Phantom Fightback – Fake Narrative Prepared 61

UPDATE: Dermot Murnaghan has tweeted it wasn’t him. Quite possible it was another Sky correspondent, as I have no idea what he looks like. There was a caption up with Murnaghan’s name on it at the time. It was whoever was reporting for Sky from Edinburgh just after 13.10 today.

Just after 13.10 Dermot Murnaghan on Sky News, speaking in Edinburgh, told us that the success of “Labour’s fightback” in Scotland was due to Gordon Brown, Labour’s “most vocal campaigner alongside Jim Murphy of course.” He had been speaking at a lot of rallies and visiting a lot of constituencies, wooing voters back to Labour.

I had to play it back to make sure I had heard it correctly. There is absolutely no evidence for the success of the Brown “fightback”, despite the frantic promotion efforts of the corporate media. Was Murnaghan just wittering, or was he seeding a narrative to prepare the ground for a counter-intuitive result once the thousands of fake postal ballots get mixed in?

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61 thoughts on “Phantom Fightback – Fake Narrative Prepared

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  • Daniel

    I would say the latter. I saw that too and couldn’t believe what I was watching and hearing. The establishment is really coming into its own now with just a day to go.

  • Dave Hansell

    The whiff of corruption seems to be hanging over these islands like a pea souper smog from the 1950’s.

    Pity we do not yet have the technology to clone Tim Ireland a few hundred times to instigate the equivalent of a clean air act.

  • fedup

    The narrative is set for the gargantuan fraud that is to be perpetrated on the people of UK and particularly Scotland. Our unwritten constitution has it’s hiccups, however due to lack of any contractual clauses, it can be changed on the fly to suit the incumbent plutocrat and their sponsored toadies to rule for eternity without let or hindrance.

    Former Labour Minister Lord Chris Smith is chair of the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA), the body that sits in judgment on whether ads have breached advertising rules despite being employed as head of the Task Force on Shale Gas, a lobby group funded by fracking firms including Cuadrilla, Centrica and Total.

    Head of shale gas task force bans anti-fracking advert from UK media

  • Luke

    Loads of people think you’re crazy for saying this. I’ve read Unionists tweeting “I can’t believe this guy used to be an ambassador” and denouncing you as a loony conspiracy theorist. But you’re not the only one who suspects this – plenty of serious people do. I’ve heard doctors and teachers say they thought the referendum was rigged, and there’s a judge who warned of the possibility:

  • MJ

    The best way to expose ballot-rigging is to conduct proper exit polls. This was not done for the referendum, which was a major oversight. I trust the error will not be repeated on this occasion.

  • Abe Rene

    Whether or not Dermot Murnaghan has been personally following Gordon Brown, I wouldn’t expect him to be doing nothing in Scotland. Anyway, we’ll know the truth come Friday.

  • Daniel

    “Whether or not Dermot Murnaghan has been personally following Gordon Brown, I wouldn’t expect him to be doing nothing in Scotland. Anyway, we’ll know the truth come Friday.”

    Anybody who saw that clip as I did, will recognize the clear bias.

  • keviano

    “was he seeding a narrative to prepare the ground for a counter-intuitive result once the thousands of fake postal ballots get mixed in”

    Who could possibly comment?

    The media have led with surreal attempts to whip up an expectation that a “tactical” backlash against the SNP could yet save Murphy’s Mob from the brink of extinction.

    This is in the face of polling showing the limit of any supposed “tactical” vote being about 7% (and most likely already being included in the current polling).

    With the polls having showed a consistently huge gap between SNP and Labour – even a fake “Vow” would be insufficient to convince the electorate if, despite all the odds, Labour managed to survive the democratic onslaught before them.

  • Luke

    Just seen Tim Stanley tweet this:

    “@timothy_stanley: Conspiracy theories abound on why Left cant win. “Press hates us! MI5 rigged indy ref! A coup on Friday!”
    Yet Labour ran UK for 13 years”

    The gap between rich and poor was wider at the end of the Blair/Brown era than at the end of Thatcher/Major’s, and yet some people still think Labour is left-wing…

  • amanfromMars

    Hi Luke,

    With regard to what Tim Stanley apparently tweeted, MI5/MI6/GCHQ are frying and servering much bigger phish today for beta command and control of tomorrow …….

    And that and this ……. …. are but the tip of that Titanic ICEberg/Intelligence Community Enterprise.

    And Craig would surely be able to agree that such shenanigans are right up their street and at the very top of every one of their wish lists.

    And if they aren’t, are those the systems they are confronting and struggling to contain and ensure remain relatively secret and widely unknown? Whoever thought that would be a good idea and great use of compromising resources? Strewth.

  • Juteman

    Apparently their will be no exit polls in Scotland.
    Todays Panelbase poll shows a record lead for the SNP over Labour.

  • Habbabkuk (la vita è bella)


    “…once the thousands of fake postal ballots get mixed in..”


    I know tomorrow is Der Tag, but honestly – hand on heart – do you really believe that?

  • lysias

    Why isn’t the SNP commissioning exit polling at its own expense? Surely it would be money well spent.

  • Habbabkuk (la vita è bella)

    Re exit polls

    when these came up on this blog after the referendum I remember someone saying that

    1/. they were not a legal requirement;

    2/. but if they wish to do so, political parties or polling organisations can carry out exit polls ad liberum.

    I believe both of those claims are correct.

    Conclusion : if the SNP (or indeed any other party)really fears electoral fraud, why has it (or they) not organised and/or commissioned exit polls for tommorrow? Or is this gear confined to a few of the usual suspects on here?

  • Porkfright

    Well there have been quite a few “Counter intuitive” election results etcetera around the world in recent months (No names-no pack-drill) and so I wouldn’t be surprised in the slightest. We shall see.

  • Mark Golding

    ‘fake postal ballots get mixed in’ – very worrying

    The usual complaint about postal voting is that it’s open to subversion: y’know, ballot papers being sent to fake voters at fake address, all the usual Tower Hamlets stuff. But politicians generally remain unmoved. The system is being tightened up, they say – and, besides, it has its benefits. According to the Electoral Commission’s analysis of the local elections in 2008, nearly 60 per cent of postal voters were “encouraged” to vote because they could do so by mail. This could be one way of improving the meagre turnout figures in our elections.

    Peter Hoskin (Peter Hoskin is formerly editor of Coffee House, the Spectator blog.)

  • lysias

    The U.S. government used a discrepancy between exit polling and the official election results in Ukraine in 2004 as evidence for its claims that the election was stolen. And then proceeded to ignore a similar discrepancy in the U.S. presidential election that same year, 2004.

  • Daniel

    If people can’t be bothered to walk 10 minutes from where they live to vote, then they should not be voting in the first place.

  • lysias

    The Guardian: Police warn Scottish election officials over nationalists’ anti-rigging campaign: Officals warn of ‘conspiracy theories’ as radical pro-independence campaigners urge voters to photograph ballot papers and follow ballot boxes in transit:

    Police and election officials in Scotland have issued warnings to polling stations and local commanders after radical nationalists urged voters to photograph their ballot papers and follow ballot boxes to count centres on Thursday night.

    Some pro-independence campaigners allege that last September’s independence referendum result was fixed. They claim that voting in Thursday’s general election could also be rigged, in an effort to prevent Scottish National party votes being properly counted.

    Police and electoral officials placed the campaigners’ claims “in the context of conspiracy theories after the referendum”.

    Whenever an establishment or official source starts talking about conspiracy theories, I immediately become suspicious.

  • Habbabkuk (la vita è bella)

    “The U.S. government used a discrepancy between exit polling and the official election results in Ukraine in 2004 as evidence for its claims that the election was stolen. And then proceeded to ignore a similar discrepancy in the U.S. presidential election that same year, 2004.”

    I didn’t know that, so thank you.

    As a matter of interest, can you tell us more about the discrepancy in the 2004 US Presidential election – percentages, where, etc….

    A link to a website of good repute would be OK as well.

    Thanks in advance.

  • Habbabkuk (la vita è bella)

    There are of course people who make a hobby out of their suspiciousness.

  • craig Post author


    Do you live under a rock? There have been quite a few convictions for postal ballot fraud. People have gone to jail for it. Of course there will be postal ballot fraud.

  • Habbabkuk (la vita è bella)


    Thank you for providing the requested link on exit polling/discrepancies in the 2004 US Presidential election.

    I’m sure you won’t mind me sharing it verbatim with other readers, so here it is:

    “The 2004 election brought new attention to the issue of exit polls.[48] Discrepancies existed between early exit poll information and the officially reported results. These discrepancies led some, including British Prime Minister Tony Blair, to prematurely conclude that Kerry won the election.[49] Expert opinion was divided concerning what inferences should be drawn from the cited discrepancies.[50][51]

    Mitofsky International, the company responsible for exit polling for the National Election Pool and its member news organizations, released a report detailing the 2004 election’s exit polling.[52] At issue were the early release of some poll information, issues regarding correcting exit poll data using actual voter totals, and differences between exit polls and official results.

    The NEP report stated that “the size of the average exit poll error … was higher in 2004 than in previous years for which we have data.” and that exit polling estimates overstated Kerry’s share of the vote in 26 states by more than one standard error and overestimated Bush’s share in 4 states by more than one standard error.[52] It concluded that these discrepancies between the exit polls and the official results were “most likely due to Kerry voters participating in the exit polls at a higher rate than Bush voters”. The NEP report further stated that “Exit polls do not support the allegations of fraud due to rigging of voting equipment. Our analysis of the difference between the vote count and the exit poll at each polling location in our sample has found no systematic differences for precincts using touch screen and optical scan voting equipment.”[52]

    A study performed by the Caltech / MIT Voting Technology Project concluded that “there is no evidence, based on exit polls, that electronic voting machines were used to steal the 2004 election for President Bush.”[53] This study was criticized for using data that had been corrected to match the official count, and thus “essentially analyzing rounding error”.[54] On December 5, 2004 Charles Stewart III of MIT released a revised report which, he said, used pre-corrected data.[55] Two days later, however, Warren Mitofsky, who had overseen the exit polling, stated that the pre-corrected data were proprietary and would not be released.[56]

    One paper (and a follow-up book) concluded that discrepancies in the exit polls were evidence that the election results were off,[57][58] though others alleged this paper was unscientific.[59][60]

    Following the 2004 election, researchers looked at ways in which polling methodologies might be flawed[61] and explored ways to improve polling in the future.”

    Would you wish to add anything further and/or more specific in response to my question?

  • pinhut

    There is another dimension to postal ballots that was picked up on in the Indyref.

    1/ there was the slip that certain parties were given access to postal ballots *before* the day of the referendum, extremely useful data

    2/ along the same lines, genuine postal ballots are useful for determining the probable results, and hence, which areas need to be targeted

    3/ the intelligence services’ remit is to protect national security. it’s no secret that they include nationalist movements among the threats to national security. hence, even if the path to scottish independence is pursued through lawful means, and through the democratic process, that diminishes the threat in no way. democracy, in the eyes of these people is something that must be defended from subversion. they will act to counter it, that’s their entire raison d’etre.

    there have been repeated attempts to label SNP/Scottish independence as a threat to national security. here’s one from Theresa May

    4/ there’s the protection of Nick Clegg’s seat and a similar prepared narrative of ‘a breathtaking surge’ in support for him there. either that support is derived from CCHQ or the intelligence services, or some of each. Clegg has to be kept in place as an option, going forward, for the formation of the new government

  • Habbabkuk (la vita è bella)


    “Do you live under a rock? There have been quite a few convictions for postal ballot fraud. People have gone to jail for it. Of course there will be postal ballot fraud.”


    No, under a bridge according to Mary (that’s where she says trolls live).

    Anyway : I agree that there is likely to be be postal ballot fraud, there always is (iften, apparently, in constituencies with a large Asian population). But “thousands” of “fake” ballots?

  • glenn

    Luke: Indeed. It is highly misleading – every time you hear the term “Red Ed”, you know you are dealing with crude propaganda. Is there a call for mass redistribution? Re-nationalisation of swathes of industry, never mind public infrastructure, utilities and the banks? A dramatic scaling down of our involvement with American imperialism? Of course not. Miliband is a corporate centrist, probably at the political level of a mainstream Tory back in the Thatcher days.

    Yet the old slurs concerning Soviet-style communism and the less appealing aspects of hard-core socialism are just so sexy to neo-cons, they cannot resist wheeling them out, with the hope of discrediting anyone to the left of fascism.

  • Habbabkuk (la vita è bella)

    Craig and others

    Hereafter an extract from the Guardian link kindly supplied by Lysias at 15h43:

    “Nicola Sturgeon, the SNP leader, has repeatedly rejected complaints from within the “yes” movement that the referendum – which was set up by the Scottish government, was rigged. An SNP spokesman told the Guardian they had no fears of any kind that the general election result would be undermined.

    “We are entirely satisfied that the referendum was a gold standard in terms of the robustness of the democratic process, popular engagement, and a result which accurately reflected the votes of the people,” he said.

    “And we are equally satisfied about all the arrangements for the general election, in which we hope that the people of Scotland will come together to elect a big team of SNP MPs to make Scotland stronger at Westminster and help deliver progressive policies for the whole of the UK.””

    Is Ms Sturgeon merely naive, is she talking under instruction from MI5 who have the good on her, or is it just possible that what she said is what really happened?

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