Tag: #torylies

A few facts about the deficit and the economy, since the Tories are determined to peddle pre-election lies

correct versionThe study can be found here.

From the excellent Richard Murphy:

I think this graph tells a story very few seem to know about:

Screen Shot 2014-10-06 at 09.36.30All data is from the HM Treasury Pocket Bank for 30 September. I have extrapolated 2014/15 borrowing from the August data to suggest whole year borrowing of just over £107 billion based on average proportion of total year borrowing to 31 August over the past five years.

The conclusions are stark: the Coalition has borrowed more than four times more a year than 3.3 times a year what Labour did, on average.

In five years the Coalition has borrowed more than Labour did in 13, by a considerable margin.

And there wasn’t an unforeseen banking crisis on the Coalition’s watch.

So why is the story still told that it is Labour who borrowed too much? Purely objectively that makes no sense and says that there is another entirely different story to be told here.

From the excellent Simon Wren-Lewis, Professor of economics, who explains how Tory austerity has actually wrecked Britain’s economy, not helped it. Radio 4 World At One, today. (4 minutes)

Just more proof of what we already know – not only that austerity wrecks an economy, but that the Tories were going to make their cuts ANYWAY, because that’s what they believe in, and simply used the Global Crash of 2007-8 as their excuse, and the previous government as their scapegoat. With many thanks to Robert Livingstone for capturing both audios: Listen here.

And from the excellent Professor David Blanchflower austerity has prevented recovery: Listen here.

proper BlondIdeology is the reason for the Tory austerity cuts and not economic necessity.

Austerity has not encouraged investment in the UK:

The Coalition have a track record of lying and trying to mislead the public. David Cameron has now been rebuked several times for making false claims: on NHS spending, the rising national debt and the impact of his tax rises and deep spending cuts on economic growth. The Tories invented figures to claim people are now “better off”, but which totally ignored and excluded an account of the impact of significant factors like the rise in VAT, the cost of living, cuts to tax credits and other benefits.

The government is committing fraud on a grand scale. The reason for such deceit has nothing to do with public finances or the state of the economy, and everything to do with shrinking the public realm. There is an irreducibly ideological dimension to Tory economics, and by making it sound “scientific” when really, it’s more akin to philosophy or Tory buck passing, they attempt to lend it an air of authority and legitimacy it does not deserve.

The only thing that unites Tories is wealth, they mostly thrive on creating social divisions. The Tories have used a justification narrative based on a moral entrepreneur approach to scapegoat and vilify vulnerable social groups in order to justify transferring our public wealth to private bank accounts, behind the façade of austerity. What we are witnessing is a governments’ nonchalant adherence to Tory ideology, no matter what the consequences for the poorest, the sick and disabled, the unemployed and most vulnerable. Or the economy.

The Tories peddled the lie that due to Labour’s management of the economy, the UK was “on the brink bankruptcy” and claim the solution to is to cut government spending with a painful programme of austerity cuts. Of course the UK economy was growing in 2010 when the Tories took over and was subsequently plunged back into recession by Osborne’s austerity policies which have meant that the economy has not grown at all under the coalition; and for much of their tenure , it has been contracting.

Many economist have said consistently that this is the wrong approach. The best solution is to borrow or, better, create money to invest in infrastructure. But what we have instead is Osbornes’ closed economy, with a colossal redistribution of public funds to few private businesses and millionaires, who are sat on our money, whilst the government is steadily removing even more of our public capital through deep cuts. There is no investment in the infrastructure, public services – it’s a framework of increasing and devastating socio-economic entropy.

The Tories seem to think we have forgotten that it was they that lost the Moody’s Investors Service triple A grade, despite pledges to keep it secure. Moody’s credit ratings represent a rank-ordering of creditworthiness, or expected loss.

The Fitch credit rating was also downgraded due to increased borrowing by the Tories, who have borrowed more in 4 years than Labour did in 13. In fact this Tory administration have borrowed more than every single Labour government ever, combined.

The Tories have seized an opportunity to dismantle the institutions they have always hated since the post-war social democratic settlement – institutions of health, welfare, education, culture and human rights which should be provided for all citizens. The Tories attempt to destroy fundamental public support for the health, education and welfare of its people. Offering and inflicting only regressive, punitive policies and devastating cuts, the Tories lie to drag the compliant, conforming and increasingly shell-shocked electorate along as they dismantle our social democracy, our public services, fundamental rights and the very basis of our civilisation.

Whenever this authoritarian government have been challenged and opposed effectively, they simply ignore or edit the law, veto tribunal rulings or invoke archaic government privilege to bypass opposition and to get their own way with unpopular policies, such as The Health and Social Care Bill and the Welfare “Reforms”.

That a government needs to engage in such underhanded methods to pass their policy through the legislative process, and justify such policies by lying, and by the malevolent scapegoating of vulnerable sections of society via the media, informs us that those policies are not addressing public needs, and wishes; that they are not democratically motivated or processed and that they reflect a political ideology which does not accommodate social and economic realities, nor is it fitting for a so-called first world liberal democracy that is a signatory to several international human rights charters to witness a government so deceptive and arbitrary in its approach to legitimacy.

Here is a catalogue of officially recognised Tory lies used to justify their unjustifiable policies  which have resulted in official reprimands.

Related:

The Tory election strategy is more of the same: Tories being conservative with the truth.

The Great Debt Lie and the Myth of the Structural Deficit.

One of the most destructive Tory myths has been officially debunked.

“The mess we inherited” – some facts with which to fight the Tory Big Lies.

Political scrapbook: Telegraph business leaders letter ‘was padded out with Sam Cam’s luvvie friends’

correct beecroft
tory liesThanks to the excellent Robert Livingstone for the excellent memes.

The Tory election strategy is more of the same: Tories being conservative with the truth

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The following email is fromBack to messagesthe Conservative Campaign HQ, it’s packed with the most jaw-droppingly blatant lies and it marks the launch of their election campaign:

Your friends need to see this:

Conservative Campaign HQ (bulletin@mail.conservatives.com)
02/01/2015

Newsletters

To: Susan Jones

Our plan is working – and we need to stay on the road to a stronger economy. Please share our poster today and let everyone know:

 Let’s stay on the road to a stronger economy

When the Conservatives came into office in 2010, Britain was on the brink of bankruptcy. People were losing their jobs and families were worried about the future.

So we took difficult decisions to get our economy back on track.

Five years later, thanks to the measures we’ve taken and the hard work of the British people, the deficit has been halved, new businesses are opening up across the country, and there are a record number of people in work, with the security of a pay packet.

We need to stay on the road to a stronger economy – and your friends need to know about the important choice facing Britain in this election year.

Britain has come a long way in five years. We can’t go back to Labour’s way of more borrowing, more debt and higher taxes. Instead, let’s stay on the road that has brought us this far – the road that is securing a better future for everyone in our country.

Please share our poster today and let your friends know the important choice facing Britain this year.

Thank you,

Conservative Campaign HQ

Promoted by Alan Mabbutt on behalf of the Conservative Party, both at 4 Matthew Parker Street, London, SW1H 9HQ

Here is my response

Lie number 1. “When we came into office in 2010, Britain was on the brink of bankruptcy.”

The Office for Budget Responsibility (OBR) head rebuked Osborne for lying: Robert Chote said that the UK was never at risk of bankruptcy. Yet despite this public rebuke for lying, the Tories continue to peddle the same lie. Having established the OBR to act as a check on the government, the Chancellor and the Conservative Party might want to listen to its head and finally concede that there was no basis for his claim in 2010.

For the full list of official rebukes for Tory lies, please see here

Lie number 2. “People were losing their jobs and families were worried about the future.”

united-kingdom-unemployment

1381256_10151703147396305_1638953570_n (1)Note that after an increase in people losing their jobs under the Tory-led Coalition since 2010, the apparent decrease in job losses in the first graph coincides with the introduction of the new benefit sanction regime in 2012.

We know that the Conservatives measure unemployment by using a conveniently heavily biased system called “off-flow” that includes all of the numbers of people thrown off Jobseekers’ Allowance through sanctions. Indeed, it emerged during an ongoing inquiry instigated by the parliamentary Work and Pensions Select Committee, through research conducted by Professor David Stuckler, that more than 500,000 Job Seekers Allowance (JSA) claimants have disappeared from unemployment statistics, without finding work, since the sanctions regime was substantially extended in October, 2012.

And let’s not forget that sanctions are a draconian and target-driven removal of lifeline benefits – the amount of money that the state previously deemed necessary for meeting basic needs, and as such, cannot possibly be justified when all they may ever achieve is forcing people to focus on basic survival rather than on gaining employment. The Work and Pensions Select Committee have accused the Conservatives of using benefit sanctions to massage unemployment figures.

Other problems with off-flow and the far-fetched claims of the Conservative Party are highlighted in: A letter of complaint to Andrew Dilnot regarding Coalition lies about employment statistics.

The Treasury saw a drop in revenue of 25 billion pounds from income tax, which doesn’t tally with the account of rising employment and this certainly refutes the claim that was made about wages rising last year by this Government, too.

As for “families were worried for the future”, the impact of this government’s austerity measures has had a significantly negative impact on women and children, and particularly lone parents. The setting up of the Welfare State enshrined a commitment to state support for those unable to support themselves.

This government is dismantling that commitment. In the process they are destroying many of our basic rights: to universal free healthcare; protection from domestic violence and abuse; decent, affordable housing; pension and employment rights; education and training; and access to the legal system. Some facts:

  •  More than 70% of the revenue raised from direct tax and benefit
    changes will come from female taxpayers. (Parliamentary research 2011).
  •  92% of single parents are women. Although they are amongst
    the poorest in our society, they face not only the brunt of the cuts
    with the slashing of their benefits, but government and media
    demonisation as “benefit scroungers”.
  •  Women’s unemployment is rising sharply, largely owing to
    public sector cutbacks. Black and minority ethnic women are
    particularly hard hit.
  •  Poverty levels not seen since the 1930’s Depression, are
    returning, as is childhood malnutrition.
  • 1 out of 6 charities fear they will have to close in 2013 due to lack of funds.(From the Charities Aid Foundation report 2012).See also: Austerity measures disproportionately affecting women should be consigned to the bonfires of history from November 2014

Lie number 3. “So we took difficult decisions to get our economy back on track.”

Thanks to the Labour government’s excellent management of the consequences of the global crash caused by the banks and financial insitutions,  we were out of recession by 2010. So the Tory austerity measures, which targeted the poorest people, were completely unjustifiable. Osborne used the “bankrupcy lie” to legitimise an entirely ideological Tory-led programme of “shrinking the state“, cutting social support for those who need it and slashing public services. However, whilst the poorest paid dearly, this government handed out £107, 000 each per year to millionaires in the form of a “tax break”.

“This government will not cut [the] deficit in a way that hurts those we most need to help, that divides the country, or that undermines the spirit and ethos of our public services.”  Keynote speech by David Cameron, at the launch of The Conservative party’s manifesto in Milton Keynes, June 7th 2010.

That was another lie.

The economy is NOT “back on track” at all, despite the savage and punitive cuts imposed on the most vulnerable citizens.

 Lie number 4. “The deficit has been halved.”

Cameron has been rebuked twice for lying about “paying down the debt” already. The national debt is still rising. It currently stands at more than twice its level than when the Coalition took office.  Osborne is responsible for more debt than every Labour chancellor in history combined. Even the staunchly Tory Spectator commented that it’s: “… a depressing point: the Tory leadership is prepared to use dishonesty as a weapon in this election campaign.”

Fraser Nelson also refutes that the deficit has been halved – see: Which Tory MPs will repeat the porkie about ‘halving’ the deficit?

For a government whose raison d’etre is deficit reduction, the Coalition really isn’t very good at all.

Lie number 5. “New businesses are opening up across the country.”

150102businesses

 Thanks to Mike Sivier for the infographic

Lie number 6. “Our plan is working” / “..the road that is securing a better future for everyone in our country.”

Current human rights abuses of women, children and disabled people cannot possibly be regarded as “securing a better future for everyone.” The Tories have also pledged to repeal our human rights act and to withdraw from the European Commission on Human Rights. A government that cannot respect human rights and recognise the equal worth of citizens is certainly not interested in securing a better future for everyone at all. Nor can the slashing of public services, the National Health Service, welfare and other social protections be in anyway about securing a better future for all of us, or even “most” of us.

How is increasing hunger and malnutrition in our “best interests” as a so-called civilised society. This is the 5th wealthiest nation in the world. Shame on this government.

Lie number 7. The first Tory election campaign picture is not a photograph of a British road, as Osborne claimed:  The Road to Weimar image shows Tories can’t be trusted to tell the truth. – Mike Sivier.

Let’s not forget the Tory  2010 pre-election promises, broken and deleted from record on the internet. And valid criticism of their spinner of Tory yarns and opposition smears, also deleted. This is not a democratic government that values political accountability, nor is it one that is prepared to bear any scrutiny at all.

And the word “Tories” is clearly an abbreviation of “tall stories”

(more…)

Sticks and stones: abusive labels, self concept – when words become weapons

The socio-political perspective.

My friend Harry Ottley once told me, many years ago, that I could kill a man with words. It was at a time when I was struggling to come to terms with a series of horrible events. Recovering from trauma takes time and for a while, I wasn’t myself. I didn’t want any company at the time, and Harry, who simply wanted to offer support, found me somewhat antisocial and blunt.

We can heal, though. It takes time, a lot of soul-searching, it’s often a very painful process and there are no short cuts. One of the reasons I decided to study psychology and sociology was my abiding interest in how we are immersed in each other: we exist, connect, shape and are shaped in a social context: in an inter-subjective realm, our behaviours affect each other, often profoundly.

Language, narratives, ideologies, norms and all of the mechanisms we draw on to make sense of and to navigate the universe can stifle us, damage and repress us, but may also transform and liberate us.

Harry is right. What we say to each other matters very much.

The range of what we say and think and do is limited by what we don’t notice. And because we fail to notice that we fail to notice, there is little we can do to change; until we notice how failing to notice shapes our thoughts and deeds

Some people often use the “freedom of speech” plea to justify their prejudice. They say they have a right to express their thoughts. But speech is an intentional ACT. Hate speech is intended to do harm – it’s used purposefully to intimidate and exclude vulnerable groups. Hate speech does not “democratise” speech, it tends to monopolise it. Nor is it  based on reason, critical thinking or open to debate. Bigotry is a crass parody of opinion and free speech. Bigots are conformists – they tend not to have independent thought. Prejudice thrives on Groupthink.

Being inequitable, petty or prejudiced isn’t “telling it like it is” – a claim which is an increasingly common tactic for the right, and particularly UKIP – it’s just being inequitable, petty or prejudiced.  And some things are not worth saying. Really. We may well have an equal right to express an opinion, but not all opinions are of equal worth.

And the right-wing do frequently dally with hate speech. Hate speech generally is any speech that attacks a person or group on the basis of their race, religion, gender, disability, or sexual orientation. In law, hate speech is any speech, gesture or conduct, writing, or display which is forbidden because it may incite violence or prejudicial action against or by a protected individual or group, or because it disparages or intimidates a protected individual or group. Critics have argued that the term “hate speech” is a contemporary example of Newspeak, used to silence critics of social policies that have been poorly implemented in order to appear politically correct.

This term was adopted by US conservatives as a pejorative term for all manner of attempts to promote multiculturalism and identity politics, particularly, attempts to introduce new terms that sought to leave behind discriminatory baggage attached to older ones, and conversely, to try to make older ones taboo.

“Political correctness” arose originally from attempts at making language more culturally inclusive. Critics of political correctness show a curious blindness when it comes to examples of “conservative correctness.” Most often, the case is entirely ignored, or censorship of the Left is justified as a positive virtue.Perhaps the key argument supporting this form of linguistic and conceptual inclusion is that we still need it, unfortunately. We have a right-wing Logocracy, creating pseudo-reality by prejudicial narratives and words. We are witnessing that narrative being embedded in extremely oppressive policies and in their justification.

The negative impacts of hate speech cannot be mitigated by the responses of third-party observers, as hate speech aims at two goals. Firstly, it is an attempt to tell bigots that they are not alone. It validates and reinforces prejudice.

The second purpose of hate speech is to intimidate a targeted minority, leading them to question whether their dignity and social status is secure. In many cases, such intimidation is successful. Furthermore, hate speech is a gateway to harassment and violence. (See Allport’s scale of prejudice, which shows clearly how the Nazis used “freedom of speech” to incite hatred and then to incite genocide.) As Allport’s scale indicates, hate speech and incitement to genocide start from often subtle expressions of prejudice.

The dignity, worth and equality of every individual is the axiom of international human rights. International law condemns statements which deny the equality of all human beings. Article 20(2) of the ICCPR requires states to prohibit hate speech. Hate speech is prohibited by international and national laws, not because it is offensive, but rather, because it amounts to the intentional degradation and repression of groups that have been historically oppressed.

The most effective way to diffuse prejudice is an early preventative approach via dialogue: positive parenting, education and debate. Our schools, media and public figures have a vital part to play in positive role-modelling, like parents, in challenging bigotry, encouraging social solidarity, respect for diversity and in helping to promote understanding and empathy with others.

Hate speech categories are NOT about “disagreement” or even offence. Hate speech doesn’t invite debate. It’s about using speech to intentionally oppress others. It escalates when permitted, into harassment and violence. We learn this from history, and formulated human rights as a consequence.

UKIP would have us unlearn the lessons of the Holocaust so that people can say “I’m not being racist, but…” or “It’s not wrong to say immigrants should be sent home…” and so on.

Wittgenstein once said: “The limits of my language are the limits of my  world.”

Words are powerful. As well as describing, signifying, explaining, persuading, interpreting, obscuring, deceiving and so on, they may also issue commands and instructions. We “spell” words. Spelling may also be described as “words or a formula purported to have magickal powers.” Words act upon others and elicit responses.

Yes, they may profoundly impact on others. With words, both spoken and unspoken, we can shape and re-shape the universe. We shape and transform each other. We can create. Einstein changed the meaning of the word “mass” and transformed Newton’s universe of structures to his own – one of events. It’s a different universe.

We can oppress or liberate with a few intentional words. The choice is ours.

The psychological perspective

“Every relationship. . . implies a definition of self by others and other by self. . . A person’s ‘own’ identity can never be completely abstracted from his identity-for-others.” From Self and Others – R D Laing.

The human mind is social. Through a process of symbolic interactions, beginning as children, humans begin to define themselves meaningfully within the context of their socialisations.

The looking-glass self is a social psychological concept, first mentioned in Human Nature and the Social Order by Charles Cooley in 1902. It’s basis is that a person’s sense of self-hood arises from social, interpersonal interactions and the perceptions of others. We internalise those interactions. The term refers to how people shape their self-concepts based on their understanding of how others perceive them.

People tend to conform to how they think others think them to be,  especially children, since they don’t have the necessary experiences and inner resources to reject labels, and it’s difficult, or arguably impossible, to act differently from how a person thinks he or she is perpetually perceived. Individuals use language and thought as the basis of their self concept.

Cooley said: “The thing that moves us to pride or shame is not the mere mechanical reflection of ourselves, but an imputed sentiment, the imagined effect of this reflection upon another’s mind.”

Self-fulfilling prophecy is the behavioural confirmation effect, in which behaviour, influenced by expectations, causes those expectations to come true. People react, not only to the situations they are in, but also, and often primarily, to the way they perceive the situations and to the meaning they ascribe to their perceptions.

Sociologists often use the Pygmalion effect, interchangeably with self-fulfilling prophecy, and the effect is most often cited with regard to educational under-attainment, social class, race.

“When teachers expect students to do well and show intellectual growth, they do; when teachers do not have such expectations, performance and growth are not so encouraged and may in fact be discouraged in a variety of ways. How we believe the world is and what we honestly think it can become have powerful effects on how things will turn out.”  James Rhem, executive editor for the online National Teaching and Learning Forum.

In the context of race, gender and class, negative labelling is often associated with  socio-political control mechanisms and prejudice. Stereotypes and labels estrange us from our authentic possibilities. The attributions and labels that people exchange on a symbolic level, also have the function of instruction or injunction, this function may be denied,  giving rise to one type of “mystification”, rather like hypnotic suggestion.

“Pain in this life is not avoidable, but the pain we create avoiding [our own] pain is avoidable.” Ronnie D Laing.

It’s almost impossible for individuals – especially children – to avoid experiencing changes to their psyche and  subsequent actions following repeated emotional abuse (and physical abuse, psychological violence is so very often a precursor to physical violence).

Research consistently shows that children subjected to verbal aggression, may exhibit a range of serious disorders, including chronic depression, anxiety, post-traumatic stress disorder, dissociation and anger. Words Can Be Weapons is a powerful multimedia campaign based in China that illustrates how words may be turned into weapons, to illustrate that what we say can hurt and damage others, very literally.

The number of crimes committed by juveniles has doubled in China, and the Centre For Psychological Research in Shenyang says its studies link juvenile crime to childhood emotional abuse – a taboo subject in China. The centre partnered with the Beijing office of advertising agency Ogilvy and Mather. Six teenagers were interviewed in Shenyang Detention Centre about negative, hurtful statements their parents had said to them in the past, such as “moron” and “You’re a disgrace.” The video then transforms these words, powerfully, into replications of the actual weapons these young people later went on to use to commit crimes.

Juggi Ramakrishnan, Ogilvy and Mather’s executive creative director in Beijing, said, in a press release: “Verbal abuse of children is like setting off a time bomb. It explodes only much later, long after the original perpetrator has left the scene. And it is society that pays the price, as is evident from the rising rate of juvenile crime. We really needed to tell this ‘cycle-of-violence’ story in a way that will make people sit up and take notice.”

One young person begins his interview by saying:  “I guess my world must be a dark one… My mother would yell at me every day, often telling me to go away and die.”

When he heard these words again, this time from his manager, he lost his self-control and stabbed him. The campaign took the words that had haunted him his entire life, and turned them into a knife, like the one he had used in his assault.

The campaign, in the English language version of the video was published on YouTube in April but has only recently garnered the attention it deserves. It has all the content from the project, including full interviews with the young people who are residents in the Detention Centre, at: wordscanbeweapons.co

We know from extensive research that victims of emotional and psychological abuse may also become perpetrators, particularly if no support has been available for the victim. Though many do not.

Damaged self-esteem and psychological injury destabilises us, it may lead to learned, created and distorted or false behaviours as a defence against further psychic injury. Abusers distort our sense of self, lower our self-worth, disorder our emotional responses to others, destroy our faith in our own judgements, skew our perception of others, and erode our personal boundaries.

For children and young people especially, there’s a risk of victim or victimiser roles being normalised, because the experience of alternative  interactions is limited.

In psychology and sociology, internalisation is the process that involves the integration of attitudes, values, standards and the opinions of others into one’s own identity or sense of self.

Studies suggest that young people who have internalised a view of their self as “positive and good” tend to have a developmental trajectory toward pro-social behaviour, those with damaged selves are more likely struggle with the social rules, codes and norms of conduct, empathic affects to others, and adaptive behavioural strategies.

Our selves may be either authentic or false. False selves tend to be an adaptation to false realities.(As opposed to fake selves, which are contrived to manipulate others).

We live in times when the media constructs such false realities every day, with the UK government directing a scapegoating and vilification process which targets vulnerable groups, because of Tory traditional prejudices, in order to justify their ideological inclinations to dismantle the social gains of our post-war settlement, withdraw publicly funded state support for those in need. We have a conservative social order built upon bullying, abuse and coercion from the aristocratic top down: it’s a hierarchy of control and power. And the only authentic quality David Cameron has is his inauthenticity. He’s a typical public school bully, and his atrocious role-modeling gives others permission to bully.

As a consequence, everyday untenable situations arise for those least able to cope with them, because we internalise identity, and through a process of attribution, this currently involves political pretence, dishonesty, illusion, elusion, delusion, and media collusion. This is a government that has normalised abuse on every level, and the consequences of that inflicted psychic trauma will be with us for several generations to come.

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Gaslighting
is a form of  mental abuse in which false information is presented with the intent of making victims doubt their own memory, perception and sanity. Instances may range from simple denial by an abuser that previous abusive incidents ever occurred, to the staging of  events and using a narrative with the intention of disorienting the victim, and “invalidating” their experience. The UK government uses gaslighting techniques, by calling critics “scaremongers”, by claiming cuts to services and provisions are “reforms”, and that coercive welfare sanctions “support” people into work, or “make work pay”, especially given the largest fall in wages ever.

Pictures courtesy of  Robert Livingstone 

 


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Austerity, socio-economic entropy and being conservative with the truth

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The Coalition have a track record of lying and trying to mislead the public. David Cameron has now been rebuked several times for making false claims: on NHS spending, the rising national debt and the impact of his tax rises and deep spending cuts on economic growth. The Tories invented figures to claim people are now “better off”, but which totally ignored and excluded an account of the impact of significant factors like the rise in VAT, the cost of living, cuts to tax credits and other benefits.

The government is committing fraud on a grand scale. The reason for such deceit has nothing to do with public finances or the state of the economy, and everything to do with shrinking the public realm. There is an irreducibly ideological dimension to Tory economics, and by making it sound “scientific” when really, it’s more akin to philosophy or Tory buck passing, they attempt to lend it an air of authority and legitimacy it does not deserve. 

The only thing that unites Tories is wealth, they mostly thrive on creating social divisions. The Tories have used a justification narrative based on a moral entrepreneur approach to scapegoat and vilify vulnerable social groups in order to justify transferring our public wealth to private bank accounts, behind the façade of austerity. What we are witnessing is a governments’ nonchalant adherence to Tory ideology which scripts policies that generate and perpetuate inequality, no matter what the consequences for the most vulnerable. Or the economy.

The Tories peddled the lie that due to Labour’s management of the economy, the UK was “on the brink bankruptcy” and claim the solution to is to cut government spending with a painful programme of austerity cuts. Of course the UK economy was growing in 2010 when the Tories took over and was subsequently plunged back into recession by Osborne’s austerity policies which have meant that the economy has not grown at all under the coalition; and for much of their tenure has been contracting.

Many economists have said consistently that this is the wrong approach. The best solution is to borrow or, better, create money to invest in infrastructure. But what we have instead is Osbornes’ closed economy, with a colossal redistribution of public funds to few private businesses and millionaires, who are sat on our money, whilst the government is steadily removing even more of our public capital through deep cuts. There is no investment in the infrastructure, public services – it’s a framework of increasing and devastating socio-economic entropy.

The Tories seem to think we have forgotten that it was they that lost the Moody’s Investors Service triple A grade, despite pledges to keep it secure. Moody’s credit ratings represent a rank-ordering of creditworthiness, or expected loss.

The Fitch credit rating was also downgraded due to increased borrowing by the Tories, who have borrowed more in 4 years than Labour did in 13. In fact this Tory administration have borrowed more than every single Labour government ever, combined.

The Tories have seized an opportunity to dismantle the institutions they have always hated since the post-war social democratic settlement – institutions of health, welfare, education, culture and human rights which should be provided for all citizens. The Tories attempt to destroy fundamental public support for the health, education and welfare of its people. Offering and inflicting only regressive, punitive policies and devastating cuts, the Tories lie to drag the compliant, conforming and increasingly shell-shocked electorate along as they dismantle our social democracy, our public services, fundamental rights and the very basis of our civilisation.

Whenever this authoritarian government have been challenged and opposed effectively, they simply ignore or edit the law, veto tribunal rulings or invoke archaic government privilege to bypass opposition and to get their own way with unpopular policies, such as The Health and Social Care Bill and the Welfare “Reforms”.

That a government needs to employ such underhanded methods to pass their policy through the legislative process, and justify such policies by lying, and by the malevolent scapegoating of vulnerable sections of society via the media, informs us that those policies are not addressing public needs, and wishes; that they are not democratically motivated or processed and that they reflect a political ideology which does not accommodate social and economic realities, nor is it fitting for a so-called first world liberal democracy that is a signatory to several international human rights charters to witness a government so deceptive and arbitrary in its approach to legitimacy.

Here is catalogue of officially recognised Tory lies used to justify their unjustifiable policies, which have have resulted in official reprimands:

David Cameron rebuked by statistics watchdog over national debt claims -The PM said the government was ‘paying down Britain’s debts’ in a political broadcast, even though the debt is actually rising.

“Now that his false claims have been exposed, it’s time the prime minister stopped deliberately misleading people about his economic record” – Rachel Reeves.

Finally Exposed! The Deficit Myth! So, David Cameron When Are You Going to Apologise? David Cameron rebuked over austerity claims – David Cameron has been corrected by the Treasury’s own forecaster over claims that cuts in public spending are not reducing economic growth. The Office for Budget Responsibility told the Prime Minister that it does believe that cutting public spending will reduce economic growth in the short term.

Robert Chote, the head of the OBR, contradicted a claim Mr Cameron made this week in a speech about the economy, in which the Prime Minister said the forecaster does not believe cuts are reducing growth.

In fact, as Mr Chote wrote, the OBR believes that cuts in spending and increases in tax will depress economic activity, meaning lower growth.

OBR head rebukes Osborne: the UK was never at risk of bankruptcy. Office for Budget Responsibility chief Robert Chote dismisses the “danger of insolvency”.

In the weeks after he took office, George Osborne justified his austerity programme by claiming that Britain was on “the brink of bankruptcy”. He told the Conservative conference in October 2010: “The good news is that we are in government after 13 years of a disastrous Labour administration that brought our country to the brink of bankruptcy.”

It was, of course, nonsense.

*Please note the original link to the New Statesman article seems to have curiously vanished. So here is a cached link to the same article: OBR head rebukes Osborne: the UK was never at risk of bankruptcy.

David Cameron rebuked over jobs claim Sir Andrew Dilnot, head of the UK Statistics Authority, the independent statistics regulator, said the prime minister was wrong to say figures showed that more than three-quarters of all new jobs went to British citizens when “official statistics do not show the number of new jobs.”

Cameron was attempting to show in an interview for the Daily Telegraph that the government had reversed a situation in its first few years of office when he claimed most new jobs were taken by migrant workers. The interview was widely interpreted as an attempt to win over Ukip voters who believe most jobs created as Britain’s economy recovers are being snapped up by foreigners.

Following a complaint by Jonathan Portes, head of the National Institute for Economic & Social Research, Dilnot confirmed that neither the original fear that migrants were taking British jobs nor the reversal of this trend were supported by official data.

Employment data collected by the Office for National Statistics relates to jobs in the economy whether or not they are newly created by employers. Dilnot said the relevant figures from the ONS showed the number of migrants in the labour force increased by 400,000 over the last five years, an 18% rise, while the number of UK nationals increased by 3%, or 900,000.

Sir Andrew Dilnot, head of the UK Statistics Authority, the independent statistics regulator, said the prime minister was wrong to say figures showed that more than three-quarters of all new jobs went to British citizens when “official statistics do not show the number of new jobs.”

Information Commissioner Christopher Graham launched a scathing rebuke of the decision to exercise the Government’s veto in a report on the case to Parliament. Blocking the publication of a report into the risks of NHS reforms is a sign that ministers want to downgrade freedom of information laws, a watchdog has warned. Health Secretary Andrew Lansley deployed it to block an Information Tribunal ruling that he should meet Labour demands to disclose the document.

Duncan Smith rebuked by ONS for misuse of benefit statistics – The claim that 8,000 people moved into work as a result of the benefit cap is “unsupported by the official statistics”, says the UK Statistics Authority. In letter to Duncan Smith, Andrew Dilnot writes: “In the manner and form published, the statistics do not comply fully with the principles of the Code of Practice, particularly in respect of accessibility to the sources of data, information about the methodology and quality of the statistics, and the suggestion that the statistics were shared with the media in advance of their publication.”

Another statement by Duncan Smith later in the month also drew criticism and a reprimand. The minister said around 1 million people have been stuck on benefits for at least three of the last four years “despite being judged capable of preparing or looking for work”.

However, the figures cited also included single mothers, people who were seriously ill, and people awaiting testing.

Iain Duncan Smith Rebuked Over Immigration Statistics – Iain Duncan Smith and the Department of Work and Pensions have been accused of publishing misleading immigration figures that were “highly vulnerable to misinterpretation”.Figures showing 371,000 immigrants were on benefits were rushed out by ministers with insufficient regard for “weaknesses” in the data, according to the UK Statistics Authority.

In a strongly-worded rebuke to Work and Pensions Secretary Iain Duncan Smith, the head of the UKSA, sir Michael Scholar, condemned the handling of the research, the Press Association reported.

Sir Michael said that despite being “highly vulnerable to misinterpretation”, the claims were given to the media without the safeguards demanded for official statistics and by issuing the figures as a “research paper”, the DWP had bypassed the need to meet the usual code of conduct, he noted.

Grant Shapps rebuked by UK Statistics Authority for misrepresenting benefit figures – Yet another Conservative politician is caught making it up. Grant Shapps has joined his fellow Conservatives in the data hall of shame. In March, the Tory chairman claimed that “nearly a million people” (878,300) on incapacity benefit had dropped their claims, rather than face a new medical assessment for its successor, the employment and support allowance.

The figures, he said, “demonstrate how the welfare system was broken under Labour and why our reforms are so important”. The claim was faithfully reported by the Sunday Telegraph  but as the UK Statistics Authority has now confirmed in its response to Labour MP Sheila Gilmore (see below), it was entirely fabricated.

In his letter to Shapps and Iain Duncan Smith, UKSA chair Andrew Dilnot writes that the figure conflated “official statistics relating to new claimants of the ESA with official statistics on recipients of the incapacity benefit (IB) who are being migrated across to the ESA”. Of the 603,600 incapacity benefit claimants referred for reassessment as part of the introduction of the ESA between March 2011 and May 2012, just 19,700 (somewhat short of Shapps’s “nearly a million) abandoned their claims prior to a work capability assessment in the period to May 2012.

The figure of 878,300 refers to the total of new claims for the ESA closed before medical assessment from October 2008 to May 2012. Thus, Shapps’s suggestion that the 878,300 were pre-existing claimants, who would rather lose their benefits than be exposed as “scroungers”, was entirely wrong.

As significantly, there is no evidence that those who abandoned their claims did so for the reasons ascribed by Shapps.

The chair of the UK Statistics Authority has rebuked shadow home secretary Chris Grayling – the authority have said  he “must take issue” with claims made by the conservatives and  warned the way they use violent crime statistics is “likely to mislead the public” and damage public trust. Mr Grayling has used a comparison between  figures to suggest that the Labour government has presided over a runaway rise in violent crime.

Even colleague Iain Duncan Smith said that such comparisons were “profoundly misleading and London’s Conservative Mayor, Boris Johnson, described Grayings’ claim as “absolute nonsense”. Chris Grayling made a headline-grabbing speech in which he likened life in Britain’s inner cities to that in Baltimore, Maryland, as portrayed in the acclaimed television series The Wire. Alan Johnson, the Home Secretary, remarked: “The connection between The Wire and Chris Grayling’s grasp on the problems of modern Britain is that they are both fictional.”

Treasury rebuked by UK Statistics Authority for inflation leaks – Britain’s statistics watchdog, ordered the Treasury to review its processes after sensitive inflation data this month was sent to 400 unauthorised people 17 hours before its release. Sir Michael warned: “There is a risk of market manipulation if key economic data fall in to the wrong hands before publication.”

Speculation data was leaking into the market ahead of the Office for National Statistics (ONS) announcement has been rife. Market rumours correctly predicted the last two Consumer Price Index inflation releases just before publication – in April and May.

UK Statistics rebukes Government over NHS spending claims – David Cameron famously promised he would cut the deficit, not the NHS. We now have it in black and white: he is cutting the NHS, not the deficit. There could be no clearer evidence of the failure of this Prime Minister and his Government.

“For months, David Cameron’s Government have made misleading boasts about NHS spending, misrepresenting the true financial difficulties he has brought upon the NHS. At the same time they have recently begun to try to distance themselves from these problems which David Cameron has created, trying to shift the blame to the NHS and its staff”Andy Burnham.

The watchdog has called on ministers to correct claims the coalition has made that they increased NHS spending in England. The UK Statistics Authority upheld a complaint by Labour about government claims the NHS budget had increased in real-terms in the past two years.

The watchdog found the best-available Treasury data suggested real-terms health spending was lower in 2011-12 than in 2009-10. The coalition said during its spending review the NHS budget had gone up.

Coalition rebuked again by UK Statistics Authority  – this time on flood defence spending. Andrew Dilnot says a Treasury graph on infrastructure left readers with “a false impression of the relative size of investment between sectors”. George Osborne and the Treasury have been reprimanded for misleading people about the government’s investment in infrastructure. For example, their chart made it look like investment in flood defences was roughly the same as in other areas, when in fact it was a tiny fraction.

Andrew Dilnot rebukes Treasury again over the false presentation of statistics in the National Infrastructure Plan.

The UK Statistics Authority has censured the Department for Education – Sir Michael Wilshaw – appointed by Mr Gove as Ofsted chief inspector – for using uncertain, weak and “problematic” statistics to claim that England’s schools have tumbled down the global rankings – the central justification for Goves’ sweeping school reforms. But now the government’s own statistics watchdog has called into question the figures at the heart of the education secretary’s argument. His verdict will be seen by critics as a blow to Mr Gove’s claim that England has “plummeted in the world rankings” given that the education secretary has been so unequivocal about the figures, arguing that “these are facts from which we cannot hide”.

Senior Conservative ministers have been rebuked for attempting to cover up Government statistics – showing one of their key housing policies is not working. In his ruling, seen by The Independent, the Information Commissioner roundly rejected the argument put forward by DCLG officials and demanded that the information be released.

“The exemptions cited by DCLG require more than the possible inconvenience in responding to queries about disclosures,” he wrote scathingly.

“The Commissioner considers that DCLG has not provided arguments which demonstrate that disclosure would inhibit the free and frank provision of advice or the free and frank exchange of views for the purposes of deliberation.”

He ordered the information be released.

And what did it show? In a short table released to the Labour Party, it showed that the number of people who begin self-build homes had fallen since the depths of the recession in 2009 under Labour from 11,800 to 10,400 in 2011.

Oddly the department claimed it did not hold the statistics for 2012 – despite the fact that more than five months had elapsed since the period covered by the data.

Theresa May rebuked over illegally deported asylum seeker – Rare court order calls on home secretary to find and bring back Turkish national and investigate UK Border Agency conduct.

The home secretary has returned to the high court and asked Mr Justice Lloyd Jones to set aside the order. The request was rejected and May now has to ensure the man is brought back to the UK. It is rare for orders to be granted by the court calling for people who have been forcibly removed from the UK to be returned and even rarer for the home secretary not to comply with them.

Mr Justice Singh stated that he was “very concerned” the government had failed to comply with his order.

In the court documents a senior UK Border Agency official admitted: “It is regrettable that the claimant was removed in spite of a court order preventing removal.”

Watchdog reprimands Eric Pickles’ department for £217m overdraft – The National Audit Office finding is embarrassing for communities secretary who was praised by chancellor as ‘model of lean government’ – for his ability to impose cuts on struggling councils – he has been reprimanded by the Whitehall spending watchdog for running up an unauthorised departmental overdraft of £217m, the NAO disclosed that the Treasury had imposed a £20,000 fine on his department as a punishment for its poor financial management.

The head of the civil service officially reprimanded David Cameron over the behaviour of his special advisers – following ‘unacceptable’ briefings to journalists, PR Week has learned. Sir Gus O’Donnell was so alarmed at briefings coming out of Government that he wrote a strongly worded letter to the Prime Minister urging him to restrain his aides.

Prime Minister is rebuked  over Liam Fox inquiry, for failing to call in his independent adviser to look at claims that the ministerial code had been breached. Fox resigned after being found guilty of breaching the code in his relations with lobbyist Mr Werritty.

MPs also claim the advisory role itself “lacks independence” after a new candidate was appointed behind closed doors by Mr Cameron.

Office of National Statistics rebukes David Cameron because of his false claim that average waiting time in Accident & Emergency has fallen.

Andrew Dilnot rebukes Cameron regarding the false claim that most new jobs in Britain used to go to foreign workers but now go to British workers.

David Cameron rebuked AGAIN by the Office of National Statistics for the false claim that Britain is “paying down its debts”. The Prime Minister said Britain had been “paying down its debts” during the Tory party conference, Sir Andrew Dilnot, pointed out that, while the deficit has fallen since the Coalition came to power in 2010, debt has risen.

And he noted that he had already rebuked Mr Cameron for making the same claim in a party political broadcast in 2013.

George Osborne rebuked for boasting he halved £1.7bn EU surchargeThe all-party Treasury select committee said: “The suggestion that the £1.7bn bill demanded by the European Union was halved is not supported by published information.”

The committee’s reproach is a blow to Osborne before the general election, when the Tories are expected to come under fire from Eurosceptics inside the party and from Ukip over the size of the UK’s EU contribution.

Finally, Coalition is rebuked by Churches over ‘human cost’ of austerity measures – despite Camerons’ claim that his policies are because of “divine inspiration”

Further evidence – UK Statistics Authority correspondence listcomplaints and responses regarding Tory lies.

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                   Pictures courtesy of Robert Livingstone

Related articles:

The Great Debt Lie and the Myth of the Structural Deficit

The mess we inherited” – some facts with which to fight the Tory Big Lies