THIS is no ordinary election. Lying and deceit may be common to all elections but this campaign takes the biscuit. Facebook has banned a Conservative advert for containing misleading clips from the BBC. Google has banned no fewer than eight Tory ads for breaking its rules.
Britain’s ruling party sparked social media outrage when it disguised a Twitter account as FactCheckUK, an apparently objective fact-checking service.
When Labour launched its manifesto, the Tories had to set up a fake Labour manifesto website to try to mislead voters.
They aren’t the only ones playing fast and loose with the truth — the Liberal Democrats have become a laughing stock for their inventive use of statistics.
In South East Cambridgeshire, Chipping Barnet and many more constituencies, bemused voters have opened letters from “polling and elections expert” Mike Smithson (actually a former Lib Dem candidate) telling them that their local contest is a two-horse race between the Tories and Lib Dems — despite the party actually coming a distant third behind Labour at the last election.
Why the lies? The mainstream media have spent the four years since Jeremy Corbyn became Labour leader slandering and rubbishing the opposition.
Scurrilous newspapers have mocked everything from Corbyn’s appearance to his family. Footage of him has been altered to make it look like he was dancing on his way to the Cenotaph; the BBC, we will remember, pulled the opposite stunt for Boris Johnson this year, replacing an unkempt PM laying his wreath upside-down with years-old footage that made him look more dignified.
Corbyn has faced absurd claim after absurd claim. The same has been true of hundreds of thousands of people who have joined the Labour Party, breathing new life into a British politics that had long seen declines in both party membership and voter participation.
They have been slandered as bullies, thugs or mindless followers of a cult by sniffy Establishment insiders not used to being questioned or held to account.
These attacks are the last resort of a discredited elite who know that life in Britain is getting harder. The cost of housing is placing an intolerable burden on young people.
Tuition fees are saddling a generation with unsustainable debts.
Child poverty is soaring and savage cuts to schools and hospitals are destroying public services.
We pay through the nose for privatised transport, electricity and water while CEOs award themselves millions in pay and bonuses; commercial operations like Thomas Cook and Carillion are similarly raided by asset-stripping spivs and then discarded, leaving once proud companies bankrupt and dedicated workforces out of a job.
This short-term profiteering has even more terrifying consequences when it comes to our planet. People are waking up to the fact that we cannot continue as we have done.
Corporate greed is preventing serious action to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. It is standing in the way of universal, affordable public transport. It is standing in the way of jobs with proper wages and decent pensions and a degree of security that allows people to build a fulfilling life for themselves and their families.
There’s only one party standing that has an ambitious programme that addresses that. Labour’s manifesto doesn’t solve every problem we face.
It continues our membership of the warmongering Nato alliance. It doesn’t address the likely obstacles the EU will throw in the way of public ownership and a state-funded Green Industrial Revolution.
But it marks a change of direction. For four decades blind worship of “the market” has impoverished communities, destroyed industries and broken lives. Only electing a Labour government this December will start Britain along a different path — one that recognises that a social order rooted in co-operation and solidarity, planning and sharing is no fantasy but a necessity if we are to avoid economic, social and environmental meltdown.
This December 12, the Morning Star advises you to vote Labour, everywhere.
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