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Tory lies: why no Labour rebuttal?

Red boxing gloveOne of the few good things that Blair did as party leader was to set up a prompt, robust and effective rebuttal machine to counter lying Tory propaganda. It worked. Within hours of false, misleading or selective Tory claims being aired, a strong Labour rebuttal was in place in the media. It is worrying that such a mechanism seems to have been dropped since the last few days and weeks have seen a veritable cascade of Tory folderol which not only demands instant repudiation but offers the opportunity for a stinging counter-blast, ending along the lines of “I’ll stop telling the truth about you if you stop telling lies about me”. But alas it hasn’t happened. The Tories are being allowed to get away with outrage after outrage.

The defenestration of Miller has taken place with scarcely a word from Labour, even when the Standards Committee made the unconscionable decision to reduce her payback by 90%, when you might expect Labour to be demanding her head from the start. Cameron has the gall to claim the NHS has been performing better than ever before when in fact he has nearly brought it to breakdown because of remorselessly rising pressures and mounting debts and when patients now have to wait up to 4 weeks to see their doctor and then far, far more than the 18 week limit achieved by Labour to see a hospital specialist for an operation. But the opportunity for a powerful rebuttal was missed. Osborne makes the risible claim that he’s aiming for full employment when he himself is responsible for holding the level of unemployment at the highest level for 30 years – a golden opportunity to throw back in his face that not only has he kept joblessness stuck at 2.4 million or more for 4 years, yet at the same time he has hardly reduced the deficit at all (it’s still stuck at £111bn).

Schapps (if you haven’t heard of him, he’s the cowboy chairman of the Tory party) had the effrontery- unless it was a sick joke – to pretend that the Tories were the ‘Workers’ Party’! But instead of being buried in catcalls that the Tories are the party of the rich, by the rich and for the rich and Tory bankers and businessmen are creaming off wealth unheard of since the Edwardian age, Labour went schmm. Cameron has the audacity to keep claiming this is the greenest government ever when the list of its anti-environmental measures is as long as your arm, climaxing with turning this country into an oasis for fracking. Cameron solemnly proclaims that on the question of personal privacy the spooks have a clean bill of health as though we didn’t all know that actually they have been indulging for a decade in the biggest programme of unsanctioned mass surveillance in history. But from Labour, answer came there none.

It’s time for Labour to learn that if it’s going to win the election, on every one of these occasions the party must be seen going in hard and aggressively, and if need be brutally. That’s what the public expects and wants.

Image credit: hin255 / 123RF Stock Photo


  1. Mark Webster says:

    I was struck down by the jaw-dropping gap between the effectiveness in the House of Commons of the “newbies” and the “old guard”. It was during a debate on the Welfare Reform Bill I was watching via the net (Bedroom tax). Rachel Reeves was at the despatch box trying her best to counter the increasingly hysterical Tory support for the Bedroom Tax. The Tories were slaughtering her with endless tales of fiction from the constituency. Rachel was doing well to keep in control but the combined Labour reponse seemed so sterile and ineffectual. Trying to counter hysterical lies with factual research data and precisely documented constituency reportage. It was only right at the end of the debate that an elderly and frankly unwell looking gentleman stood up at the back. It was Gerald Kaufman (who i thought had retired) but he launched into one of the most impassioned speeches I have ever heard. An immensely powerful speech, full of power and emotion but crafted to perfection and delivered with precision. His frail body was shaking throughout as he completely anhialated the Tory position. I was standing up and cheering at the end (at home). It really showed the difference between the old-style of impassioned rhetorical debating and the new “manegerial” style. Would someone please give that man a medal, or buy him a bigger TV (I hear he likes them).

  2. Rod says:

    “instead of being buried in catcalls that the Tories are the party and Tory bankers and businessmen are creaming off wealth unheard of since the Edwardian age, Labour went schmm.”

    Of course they did. Today’s Labour Party is the party “of the rich, by the rich and for the rich”. This why the Labour Party supports austerity, and why ex-banker Rachel Reeves wants to be “tougher than the Tories” on benefit claimants and why the LP supports the neoliberal EU.

    For today’s Labour/Progress Party credibility is gauged on a pro-business scale (remember the campaign to discredit trade unions at Falkirk?). The more pro-corporate the Labour/Progress Party becomes, the more credible it believes itself to be.

  3. Mark1957 says:

    Labour have clearly shifted to the left again under Miliband, anyone who cannot see that is blind.

    but if there is one thing they can learn from NuLabour it is the rapid rebuttal tactic.

    I an all those Labour supporters I talk to are frustrated and depressed by the deafening silence coming from Labour.

    The Tories and the press spout hysterical propaganda, fuax outrage and lie after lie.

    Only to be met with a shrug or raised eyebrow from Labour.

    what the hell is going on?

  4. Robert says:

    It’s inexperience Reeves of course has since then decided to hammer down, the problem is she has not told us on what will the hammer fall.

    Then you have a leader who only ideology is what happened to his parents not what happened to him.

    The whole front bench is new at the job they all have large letter L on their chests and none of them have the experience or the guile to run a campaign.

    Blair did and sadly he lied through his teeth and had the machinery to cover it all up, so really what we need is not Blair, but more of the old heads coming together who can get out and speak for Miliband the problem is they are not sure of him and I suspect neither will the voters.

  5. Mark1957 says:

    I have to say that I am beginning to suspect that Labour is just putting up a show of competing for the next General Election.

    They have calculated that a win would be a poisoned chalice and have decided that they best let the Tories take that hit and bide their time.

    Is that it Labour? Do you really want to lose? Because the pathetic weak showing so far will not win it…

  6. PoundInYourPocket says:

    You start to realise (I’m slow so it took me a long time) that the “party” isn’t actually a party but a loose assembly of egomaniacs with an overwhelming need to be top of the pile. If the scouts behaved like this they’d drown halfway across the river. Team work ? The only thing they seem to share is immense personal ambition (I blame the parents). There doesn’t seem to be a common agenda or purpose. If there was then Reeves et all would be taking lessons from those like Kaufman with years of Tory busting behind them. But I suspect the egos are too bit to allow such a humble request for help to be made. It gives the impression they are acting in their own interests rather than the party’s or more importantly the peoples. Me thinks the democratic chain has a link missing.

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