Desperate. But not called Dan
Late yesterday evening, Rishi Dastidar told his followers that an interesting leaflet had been pushed through his letterbox. “Naughty Shaun Bailey put this through the door; Tories so embarrassed by their own candidate they need to pretend it’s a TfL leaflet instead”. Oh? And there was more. “Back cover of said leaflet; no mention of the Conservative Party here”. So what is the leaflet of which he speaks?
It’s called “TRANSPORT FOR LONDON BAILOUT FACTS”, and yes, on first glance it looks like it’s come from TfL. But the leaflet, which also says it carries an “Important message for Londoners”, and tells “Why TfL needs a second bailout and how it will affect you” is nothing of the sort. The line at the foot of the page, “Find out why you’re paying for a second bailout”, hints at the very deliberate dissemination of propaganda.
Moving to the back cover, the propagandist nature of the leaflet becomes clear. “Londoners love TfL. So we need to protect it … now TfL needs a second bailout. While Coronavirus caused a big drop in fares, it doesn’t explain the Mayor’s four years of wasteful spending”. It is then claimed that the Government is not forcing TfL to raise fares.
“The Mayor needs to find savings, but he doesn’t need to raise charges or reduce services. Instead, the Mayor needs to cut waste at TfL … The Government will cover the cost of Covid, but not the cost of mismanagement. It would be unfair to ask taxpayers to pay for wasteful spending - when the wasteful spending could be cut”.
Straight out of the playbook used by the so-called Taxpayers’ Alliance. And the website, tflbailoutfacts dot com, just ladles it on a little more. “OVER THE LAST FOUR YEARS, WASTE HAS GROWN AT TFL … For the last four years, under Sadiq Khan’s mayoralty, waste at TfL has grown out of control”. And the prime target?
“£828 million - The amount spent on a pension scheme that’s 2.5 times more generous than the average public-sector pension”. A pension scheme over which Sadiq Khan exercises no control. That’s straight out of the TPA playbook, too.
Only at the very foot of the back cover, and the foot of the webpage, do we see “Published by Kerry Halfpenny on behalf of Shaun Bailey, both of 4 Matthew Parker Street, London, SW1H 9HQ”. That’s the same address as the Tory Paty’s HQ.
As Private Eye magazine might have put it, “I wonder if the two are in any way related? I think we should be told”. The level of Shaun Bailey’s desperation is truly shameless.
And don’t think the Tories won’t pull the same stunt elsewhere. You have been warned.
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