The News In Shorts

How the news would look if everyone stopped waffling and told the truth.

Wednesday, 5 December 2012

The First Casualty Of Toryism.

It was Aeschylus, the Greek tragic dramatist (525 BC - 456 BC), who is credited with first saying that "In war, truth is the first casualty." He was talking about propaganda, two thousand years before that term was coined, and its role as a necessary strategy during periods of conflict. After all, how else can a government persuade its people that it is right to set aside normal civilised standards and do terrible things to the enemy? When a government kranks up the propaganda machine, therefore, it is axiomatic that some enemy is about to suffer. This week a whole raft of stories show quite conclusively that the Tories are working overtime to do just that. Despite recent Treasury's claims that the British economy grew this year by 1% the reality is that it shrank by 0.1% and George Osborne was only able to claim otherwise by "manipulating" the figures. Meanwhile Ian Duncan Smith has been defending his "Work Experience" scheme which, he says, has been delivering outstanding results when the truth is that there has been no discernable improvement at all. Michael Gove, not to be outdone by IDS, has also been using some very dodgy statistics to "prove" that Britain had fallen from "4th to 16th place in science; from 7th to 25th place in literacy; and from 8th to 28th in maths" in the period between 2000 and 2009. The truth is that Michael Gove deliberately chose the year 2000 for comparison because he knew that statistics for that year are completely unreliable. Now the government has been rebuked by the UK Statistics Authority for claiming that spending on the NHS has increased over the last two and-a-half years when it is actually lower now than it was in 2010. Having promised to "cut the deficit and not the NHS" it is sobering to find that real spending on the NHS has declined while the national debt has increased by a staggering £150 billion. So who is the enemy at which all these dodgy statistics and propaganda are aimed? Having been told that we are nothing better than a bunch of work shy, bone idle scroungers the answer is us - you and me - the great British public. Comparisons have been made between David Cameron and Adolf Hitler but such claims cannot be taken seriously. Even Adolf Hitler had more sense than to fill every position in his government with a clone of Joseph Goebbels.

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