The desperation of the perpetually thirsty Paul Staines and his rabble at the Guido Fawkes blog, to not only provide story lines for their real bosses - the right-leaning press establishment - but also explain away the General Election result in ways that make the Tories look less bad, has meant newly anointed teaboy Alex “Billy Liar” Wickham once more living up to his nickname to take another pot at Jeremy Corbyn.
Claims to be a journalist. Allegedly
This entails, once again, trying to peddle the idea that Jezza somehow promised to write off student debt before the poll, which he did not do. Wickham has already been called out for lying, with his only response being not to take on the accusation of dishonesty, but to say that he’s right, because the claim is getting lots of hits. In this way, no doubt, he aims to follow the odious flannelled fool Master Harry Cole into the tabloid media.
Sadly, as before, when Wickham posts anything without a reliable citation, it’s all too obvious that his pants are on fire. After claiming that debt write-off “Jeremy Corbyn’s crystal clear pledge to students at the election”, he goes on to assert “It was written up by all media outlets as a pledge to write off debts. Not once during the election did Labour contest that interpretation of Corbyn’s words”. And thus the latest pack of lies.
Let’s see exactly what all those media outlets said at the time, shall we? The closest to backing up Wickham was the Mail, which told readers “Corbyn vows to axe £30bn student debt”. Note use of “vow”, rather than “promise”. But the Mail also admits it is not sure what was promised: “Jeremy Corbyn pledged to reduce or even write off £30billion of student debt”. The article went on to report that “he wanted to 'ameliorate' the debt owed by thousands of students who paid fees of £9,000 a year”.
So no unequivocal pledge to write off debts, then. And it gets worse for the Fawkes teaboy: the Evening Standard was also uncertain. “Jeremy Corbyn ‘could write off student debt for graduates who paid £9,000’” was its interpretation. Could. No promise.
It was the same at Politics Home: “Students who have already paid £9,000 a year in university tuition fees could have their debts cleared under a Labour government, Jeremy Corbyn has revealed”. Could. No pledge. No promise.
The Independent told readers “Jeremy Corbyn ‘looking at ways’ to reduce tuition fee debt of former university students”. Still no promise.
The i gave some hope to Wickham with a headline agreeing with him - “Jeremy Corbyn: Labour will write off graduate debt” - only for the first paragraph of the supporting article to explain “Jeremy Corbyn has suggested Labour would write off or reduce thousands of students’ existing tuition fee debt”. Suggested. May just “reduce”.
“Not once during the election did Labour contest that interpretation”? Because no such promise had been made. Still, Wickham just carries on lying, claiming that young people only voted Labour because they were given a “cast iron guarantee”. But there was no “cast iron guarantee”, no “crystal clear promise”, and no “pledge to write off debts”.
The more the Fawkes rabble lies, the more ridiculous they look. Another fine mess.