The Truth About this Election 350


UPDATE Andrew Marr seemed to have a moment of contrition, much too late. In the “paper review” agenda-setting section at the start of his programme, he actually pointed out that the large majority of the papers are Conservative supporting, the first time I have heard this noted on the BBC. He then promised that today the paper review would be “balanced” by a look at social media.

This balance turned out to be a 15 second reference to the billionaire owned Huffington Post, the rabidly neo-con internet “news” site which is NOT social media. The content of this “balance” was rabidly anti-Corbyn Brexiteer ex-Labour MP Gloria Del Piero (who was herself the BBC “balance” to the Daily Mail’s ultra-Tory Brexiteer Sarah Vine, wife of Michael Gove), praising Angela Rayner for saying to the Huffington Post she understood why so many Labour voters were leaving the Labour Party.

Read the rest of this article, written yesterday, to understand why this is so stunning:

This is the most vital fact to understand what has happened so far in this election. There is a striking consistency across the opinion polls that the Tories have stabilised around 42%. That is just less than they achieved at the 2017 election.

So how can the Tories be slightly below their 2017 vote, when every single news and current affairs programme on TV and radio for the last three weeks has included vox pops or audience members switching from Labour to Conservative over Brexit?

The undeniable truth is that almost precisely as many voters have deserted the Tories as have switched to them. Hence they are on the same percentage. As the media have lovingly documented, and as is the accepted narrative of the election repeated to us ad nauseam, there are a substantial number of working class Leave voters switching from Labour to Tory over Brexit. They tend (and it is a simple matter of fact) to be less educated, older, and from deprived areas that have suffered most from a finance sector led economic policy.

But an equal number of voters have deserted the Tory Party. They are mostly pro-EU, better educated, more liberal and horrified by the change of the Tories to a hardline far right populist party. Their existence is hardly a secret, and they have an extremely impressive, ultra high profile leadership in John Major, Michael Heseltine, Kenneth Clarke, Phil Hammond, Dominic Grieve etc. Yet the liberal Tories abandoning the party in droves have been almost completely unrepresented in broadcast media coverage.

Here is the zinger. I have been keeping a tally of vox pops and audience members declaring they are abandoning their allegiance on broadcast media.
I have tallied 57 vox pop/audience members saying they are deserting Labour, because of Brexit/Corbyn. I have tallied 1 – yes ONE – audience member (and zero vox pop) saying they are abandoning the Tories over Brexit/Johnson.

Even though, with the Tory vote stable, we know in the real world both groups are the same size, and Major/Heseltine/Clarke/Hammond/Grieve are not friendless and uninfluential.

Now this is not a count of the entire coverage, but of those news and current affairs programmes I have watched during the campaign. It is weighted towards the BBC with less of Sky and ITN, and very little radio apart from the Today programme. But is is a pretty good sample, and while I would welcome a more scientific study I do not expect it would show anything significantly different. I don’t think anybody reading this can claim their own experience of the coverage is different.

How is this achieved? Mainly, of course, because the media pre-set the narrative that this election would be about Labour voters in the North switching to Brexit, having been heavily briefed to that effect by No. 10. They then concentrated almost exclusively on this narrative. Deliberately choosing vox pop locations to suit the narrative has been a key part. Dudley, Hartlepool and Grimsby; not Putney, Bath and Bristol. There is also then editorial choice of who is selected to speak.

What is undoubtedly true is that the broadcasters have colluded, by massive, repeated and deliberate acts, in pushing and reinforcing the No.10 strategy of seeking working class Leave votes, in an effort to normalise the idea that working class northern English communities can vote Tory. And it is undeniably true that they have massively under-reported the equal movement of liberal Tory voters – and former Cabinet ministers – deserting their party.

Nowhere has this been more obvious than in the comparative treatment of Ian Austin and John Major.

Austin was a Labour Parliamentary Private Secretary, the most junior of all ministerial ranks, for just eight months. When he urged people to vote Tory, it was the first headline on every BBC News broadcast all day. Austin had 15 minutes unchallenged on the Today programme to spill out bile against the Labour Party, before going on to eight minutes unchallenged on BBC Breakfast TV, and a similar appearance on Good Morning Britain, all of which from the timings and travel must have been pre-organised, especially as he left from there to a pre-prepared giant poster launch, carried by all the print media.

But Austin was a comparative nobody. Yesterday John Major, seven year Tory Prime Minister, former Chancellor of the Exchequer and Foreign Secretary, urged people not to give the dangerous Johnson a Tory majority. He was backed up by former Tory Deputy PM Michael Heseltine and former Tory Chancellor of the Exchequer Kenneth Clarke. On any rational measure, this is a far, far bigger story than Ian “nobody” Austin giving the opposite message.

Yet unlike Austin, Major was not the lead story on any major news channel. He did not get 10% of the total broadcast time devoted to Austin. Because the narrative of moderate Tories not voting for Johnson is comparatively suppressed; to the extent that the only possible explanation is the active connivance of broadcasters in securing a Tory government.

So who do we vote for?

The Tories are stuck around 42%. That means tactical voting is essential to knock them back. You need to look very, very carefully at who can beat them in your own constituency.

In Scotland, it makes no sense to vote anything other than SNP. There are no Labour/Tory marginals. There is nowhere that a SNP vote risks letting the Tories in. There are however plenty of constituencies where voting Labour risks letting the Tories in. In Scotland do not overthink, just vote SNP.

In England and Wales, it is complicated. Firstly you need to research who can best beat the Tories locally. Then you may have to hold your nose and support a near-Tory Lib Dem or, and there are still a good few of them as Labour candidates, an even-nearer Tory Blairite. The majority of people who need to abandon their natural choice and vote tactically against the Tories are Lib Dems. I urge you to do what needs to be done, because we have to work within the stupid electoral system we have at present. In probably 85% of English and Welsh constituencies the answer is to vote Labour. Elsewhere, Lib Dem, Plaid Cymru, Green or Independent. Please check carefully.

In Beaconsfield, Buckinghamshire, I urge people to vote for Dominic Grieve. He was chairman of the Intelligence and Security Committee and treated me extremely well in enabling me to give my evidence on torture and extraordinary rendition and reflecting it in the very fair – and damning – report. In Cowdenbeath and Kirkcaldy vote for Neale Hanvey, who has been badly treated.

In Northern Ireland I generally support Sinn Fein, but just this time in safely Republican areas I would prefer people to vote SDLP, as having votes available at Westminster may be vital.

That Tory strategy of going for right wing populism has changed the demographic of their vote in a way that has reduced its geographic concentration. That can be a disadvantage under First Past the Post and the Tories may end up losing seats in Scotland, London and parts of Southern England, and piling up votes in northern England, without achieving enough there to actually win the seats. This election is not a foregone conclusion by any means.

But to stop Johnson people sweeping the board on 42% people have to vote smart.

I do not condemn anyone who instead votes with their conscience for their preferred party. But I believe the country faces a lurch to the genuine far right, and just this once I urge you not to. Vote to stop Johnson, whatever it takes.

Note: This post very briefly said 87 not 57 due to my inability to read my own handwriting. A transposition error in para 2 has also been corrected.

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350 thoughts on “The Truth About this Election

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  • Jerry

    I would say: get out there and vote Labour! Mainly cos I’ve placed a few small bets on what will be Labour’s share of the vote. If I’m right, I’ll win close to £500 (£1K if Labour do insanely well). If I lose, I should win back most of my money thanks to an opposing bet.

    Labour are crap – over 200 of their MPs either abstained on or voted for the “Welfare Reform Bill” that has led to so much suffering and death – including the oh-so-wonderful Starmer! So, I’m not going to vote – especially after Corbyn ignored a letter I wrote to him. Nevertheless, for the first time, an election might actually benefit me.

    • Ingwe

      @Jerry; just what we need. More people who vote only if there is something in it for them. No consideration of those millions, that having a Labour government would help, however imperfect the Labour Party. I’m not sure what depresses me more-your betting flippancy or the false consciousness of some working people who identify with Boris and everything he stands for.

    • Bayard

      “Labour are crap – over 200 of their MPs either abstained on or voted for the “Welfare Reform Bill” that has led to so much suffering and death ”

      That wasn’t Labour, it was New Labour, the Red wing of the Tory Party.

      • Bramble

        If you want the red Tories back in power (as the BBC and the Guardian and the rest of the Liberal Establishment do) don’t vote Labour in this election. That’s their sole aim – even at the price of a Johnson Government and a hard Brexit: killing Corbyn. Ask yourself why a Corbyn Government is anathema to these faux Progressives?

  • Tony_0pmoc

    How can anyone vote Tory? I know Labour aren’t much better. Jeremy should have cleaned out more of The Blairites by now – but give him a chance….

    Have you seen the competition. They are not very good. Look at The state of this Tory…How could anyone vote for him? How to p!ss off the audience with one word. “Pure class?”

    ‘kin ell – they really are that useless.

    “Matt Hancock is booed for the mere mention of Labour antisemitism”

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sPTDSqi1m7Q

    Tony

      • Tony_0pmoc

        Iain Stewart,

        I never said I was voting Tory, I was merely going down the pub, to meet some Tory mates. I will have you know, I have also been to a conservative club too once in my life, earlier this year to see a band, and I was welcomed in. It seemed almost exactly like a Labour Working Mens Club, or an Ex Servicemen’s club..where my wife and I have also been welcomed in. Just sign in on the door. Often you don’t even need to have a current member to invite you. It’s almost always free to get in, and the beer is a hell of a lot cheaper than the pub, and often the bands are even better. I don’t knock it.

        I am probably not going to vote cos

        a – it just encourages them
        b – if I did vote (Labour last time, though The Liberals seem to think we still vote for them)
        c – Has anyone ever seen a decent band at a Lib Dem Social club?

        Do the lib dems actually have social clubs?

        It’s quite clear that I am a socialist, cos my wife and I socialise with people. It doesn’t mean we are going to vote for any of them.

        We are not impresseded with any of them, but some of their clubs are good. We are not currently a member of any of them. We are not that interested. We don’t think voting makes any difference, but have massive respect for people who do, especially when they come round drenched in the rain. These people really care, regardless of their political or religious views. If my wife is home, they might even get invited in for a cup of tea.

        Tony

  • Muscleguy

    This may well be the last election when I vote SNP and even then I will be voting for the man not the party. I would vote for him if he stood as an independent.

    Why? GRA and how this SNP govt is betraying the majority of people by only listening to Trans Rights Groups and those organisations signed up to Stonewall’s principles because they are all ridiculously scared of being called transphobic. A tiny, tiny majority is blackmailing our public institutions and political parties.

    Women and Girls Scotland caused ScotGov to review their planned schools guidance on GRA by showing they contravened the UN human rights of girls. For this were they invited onto the review panel? they were not. Frozen out. The reason given for this? They are not in receipt of government monies. IOW a red herring reason trotted out to hide the real reason: that they advocate for women and girls and not the trans lobby so they cannot be allowed near anything.

    That is half of the population thrown under the bus in favour of a tiny, tiny group. Sturgeon is on record as saying she sees no threat to women and girls from GRA. From her privileged position I don’t doubt it. But she should see it. She is intelligent and a lawyer so her blindness is deliberate.

    I repeat and I warn the SNP that because of all this I may NEVER vote for them again. But dinnae fash yersel, I won’t be voting Green either as they are even further down the TRA rabbit hole than the SNP are. I will be disenfranchised unless Stu Campbell starts his threatened Wings party on the List for Holyrood elections. I WILL vote for that.

    Last Holyrood election I didn’t vote SNP because Shona Robison was one of those who killed Margo’s Assisted Dying Bill instead of sending it back for further review. I voted TSU in the constituency and Green on the List. The SNP cannot rely on my vote and ALL the Yes women I’ve talked to about this are wavering as well.

    • stewartb

      Muscelguy writes regarding the SNP Scottish Government: “… only listening to Trans Rights Groups and those organisations signed up to Stonewall’s principles ..” But then Muscelguy goes on to write: “Women and Girls Scotland caused ScotGov to review their planned schools guidance …”. OK but as other alert readers may spot, on the face of it something seems contradictory here!

      Far too much ‘heat’ is being generated on social media on this issue – and by both sides. Not nearly enough ‘light’.

      In a progressive Scotland difficult, controversial issues over ‘change’ are bound to arise over time: the test for us all is how we address them, civilly even if robustly. Right now the active proponents of different sides of the argument on social media are failing the test. Forming one’s view ONLY from the social media discourse on this subject right now is IMHO not a sensible course of action for the curious or the concerned.

      • mogabee

        You wouldn’t be thinking that folk are not understanding the issue of GRA reform would you Stewart?

        Surely not…

  • Coldish

    Not listed on https://tacticalvote.co.uk/key-seats/ list is the East Devon constituency, which currently includes Exmouth, Sidmouth and some outer fringes of Exeter. It is the Westminster seat longest held by a single party – it’s been Tory without a break since the mid-19th C. Currently Labour, LibDems and Greens all have no hope in East Devon. Even Ukip did badly here. The only hope of unseating the Tories is from the non-party independent Claire Wright, who came second in 2015, second and closer in 2017 and is now breathing down the neck of the sitting Tory. Let’s hope she does it this time. Tacticalvote.co.uk should be listing East Devon.

    • Scurra

      Indeed. And she also has the advantage that there is no longer a “sitting” Tory – Hugo Swire stood down this year and he had built up a bit of personal support (as any incumbent will do) which means that support is up for grabs and the name recognition has now swung her way. She’s the one “independent” I can see winning this time around.

      • Old Red Sandstone

        East Devon is thick with Claire Wright posters – including Topsham, the smart riverside Exeter suburb which is tacked onto East Devon constituency. Claire Wright has established a strong local reputation as an excellent County Councillor. Best of luck to her! She’s that rare ‘Independent’ who is decidedly NOT a Tory-manque.

  • Brianfujisan

    I don’t think I have heard of this Secretive Billionaire’s ‘ Leaders Group ‘ that funds the Tories. –

    EXPOSED: The Secret Elite Group Worth £50 Billion Funding the Tory Party –

    “We revealed that the Conservative Party gets over £130 million from this tiny group of donors called The Leaders Group”

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uTJ43O8ZUfE&t=22s

  • james

    it wouldn’t be right to have an election in 2019 without the standard russophobia sent out to the masses to feed on as the election gets closer… where would ”’free elections” and the world be without 5 eyes constantly trotting that meme out??

    • Jack

      the russia-report that will be released coming weeks surely will cause some hysteria thats for sure…

  • Mary

    Our dear leader and the hopefuls have been playing the fool today. Boris at football with Lineker who thumped him. Swinson holding a tennis racket vertically in front of her and hitting a pat ball. Sturgeon skating.

    Only Corbyn looked normal but why he allowed cameras to film his hair and beard being cut, goodness knows. We really are at the bottom.

    • Borncynical

      Swinson was also seen pulling a pint, and Corbyn – I’m afraid – also allowed himself to show how well he could prepare a cappuccino coffee. I would have liked to have thought that Corbyn at the very least was above all this self-promotional nonsense but clearly not.

      • Bramble

        He was probably dragged to do so by his media advisors. Sadly, this sort of game is what influences all too many votes from people without two genuinely original thoughts under their skulls to rub together. It’s how we do “democracy” (or rather, rule by the globalised plutocrats).

        • Borncynical

          Bramble

          Indeed. I suppose we should be grateful that Corbyn’s advisors haven’t persuaded him – yet – that it would be a good idea to hang from a zip wire. 🙂

  • HW

    Baroness Let them suck salt Scotland’s chum Skerrit has just bankrolled an election win
    in Dominica. Let’s see if the vote rigging is picked up by the Commonwealth monitors.
    The OAS say they were not invited after demanding electoral reform, although a meeting has been called at Fort Young, suspicious.
    This is a country with a population of approx. 60k and an electoral role of more than 70k (2014 figure).
    Skerrit has been paying for votes for months out of the monies he has embezzled. Expat Dominicans have been flying worldwide with the loot Skerrit has paid. The airline LIAT stopped flights of vote riggers descending on the island.
    Will Baroness Scotland call foul. Somehow I doubt it.

  • Skye Mull

    Surely, regardless of any news bias, most humour and entertainment on BBC radio and television is very strongly anti Johnson (and anti Trump and anti Farage).

  • Old Red Sandstone

    Just a petty pedantic point:
    Ian Austin cannot have been a Permanent Under Secretary of State – a Civil Service position – but was a miserable Parliamentary Private Secretary [PPS]. That’s the lowest of the low, a bag-carrier. That he never rose above that is an indication of his feeble calibre.

      • Slave2PaperWithInkOn

        Wasn’t Austin the Trade Envoy to Israel ? Checkout the 1977 Tory ”ECONOMIC RECONSTRUCTION GROUP” document in the youtube documentary ”THE GREAT NHS HEIST [Pre-Election Free Play]” Go to the 7.40 – 8.00 Pause & Read. Eg. ‘DEnationalisation should not be attempted by Frontal Attack but…by Stealth. We should First pass legislation to Destroy public sect monopolies. We might also need to take Power to Sell Assets. We should Fragment the industries as Far as Possible: and set up the Units as Separate Profit Centres !!! mmm. Bye, Bye NH-$.

  • N_

    There has been an almighty fight at the BBC today regarding how to report the “Russian influence” stories. First the reporting was very Tory, basically saying Jeremy Corbyn should get back to Russia. Then it swung the other way, putting Corbyn in the driving seat and saying he’s criticising the government. Then it swung to somewhere in the middle.

    It is necessary to get a few things straight here.

    1) The unauthorised acquisition of a classified document is a national security matter. That is so regardless of whether the document was leaked (i.e. a person with authorised access passed it to a person who had no authorisation) or stolen (i.e. a person with unauthorised access took it without being given it or “allowed to” take it). The first is criminal; the second is a security breach for which a person is responsible, because there is always somebody who is responsible for security.

    2) The “Russians and the health trade documents” story smells DEFENSIVE. The Tories are defending against, by trying to swamp, the decision by Boris Johnson to refuse to release the “Russia report”. The latter directly concerns the issue of Russian influence in Britain. That is what the whole of the report is ABOUT.

    3) …And the defensive play may not relate only to Britain. There is probably a US angle. How much influence does MI6 have with Reddit? I would have thought Reddit was more of a CIA outfit. At least, surely they won’t help MI6 or a faction in MI6 without CIA say-so. As we know, Donald Trump has been accused of being under Russian influence.

    4) Boris Johnson is a security risk, and he was identified as one by MI6 when he was foreign secretary. BBC: “Downing Street attempted to withhold sensitive intelligence from Boris Johnson when he became foreign secretary, the BBC has learned. It is understood Theresa May and some in the intelligence community had worries about Mr Johnson’s ability to keep information confidential.” By that they don’t mean he’s got a big gob. They mean he got SNOW ON HIS BOOTS. Another source, Martin Fletcher writing in the New Statesman, goes even further: “The intelligence services are believed to be wary of sharing sensitive information with (foreign secretary Boris Johnson). That’s not the PM. That’s MI6, probably backed by MI5 too.

    OK, so some in MI6 decided foreign secretary Johnson might be Russian-owned. The question is what are they doing about him now? I doubt they all got pensioned off.

    5) Before writing its report, the Parliamentary Intelligence and Security Committee considered the question of possible Russian influence not only over the EU referendum of 2016 but over the general election of 2017.

    6) It gets even more juicy: the ISC must surely have considered the specific question of Russian influence OVER BORIS JOHNSON HIMSELF. Have a look at this piece in the Guardian:

    Boris Johnson was on Monday night accused of presiding over a cover-up after it emerged that No 10 refused to clear the publication of a potentially incendiary report examining Russian infiltration in British politics, including the Conservative party.

    Downing Street indicated on Monday that it would not allow a 50-page dossier from the intelligence and security committee to be published before the election, prompting a string of complaints over its suppression.

    The committee’s chairman, Dominic Grieve, called the decision ‘jaw dropping’, saying no reason for the refusal had been given, while Labour and Scottish National party politicians accused No 10 of refusing to recognise the scale of Russian meddling.

    Fresh evidence has also emerged of attempts by the Kremlin to infiltrate the Conservatives by a senior Russian diplomat suspected of espionage, who spent five years in London cultivating leading Tories including Johnson himself.

    It can now be revealed that Sergey Nalobin – who once described the future prime minister as ‘our good friend’ – lives in a Moscow apartment block known as the ‘FSB house’ because it houses so many employees from the Kremlin’s main spy agency.

    The committee’s report is based on analysis from Britain’s intelligence agencies, as well as third-party experts such as the former MI6 officer Christopher Steele, and is subject to a final clearance from Downing Street.” [emphasis added]

    7) If I’m right about 6), Boris Johnson at the very least has a massive conflict of interest. WTF was he doing sitting on the report? I heard him on the radio today. He sounded in trouble – his speech was full of the word “obviously”. He’s lying his head off: there was no rule or normal procedure preventing him from okaying the report for publication. He sat on it. He stopped it coming out. And part of it is about possible Russian influence over a general election. Indeed, part of it is about possible Russian influence over him himself. The Labour party must rain blows on Johnson. Lock him up!

    • N_

      There are other security issues too. Why did he reappoint Gavin Williamson and Priti Patel to the cabinet? Williamson was sacked for a breach of security (leaking information from the National Security Council). (Personally I think he may have been innocent, but that’s not the point. The point is has Johnson concluded that Theresa May was wrong, and what standard of proof was he using. Imagine Johnson being asked those questions by Andrew Neil. He wouldn’t be able to say “there was no evidence against WIlliamson”, because that would make Theresa May look like a liar. Nor would he be able to say “there is reasonable doubt, so I couldn’t leave Gav in the cold”, because “reasonable” doubt obviously isn’t the proper criterion to use. What actually could he say?

      Then there is Priti Patel who was caught having unauthorised communications with a foreign power, basically conspiring with that foreign power’s official to funnel British government money to that country’s army – behaviour that surely counts as treason.

      Andrew Neil is a Tory and he…may not be so willing to help out…

      The Labour campaign has to achieve FOCUS here, focus on the enemy’s weak spots. They won’t get help from the BBC either. But if Seamus does this right, Labour can win the election.

      If this happens, everyone on the left who knows what the Zinoviev Letter was is going to stand up and cheer. I have no good word to say about Ramsay MacDonald, but let’s put it this way: Labour government of 1924, THOU ART AVENGED!

      • james

        whenever you start looking into intel issues, it is like walking into a room full of mirrors.. you can’t really tell what you are looking at.. in fact, i would suggest the intel community – 5 eyes – are on a bend to attach all blame to russia for everything… the easiest way to manipulate a politician is to make an association with them and russia, as you did in your comment above – “” Sergey Nalobin – who once described the future prime minister as ‘our good friend’ – lives in a Moscow apartment block known as the ‘FSB house’””.. dropping russian ferry dust is easy… getting down to the reality is entirely different.. look at all of muellers investigation into trump and now we are on to part 2 with the impeachment proceedings… they will either sprinkle this on boris or whoever gets in a position of power, as the intel agencies look like they are vying to usurp the democratic process full steam at this point… most folks swallow this whole clothe too… look how the skirpal case is falling apart – oh, but the damage has been done.. russia is charged guilty by the media and intel agencies.. case closed…
        http://johnhelmer.net/british-defence-ministry-document-reveals-skripal-blood-evidence-is-missing-fake-chain-of-custody-makes-novichok-evidence-worthless/

        • Pyewacket

          James, thanks for posting the John Helmer article, which, like Blogmire, shoots holes through the Govts dodgy narrative. Thing is, 18 months have elapsed since the incident occurred, some people appear to have been leant on to keep schtum, and the Skripals haven’t been seen or heard of since. The memory hole must be as big a Black Hole, whole Suns go down it, without touching the sides.

    • Michael

      Things have gotten so bad now they don’t just shoot the messenger they have to invent him. That’s how far the Tories are trying to distance themselves from the truth.

    • Vivian O'Blivion

      Of course Johnson is eminently a greater security threat than Corbyn. Do we imagine for a moment that the FSB has not long ago worked out the relationship between affection craving, narcissistic Johnson and young, Danielle Fleet? The scandal being the flat out refusal of MSM to address the issue.

  • Tiggy Sagar

    I think the usually Tory, but this time voting Lib Dem people are far less likely to go on Voxpop thingies. They are probably feeling more confused and conflicted and may not want everyone to know what they are voting.

  • N_

    Whether you vote Labour on Thursday or vote tactically for another candidate who you think is better placed to beat the Tory, there are four days of campaigning left before the polling stations open, and during that time there is work to be done. I urge people to focus on the following two points.

    1. Abolish tuition fees. Do you want youngsters to be in huge debt or not? This is part of the same issue as the NHS. Social provision – or everyone fend for themselves, at the mercy of billionaires and moneylenders? This is an enormously important election, and a Tory victory would be disastrous for the vast majority of people in the country.

    2. Boris Johnson has snow on his boots. MI6 know it. That’s why he won’t release the parliamentary report on the dirty doings by his friends in the Kremlin a) in the 2017 general election and b) involving him personally. When he says he’s following usual procedure by sitting on the report, he’s lying.

    • Herbie

      Not quite sure that Boris could rise up through a great office of state to PM, via Mayor of London, had those who care thought him run by other than themselves.

      How could it be otherwise/

      Most spook stories are just that, stories.

      Never wondered why so many former spooks became writers.

      • michael norton

        Donald Trump and Boris Johnson are like two peas in an American pod.
        They both know that the long-term answer is to befriend Putin or whoever runs Russia.
        Almost One third of the World’s resources are in Russia.
        Almost one quarter of the World’s Hydrocarbons are in the Arctic.
        China will eat the West alive, if the West ( U.S.A./U.K.) do not align with Russia.

  • mike

    This election’s Zinoviev letter.

    Desparate, desparate stuff from the state and its mouthpieces.

    Makes me wonder what private polling they have from the Tory remain seats.

  • Giyane

    A long time ago I realised that our digital communications are easily cloned by the state we criticise. The state had sent a message from my phone to my mum’s builder : ” I love you”.
    It doesn’t surprise me therefore that it can manufacture fake communication trails from Russia . We should not trust any digital item more than believe in father Christmas.

    The state and its agents have the resources to send fake communications in our names to people who trust us like family or employers. They also have the ability to pool their spying resources to know exactly what we are doing in our own homes. One of my customers has installed a camera security system made in Israel in a Muslim girls school. And he regards himself as one of the IT savvy ones!

    I would go so far as to say that we should never believe any digital evidence. I can’t tell the difference between Trump and his spoof on the Now Show. The news telling us tripe about Russian interference in the election should be taken as outright lies by the state broadcaster ZBC.

    They really don’t like it up em that decades of using British weaponry against Muslims is about to come to an end.
    I also don’t believe the accusations against prince Andrew.
    Israel is committed to riding British weaponry to destroy its local enemies. Under Corbyn that joy ride will end.

  • U Watt

    Our public service broadcaster is a mouthpiece of the Tory government but it remains taboo to point that out.

    This government has been holding talks to ensure medicine becomes as unaffordable here as it is in the US. It is also suppressing a report detailing Russian infiltration and bankrolling of the Tory party.

    Yet the BBC frames the Tory NHS leak not with alarm but rather as evidence that *Jeremy Corbyn* is a dangerous Kremlin puppet.

    Reference this or its other naked pro Tory bias and you will get knee jerk ridicule from liberals and conservatives alike. Including from the “extremely impressive” mob — Major, Heseltine, Clarke, Grieve, etc. .

    • Mary

      Did you give permission for this? I didn’t.

      ‘Patient data from GP surgeries sold to US companies
      Dealings with international pharma raise new fears about American ambitions to access NHS
      7 Dec 2019

      Data about millions of NHS patients has been sold to US and other international pharmaceutical companies for research, the Observer has learned, raising new fears about America’s growing ambitions to access lucrative parts of the health service after Brexit.

      US drugs giants, including Merck, Bristol-Myers Squibb and Eli Lilly, have paid the Department of Health and Social Care, which holds data derived from GPs’ surgeries, for licences costing up to £330,000 each in return for anonymised data to be used for research.’

      https://www.theguardian.com/politics/2019/dec/07/nhs-medical-data-sales-american-pharma-lack-transparency

      • U Watt

        No Mary, I dont remember having done so. But don’t worry, the prime minister and BBC News say there is nothing untoward going on.

      • Royd

        I will confess at the outset that my memory is patchy on this but I think every UK patient was sent a form some years ago from the DoH. It outlined how your data was held in GP practices and it asked for your consent that it be shared ‘as appropriate’, with all the usual conditions on the sharing of personal data. I think that someone high up the food chain has determined that it’s entirely appropriate that our data be shared in this way. And if my patchy memory serves me correctly, there is nothing we can do about it.

        I am more than willing to be corrected on this – I have a ‘get out’ clause. My patchy memory!! 🙂

  • Deb O'Nair

    The big money media stitch-up of the general election campaign is so comprehensive and complete that were Labour to get a majority it would represent a real coup against the wealth controlled power structures of this country. So it won’t happen.

    GEs are like the lottery, you participate because you think you may win the jackpot but you never do and you vote in the hope that you’ll get a decent government but you never do. By regularly letting people have this “hope” of a better government they keep mass discontentment under control and justify their totalitarian control by claiming the public mandate.

  • Los

    Just been suspended from Twitter for the crime of comparing Boris Johnson with a picture of Charlie Chaplin:

    One being a Clown pretending to be a Dictator, the other vice versa.

  • Johny Conspiranoid

    All my life the media has worked by first picking the story line and then finding, or inventing, evidence to fit. They must think its clever and ‘professional’. The current electoral reporting is so obviously co-ordinated.
    Its sad that the Tories you mention can be called ‘liberal’. Has language deteriorated so much?

  • Hmmm

    If Bozo falls just short I reckon Sinn Fein will take their seats this time. Voting for his Brexit deal is like voting for reunification.

    • Monster

      Interesting Hmmm. Sinn Fein has six seats which, in a hung parliament, could be decisive, as they are technically remainers. But if they could be persuaded to hold their nose and bend their knee to Mrs Windsor, what do they want? A united Ireland is beyond the scope of any British government, because of the DUP. However, the soft border is a chess piece which the Taoiseach would eagerly grasp if Sinn Fein were to suggest alignment with Labour and a possible rerun of the referendum.

    • Brianfujisan

      Hmmm

      Yes I agree with monster, very interesting point, Though I do think / Hope that the Corbyn’s support is vastly underestimated by the Establishment MSM.. And Sinn Fein will not be needed.
      I wonder what Craig’s thoughts are on this point.

      • Mighty Drunken

        It seems unlikely that Labour will get a majority with the media allied against them. Why does Jo Swinson say she won’t work with Labour unless Corbyn resigns? Every element is arrayed against Corbyn and there isn’t a popular uprising so the result is likely to be a hung parliament to a small Tory majority.

  • Matt

    Labour’s Brexit policy is to reject the decision we’ve already made, and to offer us another vote… remain, or Labour deal. I can’t vote for them.
    Tory foreign policy is unacceptable. And yes, they have lurched even further right, another reason I can’t vote for them.
    Libs want to cancel Article 50. Nope.
    Greens are a joke who also want to reject democracy.

    These are my options. I really, really wish that Labour had grown a pair and supported the decision we have already made. If they were in favour of a no-deal as a default, then they would have my vote.

    As things stand, I’m drawing a penis on my ballot. I think that aptly sums up how I feel about politics in the UK today.

    • Dungroanin

      That is ok. A spoilt vote is still counted.

      At least you will preserve the right to complain about any government because you bothered to use your vote. Unlike some who are trying to encourage people NOT to bother.

  • Vivian O'Blivion

    Bias at the BBC is the natural conclusion of their outrageous recruitment practices. Considering tv and radio, news presenters and reporters, 40% have been privately educated and 25% are Oxbridge graduates. Accepting that the status of the BBC is purposefully nebulous, replicating the English caste system in its personnel is a political scandal.
    Of course if you raise the issue the BBC squawks “no look, Steph McGovern!”, but Steph has decanted to C4. Bit remiss of the BBC to lose its Potemkin “house niger” (no offence intended to McGovern).

  • frankywiggles

    So according to Andrew Marr BBC political balance in the last week of the election campaign is to quote a Labour MP saying she understands why Labour voters would want to elect Boris Johnson.

    Job done. Now they can resume their open Conservative bias with a clear conscience.

  • bj

    Does anyone here (or elsewhere in the UK for that matter) seriously believe Boris Johnson will “deliver Brexit”?

    • Dungroanin

      A HARD brexit. Yes. On 31st January. The last moment they can without being subjected to the new tax rules.

  • M Le Docteur Ralph

    The headline in the independent from 7 June 2017 says everything you need to know about the predictive power of the polls for this election in Britain:
    “Election poll latest: Theresa May will win biggest Tory landslide since Thatcher, final survey predicts”
    https://www.independent.co.uk/News/uk/politics/election-poll-latest-tory-win-results-corbyn-theresa-may-a7777781.html
    So polls forecasting a Boris Johnson victory really need to be taken with a very large pinch of salt.

    As to the vox pops, remember that although the Integrity Initiative is trying its best to ensure the maintenance of Britain’s journalistic standards, journalists are lazy and would rather go down the pub. The BBC had a vox pop from Middlesbrough where the supposed voter who switched from Labour to the Tories had a southern accent (i.e. out of a population of almost 175,000 they could not be bothered to find anyone local to backup their story).

    I realise that as the mainstream media are endlessly pointing out Labour were defeated in Middlesbrough in the most recent local election, but the people who were defeated were the Blairites in the local Labour Party. The man who defeated them and was elected as Mayor of Middlesbrough, Andy Preston, was in charge of the Britain Stronger in Europe campaign and is a former member of the Labour Party. Unfortunately as these facts do not fit with the blue wave in the north-east story they are constantly ignored.

    Finally, whoever was the brilliant (imported?) political consultant who was behind the Tory strategy for this election they seriously need to have their head examined. Older people vote Tory – so they decide to hold an election in December. Muslims in England make up over 5% and Jews only 0.5% of the population of England yet they decide to base a large part of the Tory campaign on alleged Labour anti-Semitism.

    • Mary

      Theresa May spent £18.5m on the 2017 election that cost them their majority.

      The Conservatives spent more than £18.5m while losing their majority at last year’s general election, against £11m of spending by Labour and £6.8m by the Liberal Democrats, newly released figures have shown.
      The Electoral Commission data, which covers the 12 months prior to the election on 8 June, showed the increasing role of social media in campaigning, with the Conservatives spending about £2.1m on Facebook advertising alone.Electoral Commission data shows party allocated £2.1m to Facebook advertising alone
      https://www.theguardian.com/politics/2018/mar/19/electoral-commission-conservatives-spent-lost-majority-2017-election

      LOL

      Sir Lynton Crosby was her advertising guru. Cameron knighted him in 2016. Isaac Levido from the same Australian based outfit, CTF Partners, is working with Cummings for Johnson. More Tory spondulicks going down the drain?

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