I mentioned a few posts ago that the October issue of Labour's "Egremont Today" propaganda sheet, which masquerades as a community newspaper, contained some very dishonest statements about Conservative policies.
I have now seen the November issue and it's worse.
In particular, there is a deeply mendacious article by the MP for Copeland which utterly misrepresents what Conservatives stand for. Parts of it also attempt to stir up class hatred in ways which, if the MP had written in similar terms on race, would not have been far away from risking prosecution under his party's own laws.
So here is a little light fisking of Jamie Reed's offensive and unpleasant propaganda"We are not all in this together: Copeland comes first."Helpful of you to make clear in your very title, Jamie, that you have abandoned any pretence that Labour is a party for the whole nation.
"It won't have escaped your attention, but it has become fashionable for certain politicians to talk about cuts, cuts and more cuts."It hasn't escaped the attention of any intelligent voter that all parties are reluctantly considering whether they may have to make cuts, or that some parties are being much more honest about it than others. And your party is the one which secretly instructed the treasury to plan 10% cuts while some of it's least truthful members, sadly including yourself, are still talking as if you had the ability - never mind the wish, the ability - to sustain the present level of public spending.
"We all know that as a nation we have to balance the books"We certainly do. Do you consider it is "balancing the books" when one pound in four that the government is spending goes straight onto the national debt, that this debt has doubled in five years and is heading for a trillion pounds on your own government's projections, when the government already has to spend more on paying the interest on that debt than the entire national schools budget, and when this situation will get much worse unless the defecit is reduced?
" - and our economy is in far better shape than the biased news media would have you believe"There are eight jobseekers in Copeland chasing every job vacancy: I doubt if many of those people would agree with you.
- but a lot of this talk is ignorant, dangerous and wrong."Ignorant, dangerous, and wrong" just about sums up your knowledge of Economics - or lack of it.
"Our local economy in Copeland and West Cumbria is based upon public spending - councils, schools, hospitals, police, the nuclear industry: all of this is supported by public spending. In turn, these bodies provide our private sector with the contracts they need to survive. So when David Cameron and George Osborn pledge savage cuts, my immediate thought is always: "How many West Cumbrian jobs do they want to destroy?"Jamie, if you can produce a date, place, and precise quote in which either David Cameron or George Osborne have ever used the words "savage cuts" to describe a policy they want to implement, or suggested that they would enjoy making savage cuts, I will donate a fiver to a charity or cause of your choice. If you cannot produce such a quote, you should apologise for that statement.
"Let me be absolutely clear on where I stand: I will not allow our local public services, our local economy and the jobs, people and families which this supports to become a victim of the avarice of the bankers who created the global recession we are now in (and hopefully beginning to come out of)."Sadly not - your rose tinted view of Labour's achievements is running ahead of reality again.
"The Tories would have you believe that the bankers are innocent"Remind me which government and which Chancellor of the Exchequer created the current regulatory regime which allowed the bankers to make the mistakes which certainly contributed to our current difficulties? It was this Labour government and the chancellor responsible was Gordon Brown.And actually, the Conservatives don't dispute that some bankers - though not everyone who works in a bank - made serious mistakes. But I certainly hope we would not descend quite as far into the gutter tactics of inciting envy and class hatred which runs through your article.
"and that the world's economic problems have been created by Labour's choice to raise the salaries of nurses, doctors, teachers, police and by employing more people in these jobs than ever before. Utter nonsense."Your caricature of the tory position is the utter nonsense. I had no problem whatsoever with employing more nurses, doctors, teachers, or police, but for every one of these front line specialists which your government has employed you've taken on two or three administrators, bureacrats, or support staff.
"I will not support any cuts relating to the public services used by the people of Copeland."My turn to be equally clear. If, disastrously for Britain, your government were re-elected, YOU DO NOT HAVE THE MONEY TO KEEP THAT PROMISE.Your government is spending massively beyond the country's means, and the massive debts you are building up will take decades to pay off. In the meantime, billions will have to be spent to pay the interest on the money you are currently borrowing. And the longer it is left to cut the defecit, the worse the correction will have to be when somebody finally makes it.
I don't like the idea of painful cuts any more than you do, but the idea that your government would have the money to pay for all the promises you are currently making is pure fantasy.
If you believe you could possibly deliver the promises you are currently making, you are not intelligent enough to be a good MP. If you know that you are offering false hope to the residents of Copeland, you are not honest enough to be a good MP.
"It is only now that we are starting to receive the public investment we need and deserve and the Energy Coast plan is delivering unprecedented levels of public money into our community. In balancing the books, the government is right to examine every government department to see where money can be saved. But government must also look at which areas of the country require the most investment – this is clearly not the south of England and public spending must be maintained in areas like West Cumbria. We are not as George Osborn claims "in this together". I never saw the multi million pound city bonuses which fuelled this crisis being shared out in Egremont and Cleator Moor... "Here we go again, more class hatred. The bonus payments made to City people probably postponed the recession more than once, and I suspect you'll find that a certain number of city people bought second homes in Cumbria and actually did boost the economy of the county. What touched off the crisis was lending to people who didn't have the ability to pay the loans back.
"The Conservatives have said that they want to slash public spending. In Parliament they voted against the public investments for the new West Cumberland Hospital, the new Westlakes Academy, the other educational investments in our local schools, our universities, the new health centre in Cleator Moor and the rebuilding of cottage hospitals in Millom and Keswick. They also voted against fetching these investments forward." Completely mendacious. Conservative MPs campaigned for more investment in cottage hospitals like Millom Community Hospital and the Mary H. in Keswick when the Labour government was considering closing scores of them. Conservative policy has supported, not opposed, investment in front line hospital services. No Conservative in parliament has ever moved a specific amendment to take these items out of a budget and if anyone did it would not have Conservative support.
"On top of this, they have said they want to cut public spending across the board by 10%, in addition to taking £4 billion out of the schools budgets."Rubbish.
First, the Conservatives have stated in the most specific terms that two areas - health in particular - will be protected in real terms, so to suggest that we wanted to cut everything by 10% across the board is not true.
The 10% figure was taken from an interview in which the Conservative health spokesman was talking not about our own party's plans, but about Labour ones. He pointed out that when you allow for inflation and the interest on the extra debt money Labour is borrowing, Labour's own spending plans would represent a 7% cut over the next parliament in the money available for spending departments in real terms.
He added that if you protect Health, which the Conservatives have promised to do and Labour may also do, the average cut over all other departments is 10%.
And 10% cuts is the figure which Labour was planning for in a leaked treasury document.
"This isn’t morally right and it’s not right for the people of Copeland and West Cumbria."Interesting to read that you think Labour's policies are neither morally right or right for the people of Copeland.
"Its absolutely clear that the Tories' public spending cuts would entirely undermine the basis of our local economy. The limited impact of the recession in our part of the world is entirely down to public spending – all of which the Tories oppose.
The months ahead will be tough and we must balance the books, but not at the expense of the people of West Cumbria."That's twice you've admitted that Britain needs to balance the books, but you have not mentioned one single concrete proposal for how Labour would do this.
"For me, the fortunes of Copeland will always come first. We need to maintain investment in health, education, policing and the nuclear industry – these investments are transforming our area and I will always work to protect them. Its now absolutely clear that only Labour will deliver this; the Tories won't."The Conservatives are equally committed to investment in health, on which we have promised to match Labour spending, and in nuclear power. Labour cannot deliver on their promises, because if they tried to do everything they have promised without economies elsewhere they will finish what they have already come far too close to doing - bankrupting Britain.