Ever since last month’s General Election showed that the right-leaning part of the press was losing its cutting edge, churning out page after page of abusive knocking copy making all manner of creative allegations about Jeremy Corbyn and the rest of the Labour leadership, that same press has been searching for something, anything to confirm that they were right and something underhand must therefore have been going on.
And today, to no surprise at all, the obedient hackery of the legendarily foul mouthed Paul Dacre at the Daily Mail has brought forth its magic bullet, with the screaming front page accusation “PROBE INTO STUDENTS WHO ‘CAST TWO VOTES FOR CORBYN’ … 1,000 complaints force watchdog to act”. But there is only one problem with the claim - the Mail has had to use quote marks, because it cannot stand it up.
This is clear from the body of the supporting article: “Thousands of students may have voted twice to try to put Jeremy Corbyn into Downing Street”. And then again, they may not. But do go on. “Tory MPs believe thousands may have taken advantage of this opportunity - lured by Labour's promise to scrap tuition fees and cancel their debts”. Tory MPs “believe”. Maybe some of them “believe” the earth is flat, but it ain’t.
Typical of the “belief” fringe was Tory rent-a-quote MP Peter Bone: “The Electoral Commission and the police need to look at this very seriously … I fear this happened more than people think, not by chance, but by design. I fear that it was organised … There were a number of students on social media boasting that they had voted in more than one place”. Suddenly social media becomes evidential standard proof.
There was also the occasional instance of sour grapes: “Former Tory MP Karl McCartney, who lost his Lincoln seat to Labour last month, said: 'We have screenshots of students on Facebook saying that they voted twice … Potentially, this was a factor in my defeat’”. Ho yus. He was defending a majority of less than 1,500, and lost by more than that. He’ll have to dig out a hell of a lot of double voting to make any difference.
But enough. While the Mail claims “The 2017 election result has been attributed to a record turnout of young people under the age of 34”, many of those were not students, and those who turned out for Labour were not just the under-34s, but the 35 to 45 age group, too. Moreover, the groups who turned out in far greater numbers - those over 55 - still voted by a significant majority for the Tories.
Moreover, as the Guardian has cautioned, the Mail’s headline claim is at the least overblown: “The electoral watchdog is investigating up to 1,000 complaints about people illegally voting twice at the general election on 8 June”. And the Mail has admitted “The watchdog said it lacked evidence of 'widespread abuse’”. Meanwhile, there is, to no surprise, not a mention of the Tories busting the rules in 2015 to effectively buy votes.
Still, this kind of story makes the inmates of the Northcliffe House bunker feel a little less useless, and they won’t feel so bad about trousering their obscene salaries while the homeless doss down in nearby doorways, so that’s all right, then.
I would investigate non-dom individuals who, for instance, have a stately home in Wiltshire and a place in France.
Is it not enough that very large numbers of Generation X have been leeched into working-life debt after university? That their lives have been blighted by imposed greed before they have scarcely begun?
Now, in typical far right tory/New Labour/LibDem cowardly fashion, they are to be blamed for trying to do something about it. Once again that unholy alliance of liars, spivs, thieves and barrow boys seeks to blame the student victims of profiteering. Just as they also try to pitch the young generation against the old.
Let's hope this leadership era in the Labour Party actually has the courage to legislate against the evil dry rot that has decayed this country for almost forty years. If not, we will endure a future as bleak as the horror that is the USA.
This episode is but a minor skirmish compared to the propaganda assault that would face a Corbyn-McDonnell government. They will not only face internal sabotage from the usual far right thugs like John Mann, Hilary Benn and Chuka Umunna, but also from our "intelligence" services. Anyone who doubts the latter need only read Peter Wright's account - and who would know better? - of just such a plot in his book "Spycatcher". Added to which will be the usual economic attack from the Gnomes of Zurich, Wall Street and Canary Wharf.
The obstacles will be formidable. But they are far from insuperable. And if Corbyn and McDonnell have enduring courage they will likely find the enemy will run for the hills in the face of honesty. Let's hope the students have staying power too. This is a struggle that will take years to undo the corruption of the last forty.
Until then, far right "news"papers will continue to blaze away with their water pistols and pop guns.
While the Mail claims “The 2017 election result has been attributed to a record turnout of young people under the age of 34”
Did the old poeple under the age of 34 stay at home. Or was someone adding pointless words, in order to fill up a newspaper?
Mind you that could be said for the entire article, or even the entire Mail.
The claim hasn't failed. Not when Mail and Express readers blindly accept it as true. Still it admits that students don't vote Tory.
Like getting you revenge in first. Questions are being asked about the Tories conduct this time round before the previous election has been sorted out. See today's Graun about the call centre allegedly paid (illegally) to canvass.
Same as claiming in the face of all the evidence that the BBC is full of lefties. Even if you are not full believed, it makes the opposite case harder to argue, and then leads to 'they are all doing it, anyway'.
Not only did they vote more than once in the General Election, they're still doing it in the opinion polls.
Hardly a surprise that the Daily Heil would be peddling untruths. The astounding thing is R4Today and John Humphrys recites the same extracts as though they were fact, it's as if he were a DM journo himself..... oh wait?!
Even if there were these double-voters how can anyone know they "cast 2 votes for Corbyn" when the ballots are secret?
This is a nonsense.
They may have "cast 2 votes" for UKIP or the Conservatives.
Does the Mail think it's readers really are that stupid?
Oscar James, yes they do. So do the Sun "journalists". For proof of which, see Mackenzie's infamous description of its readership - a self fulfilling prophesy if ever there was one.
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