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Saturday 23 May 2009

Lies, Damn Lies, and Election Leaflets (Part 2)

The time has come yet again for “Election Communications” to land on the doormat. The only saving grace this time is that there will be a lot less of them than during last year’s byelection. First to catch my attention is that from the Tories. It is a superbly crafted missive. And it is brim full of the most shameless drivel.

In the leaflet, a group of Tory hopefuls is pictured apparently addressing a range of issues. First up is “defending local services”, opposing Labour and Lib Dem cutbacks. This has nothing to do with the Euro elections, and where the Tories would find the money not to do the cuts is not told. Because this is mere posturing.

We are then told that the Tories have “campaigned successfully against EU rules banning the sale of goods in pounds and ounces”. Utter crap. There is no EU rule, nor has one been even proposed, that would ban sales in pounds and ounces, so there cannot have been a campaign against it. I bought fresh fruit on the market only this morning sold in pounds. This was a wholly legal sale, and no prosecution of either party will occur.

What next? Ah, the car industry. The Tories want aid for it. Like heck. A quick photo opportunity outside the Vauxhall plant without having to get too close to all those horrid workers.

And to round things off, another shameless misrepresentation of the Working Time Directive: “Efforts by Labour MEPs to restrict the hours people can choose to work”. Also, the leaflet is confused: it says that individual people opt out of Euro-regulations, which they do not. The Working Time Directive, as I considered previously, does not stop anyone working over 48 hours a week of their own volition: it’s all about stopping employers forcing workers to do so.

Also, the leaflet is totally negative: no plus points from Europe enter, something I’ve previously urged. So what’s the point? Ah well. As I mentioned recently, the Tories want to stop folks drifting off to UKIP, while pretending to come over all hard with the dastardly foreigners in Brussels. This leaflet is designed to do just that. So the title on the front page – “Vote for Change” – is a wholly false proposition, as is the idea that a future Tory Government would give the electorate a referendum on the Lisbon Treaty, or indeed on anything European.

But on the inside of the leaflet is one hopeful sign of coherent direction, and it comes from Young Dave himself. He says simply that “Conservatives have a clear plan for bringing down Labour’s debt ... “. Leaving aside the mildly inconvenient fact that debt is not owned by political parties, but all of us, there is now the sign of a “clear plan”.

So, Dave, as it’s so clear, how about telling us what it is?

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