Thursday, 22 April 2010

Labour caught fibbing

One thing I just can't stand is politicians deliberately misleading the public, spreading fear, uncertainty and doubt. Once a leaflet is out there, the damage is done - I've never heard of a party putting out retraction leaflets, or writing to people afterwards to clear up the misunderstanding.

I missed the leaders debate tonight as I was attending the Evening Times Community Champion awards (more on that tomorrow), but watching Newsnight, it seems that Gordon Brown has been caught lying to the public in a leaflet put out in his own constituency.

Coming on the back of their abhorrent mailing targeting cancer patients, Labour have been scaremongering on concessionary travel. In the debate, Brown said "I have not authorised any leaflets".


Maybe he didn't authorise it, but a leaflet put out on his behalf in his own constituency clearly states that Gordon Brown will "fight against SNP cuts to concessionary travel".

What cuts would those be? The SNP Government has actually expanded the concessionary travel scheme to include disabled veterans from April 2011. Our manifesto reinforces our commitment to the current scheme for pensioners.

This is an issue that really matters to pensioners - it allows them the freedom to get about and to visit friends and family. Once Labour spread this kind of untruth, SNP activists and candidates have to fight doubly hard to win back the trust of voters.

Brown's leaflet also wanders into other devolved matters , mentioning making communities safer - that'll be the SNP delivering record numbers of police - and improving town centres - that'd be through the SNP's successful and popular Town Centre Regeneration fund.

Any campaign I've been involved in has agonised over the wording of leaflets, semantics, pedantry and meaning taken apart and put back together several times by a team of people before a leaflet goes out. It's unacceptable in my view to deliberately mislead the public, especially when it attacks another party.

I'm really glad of websites like www.thestraightchoice.org and Channel 4's factcheck, who allow us now to see all the leaflets and give the voters a better chance of finding out the truth.

13 comments:

Anonymous said...

Belle

Are you not being unduly kind to Labour by only describing them as fibbers?

Anonymous said...

Put the toys back in the pram ..

Anonymous said...

Labour has been spreading rumours via the so called scottish media about concession cards for a while now. I deal with cardholders on a daily basis and and you wouldnt believe the amount of old folk who think snp are going to scrap the scheme.

douglas clark said...

Belle,

This is a UK General Election.

What the heck have concession cards got to do with it anyway? It is just a slur...

joe90 kane said...

Put the toys back in the pram ..
- The Labour Party are caught lying, scaring and exploiting the fears of the most vulnerable people in our community in order to get their votes and yet, Anonymous 2, regards objections to this henious behaviour as nothing more than some kind of childish tantrum.

The Labour Party are the same people, after all, who brought us Saddam's WMD able to be used against British troops withing 45 minutes.

douglas clark said...

joe90kane,

But Anonymous 3 makes a worrying point that OGH has addressed. Once an idea is 'out there' what is to be done about it?

The old 'a lie is half way round the world before the truth has got it's boots on' is, perhaps the very worst of modern politics.

I agree with Bellgrove Belle that telling 'fibs' for political advantage is completely cheapskate.

Theresa said...

Labour scaremongering about the removal of concessionary bus travel by the SNP is not confined to Fife. My husband received in the post a leaflet from the labour MP for Glasgow North West in which it stated that the SNP were taking away concessionary bus travel. Incidentally I never received a leaflet. Is it possible that he feels feels women dont matter? It's the first time in all the years he's been MP that we have ever heard from him We hope it's the last.

douglas clark said...

I know this a tad off topic, so apologies, but the only election material I have received that has not been delivered by our good postman - which consists of a single missive from the Conservative candidate for Glasgow South: (I had to check, over the back that it actually was from the Conservative Party) - has been from the SNP.

I don't deliver stuff up my own close, but we do appear to have more folk on the ground?

I'd just like other folks views?

Sorry if this is completely off topic.

BellgroveBelle said...

Theresa - I got a leaflet from them too, and Joe didn't. My reckoning would be they've written only to the first person registered at your address.

Douglas - would prefer to keep devolved issues out of UK elections, but it seems almost impossible to make happen! Thanks for your comments, have added your blog to my google reader feed. Wishing you all the best with it.

douglas clark said...

Bellgrove Belle,

Thanks for the link, As soon as I can work it out, I'll do it right back!

Completely agree with you that devolved issues should't be an issue in UK elections. It is ridiculoous, and we should say that, but it is, as you say, perhaps inevitable.

Bloody annoying, though!

Best wishes.

joe90 kane said...

The SNP Facebook page has posted up evidence of Labour Party scaremongering. Here is an image file of a Fife Labour Party election leaflet -
Fife Labour Party Leaflet
The Straight Choice

all the best

ps
Anyone can upload images of election leaflets to The Straight Choice by the way - I haven't a scanner or digital camera but I'll see if my web cam can take a decent enough picture and add them to its elction archive

joe90 kane said...

As well as an excellent source of news and analysis, some more info on Labour Party Iraq-esque lies -
Pressure mounts on Brown over campaign leaflet ‘lies’
Newsnet Scotland
24 Apr 2010

Spoonsy said...

Almost choked on my soup with that first line!

'One thing I just can't stand is politicians deliberately misleading the public'

I take it you'll share my indignation that my student debt has not been dumped, my council tax remains and that SFT has yet to replace PPP?