet? Here it is:

Does something seem… out of proportion to you?

If so, you’re absolutely right. The difference in votes between the Conservatives and the Liberal Democrats in the 2017 election – illustrated here – was 8,038, while the difference between the Liberal Democrats and Labour was just 4,708 – but look at how these differences are misrepresented on the graph! Readers are led to believe that Labour were twice as far behind the LDs as the LDs were behind the Conservatives – almost a total reversal of the truth.

With misrepresentations such as this, and policy claims that simply don’t stack up, no wonder Ms Dodds’s party is known locally as the Fib Dems.

Have YOU donated to my crowdfunding appeal, raising funds to fight false libel claims by TV celebrities who should know better? These court cases cost a lot of money so every penny will help ensure that wealth doesn’t beat justice.

https://www.crowdjustice.com/case/mike-sivier-libel-fight/


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Tories put Labour’s cart before their horse in budget row

Iain Duncan Smith has had 15 months in which to tell us where he'll make £12 billion in cuts to benefits. He simply doesn't want you to know and can't be bothered to tell you.

Iain Duncan Smith has had 15 months in which to tell you where he’ll make £12 billion in cuts to benefits. He simply doesn’t want you to know and can’t be bothered to tell you.

This writer is a big fan of The Critique Archives. Martin Odoni has no problem saying what he means and backing it up with facts – and the latest piece, In a democratic process you are supposed to tell us what your own damned budgets are before you insult someone else’s, is a prime example.

“Well, that was a blundering start to the Election campaign, even by the standards of the modern Conservative Party,” he writes.

“According to [Iain] Duncan Smith, the Conservatives have not yet made decisions on exactly how they are going to make the pledged cuts of twelve billion pounds to public spending, even though they announced them well over a year ago. They just have a nice, juicy-sounding target-figure to aim at, without even calculating whether it is a suitable target, and they are going to work out a budget to reach it ‘after-the-fact’? However, they have managed to calculate a budget for the Labour Party’s plans – and in such impressive detail that they can even tell us how much extra tax the average household will pay?

“After four hundred and fifty days of not figuring out their own budget, that may go down as a disproportionately-rigorous examination of Labour’s plans.”

Having gone on to show that the Institute for Fiscal Studies had comprehensively debunked the Tory claims, the article gets downright festive in its description of how “Britain’s Most Perennially-Caught-Out Serial Liar” – that’s Grant Shapps – responded. You’ll have to go and visit the article to read it.

The point is that the Tories were more concerned with lying about Labour’s plans than they were with telling the public about their own.

In an election period, those details become very important, don’t you think? And the Tories can’t be bothered… after around 15 months.

There are more festive descriptions of the possible outcome of any further Tory spending cuts, then we get to the meat and the (blue) blood: “It says a great deal about the arrogance and inflated self-importance of Cameron and his closest circle of colleagues that they see no need to explain to the country what they hope to do next. Make no mistake, these are people who see themselves as ‘above’ most of the rest of Britain, and as such, feel no compunction over lying to them, and sneer at the very thought of being ‘accountable’ to them. No, it is their innate ‘right’ to lead.

“It is the nature of democracy, if it is ever to work, that the public are trusted with the truth, so that they can make informed decisions on whom to trust in turn with their vote. The Conservatives will not co-operate with that ideal though. Their priority is power alone, and they rightly fear that an informed public, aware of precisely what a Tory Government would do to them, would never trust them with that power.”

That’s worth bearing in mind when you’re watching the televised leader debate on ITV tomorrow!

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In four years, Cameron has told just two truths, and those were uttered inadvertently – kittysjones

cameronrich

According to Kitty S Jones, David Cameron made a clear and very telling Freudian slip during his Conference speech today:

“This party is the trade union for children from the poorest estates and the most chaotic homes; this party is the union for the young woman who wants an apprenticeship; teenagers who want to make something of their lives – this is who we resent.”

See live coverage here

The only other truth Cameron has ever told is: We are raising more money for the rich,”  which was blurted out during Parliamentary debate on 12th December 2012. This was a memorable Commons debate, with Ed Miliband delivering some outstanding challenges to David Cameron, some of which provoked the Freudian-style slip, and exposed the traditional Tory values and ideology underpinning their policies.

See live coverage here

The full article on the kittysjones blog site is well worth a look, for the enjoyable images as well as the words.

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“Hello, my name is The Daily Mail, and I twist your words”

Inforrm’s Blog provides this informative insight into how the Daily Mail reports stories about the NHS:

Read the excesses of parts of the British Press for long enough and one gets quite hardened to distortions, misreporting and twisting of the truth.

But every now and again something so horribly ugly and mean comes along that it stops you in your tracks.

So it is with one case involving Dr Kate Granger. She is the heroic woman medical registrar battling an incurable cancer who started the “Hello my name is…” campaign.

At the last count her campaign to improve patient experiences in the NHS had recorded 26 million Twitter impressions.

Dr Granger has become an international phenomenon. She decided to stop her own treatment when, as she put it “the costs started to outweigh the benefits” and went back to work in Wakefield looking after elderly patients while continuing to campaign for more person-centred care.

Her husband, Chris Pointon, has just extracted a sort of apology from The Daily Mail through a complaint to the Press Complaints Commission (PCC) for an appalling distortion of her speech to the NHS Confederation conference in June.

Under the headline “How NHS dehumanises patients, by doctor 32, who is dying of a rare form of cancer,” The Daily Mail ran a 750-word hatchet job that vilifies the NHS and grossly misrepresents what she said. It strings accurate but out-of-context snippets of the speech and uses them as ammunition to bash the health service.

The really odd thing about the report is that it completely misses out any mention of her campaign or that she is completely dedicated to the NHS.

To twist what somebody has to say that much is bad enough under any circumstances; but to do so when she has only weeks left to live and has dedicated her life to improving the NHS is almost unspeakable.

There’s more – so visit the article on Inforrm’s Blog to read it.

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‘In Memory of My Pop a WWI Soldier, who Fought for Honesty and Freedom’

 

Entrenched: Like the soldiers of WWI, our political leaders' thinking hasn't moved forward in decades - that's why they think it's all right to impose policies that lead to thousands of deaths.

Entrenched: Like the soldiers of WWI, our political leaders’ thinking hasn’t moved forward in decades – that’s why they think it’s all right to impose policies that lead to thousands of deaths.

Jayne Linney’s latest blog post starts off by discussing her relationship with her ‘Pop’, victim of a rogue grenade in World War I who spent much of his later life in surgery having shrapnel removed; clearly the centenary of the war has stirred memories.

As such, this piece might have been lightweight fluff to read and pass without comment. However…

Jayne writes: “We had endless discussions about right and wrong. I like to think he really heard me when I argued for Equality, but maybe he indulged me as his only grandchild, either way he listened, and even when we disagreed he never shot me down; he taught me to debate and for this, and everything else he was to me, I adored him.”

She continues: “Despite the pain he lived with for the next 70 years, he always demanded Truth; whether this be because he lived with the fact he suffered as a result of the lies sold by the ruling classes I can’t say, but knowing him I can’t help but think this is so.”

Now we come to the point: “In this week as I especially remember Pop, I read that  Lord Freud  has been proven to have Lied AGAIN, joining Mark Hoban, Esther McVey and Mike Penning  to become the Fourth DWP Minster to have Made the SAME LIE – Impact Assessment are Impossible.”

[This refers to the Conservative Party’s oft-repeated and utterly discredited claim that it is impossible to carry out an assessment of the cumulative impact caused by the Coalition’s many changes (we don’t dignify them with the label ‘reforms’) to the British system of social security. In fact, some organisations have already carried out unofficial assessments of their own, and one organisation that the government often uses for statistical work – I forget which one – has made it clear that it would like to carry out exactly such an assessment.]

“This default position of Lying when proven incorrect is unacceptable. The reality is the lies politicians spew out today are resulting in pain as did those told 100 years ago; and albeit in much lesser numbers, people are still dying as a result of the policies they lie about.”

Yes indeed. Look how far our Conservative and Liberal politicians have progressed since 1914. They’ve hardly moved forward at all – just like the trench warfare that spilled the blood of a generation 100 years ago.

Now they’re merrily spilling the blood of a new generation – and once again justifying it with lies.

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Labour’s Eastleigh defeat could provide a map to general election victory

While Cameron and Clegg beat themselves - and each other - up over Eastleigh, Miliband can learn the lessons and prepare for victory in 2015 - if he wants it.

While Cameron and Clegg beat themselves – and each other – up over Eastleigh, Miliband can learn the lessons and prepare for victory in 2015 – if he wants it. (Cartoon: The Spectator)

Most of the UK is probably sick to death of Eastleigh by now.

We all woke up to the news that the Liberal Democrat candidate had narrowly held the seat for his party, with UKIP as the surprise challenger. The Conservatives came an ignominious third and some commentators have tried to get mileage from the fact that Labour came fourth.

The fact of the matter is, Eastleigh is extremely Liberal Democrat. The local council is entirely Lib Dem, if reports on last night’s Question Time are to be believed, and the party held the Parliamentary seat, even against Labour’s landslide of 1997. The headline result is no surprise.

But this election has shaken out a wealth of detail and the Labour leadership should study it well.

All parties agreed that the main national issue on the doorstep was immigration and the influence of Europe – this is why UKIP won so many votes. The British people think an undemocratic European bureaucracy has far too much influence over their lives and Labour now needs to shape its policy with that in mind. The correct way forward is to seek reform of the European institutions, to return power over matters like immigration – among others – to sovereign nations. Labour would do well to start discussing these matters with politicians in other EU countries, in order to seek consensus on a way forward.

Of course immigration into the UK has fallen, according to the latest figures, and the Conservatives have been quick to leap on this as a vindication of their current policies. It’s a bold claim, but not really supported by the evidence. What we’re seeing is an evaporation of interest in a country that is no longer an attractive place to live or work. So the Conservatives are admitting their policies are putting people off the UK. We’ll come back to this later.

The other big issue is a perennial problem for politicians: Honesty. If Labour comes away with anything at all from this by-election it is that the party must keep faith with the electorate. The Liberal Democrat share of the vote fell by more than 14 per cent – in what that party calls it’s own backyard. The blame for this can be fairly put on Nick Clegg, who spent the last week squirming under questioning about allegations against Lord Rennard. Did he know anything about this before? At first he denied any knowledge but when evidence came to light, he had to admit that he did. Is this an honest man? Of course not. As someone mentioned on Question Time, he said he was sorry in his video apology for U-turning on student tuition fees, but his current behaviour shows he isn’t at all.

Of course the honesty deficit in the Conservative Party beggars belief. How many of David Cameron’s election promises have proved to be untrue? Can anybody keep score any more? We’re all aware of the great betrayal of the National Health Service – and you can only hope for the success of opposition to the new regulations his government quietly introduced, to enforce privatisation of health services in England from April this year. That’s next month.

There are many other examples. To choose one that is topical, he promised that the bankers who caused the economic crisis would be made to pay for the disaster they caused. In fact, he is even now fighting to make sure that the European Union does not put a cap on the obscenely bloated bankers’ bonuses, that are still being paid by the UK’s financial organisations to the people who caused the crisis, even when those organisations have been losing billions of pounds per year. His reasoning for this is that these financial experts (and I use the word sarcastically) would probably leave the UK if they weren’t guaranteed these huge bungs all the time. Good riddance, I say. There are plenty of people both willing and able to fill the void and I dare say they would do a better job. Mr Cameron is trying to reward the financial betrayal of Britain. It is interesting to note, getting back to the point on immigration, that he has no problem with letting foreign bankers into our country.

His attitude to the richest in society contrasts brutally with his treatment of the poorest. It seems, if you are rich, you need a tonne of money to motivate you into work; if you are poor, you need to be made poorer, according to his philosophy. That is why the benefits budget is being squeezed so hard that the poor, sick and disabled are actually dying as a result – from lack of food, lack of heat, lack of medical care and lack of hope. Never forget that this man pursues economic policies that kill his own fellow citizens.

Now we hear that his government has been deliberately misusing evidence and statistics to misrepresent the plight of the poor, according to a report by a group of British churches. Evidence has been skewed to put the blame for poverty at the door of the poor themselves.

Honest? Trustworthy? Fit to govern?

Again, there are lessons for Labour. Ed Miliband’s party must realise that the Conservative Party’s attitude to social security – and New Labour’s before it – is completely at odds with public feeling and must be scrapped in its entirety. The social security system needs an overhaul with new values placed at its centre – values of fairness to the claimant, whether they are jobless, sick, disabled, or simply poor. It is the need of the person applying for help that must define what they receive – not a grubby money-grabbing plot. Above all, Labour must accept that any policy that leads to a claimant’s untimely death must be halted at once.

The fact that the Coalition has allowed these deaths to continue – and in fact increased their frequency – should be a matter for criminal proceedings in the future.

The question of how we pay for social security leads us back to the nation’s economy. Labour must come forward with a robust plan for investment in the nation because – if done right – this will pay for itself. Conservatives run down the idea of borrowing to invest, even though this is how Tory entrepreneurs made their own fortunes, but it is the only way forward. The economics of the Coalition can only lead to ruin.

So: Reform of the economy; reform of social security; reform of the health service; reform of our relationship with the European Union; and trustworthiness, to keep its promises. That’s how Labour will win the next election.

Let’s face it; there’s no opposition from the other main parties.

The only way Labour can lose is if it doesn’t see what’s staring it in the face.