Boris Johnson is 88% lies, the rest is just nasty

borisactually1

The BBC is at it again. Today there’s a story on the BBC news website entitled “General Election 2019: Adverts are indecent, dishonest, and untruthful.”  The article tells us that a non-partisan body has been fact-checking the truthfulness of political advertising in this campaign by the Conservatives, Labour, the Lib Dems, and the Brexit party.

What the research found was that 88% of the Conservatives’ Facebook adverts featured claims which were either incorrect or not entirely correct. The comparable figure for the Labour party was 0%. Meanwhile the Lib Dems featured hundreds of potentially misleading unlabelled graphs claiming that only the Lib Dems could defeat Labour, the Tories, or the SNP “in seats like yours”.

A fairer headline would have been – Almost all of the Conservative online adverts are lies. Instead the BBC preferred to run a headline which implied that all parties are equally guilty when in fact the Conservatives are responsible for the vast majority of the fake stories, fake reports, and false claims made in online political advertising. It’s a dangerous false equivalence, leading to the widespread anger and disatisfaction with politics and causing the public to be disengaged. That attitude of tiredness and scunneration only benefits the Tories. The fact is that not all politicians are just as bad. Not all politicians are like Boris Johnson. It just suits him for you to think that they are, because that legitimises and disguises the true unacceptability of his behaviour.

Although to be fair, this week the Conservatives did something truthful, albeit unintentionally. It tells you something about the Tories that the only time that they’ve managed to do something truthful and accurate in this campaign is when they’ve done so by accident. They released an online video of Boris Johnson based on a scene in Love Actually. In the advert, Johnson loiters in a dark alley at night in order to send covert messages to a married woman, while telling her to keep the fact she’s seeing him a secret from her husband. It’s the first believable image of his campaign. Although what the Tories might not wish us to remember is that in the movie, the woman chooses her husband, not the creepy stalker guy who stands outside her house with placards.

The placards didn’t say, although they should have, that 88% of what Boris Johnson says is a lie, and the rest is racist abuse. They didn’t say, “I might be your dad.” Neither did the placards proclaim that the deliberately tousled one is a habitual liar who hides from proper scrutiny, although that would have been true. They didn’t say that the forty new hospitals are as mythical as the £350 million extra a week for the NHS that was written on the side of the Leave campaign bus. They didn’t say that there would indeed be customs checks between Northern Ireland and the rest of the UK. They didn’t say that Brexit won’t get done by the end of January even with a majority Tory government. They didn’t say “Don’t tell Andrew Neil that I’m here.”

The SNP is missing a trick if they don’t do a version of Bob Dylan’s Subterranean Homesick Blues, the famous video – one of the very first music videos – in which he stands in an alley with the lyrics to his song handwritten on placards. They could do a version fact checking all the many and manifold lies of this Conservative campaign. Although realistically a three minute long song is nowhere near long enough to cover all of them.

The UK politics are a moral cesspit in which lying has been normalised and compassion is dismissed with contempt. This sorry state of affairs has been brought about by a political system in which there are no adequate checks and balances on the power of the executive. The UK prime minister is effectively an elected dictator, moreover one elected on a ballot which is deliberately designed not to be properly representative. The result is that a prime minister can wield this almost unlimited power with a crushing majority in the House of Commons despite the fact that their party has received less than 40% of the popular vote.

In such a system the role of the media becomes even more important than it is in those democracies where the voting system is designed to produce a result which mirrors the voting preferences of the electorate, and in which there are effective checks and balances on the powers of the various branches of government in the form of a written constitution. Yet the media in the UK most commonly acts as cheerleaders for the reactionary, the right wing, and the xenophobic. Meanwhile the publicly funded BBC appears to believe that its role is to defend the status quo instead of calling out lies from the powerful.

You might have thought that in a General Election campaign where one of the most important issues is the trustworthiness of the main parties and their leaders, the remarkable finding that 88% of the Conservatives’ online advertising is a lie would be a news story worthy of having been plastered all over the headlines. You might think that it should have figured as the lead story on the BBC’s Six O Clock news, or at the very least it should have been one of the most important stories covered in today’s bulletin. Yet it didn’t even rate a mention. You might think that it would especially merit coverage as one of the most important stories in the main BBC news bulletin given the lies which the Conservatives have been spreading about Health Secretary Matt Hancock’s special advisor being punched in the face – an incident which did not in fact happen. That story was manufactured in order to deflect from the scandal of the four year old boy left on the floor of a hospital due to Tory cuts. Likewise the story being spread on social media that the incident involving the four year old was invented left wing propaganda was also unmasked as a lie.

So Tory lies are very much in the news today, but instead the BBC went with yet another attack on the Labour party. The lead story was the leaking of a private conversation with a Labour shadow cabinet member in which he expressed doubts about whether his party could win. Of course that’s a story, but the BBC chose to focus on that and entirely ignored the issue of Conservative lying.

One of the great ironies of this election campaign is watching Labour party supporters complaining about media imbalance and bias. Welcome to our world, here in Scotland we’ve had to deal with this for a very long time. In Scotland the imbalance is even worse. Out of 38 or so daily and Sunday newspapers in a country where the population is divided approximately half and half on the question of independence or the UK, only The National and The National on Sunday back a position supported by half the population. The BBC in Scotland sees its job as attacking the SNP and the cause of independence at every opportunity, and not holding to account those governments in Westminster that the people of Scotland didn’t actually vote for. Scotland is a twilight democracy, our democracy lives in the shadows, kept in the dark.


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28 thoughts on “Boris Johnson is 88% lies, the rest is just nasty

  1. Indeed, Paul. I’ve just watched tonight’s Distorting Scotland, which as anticipated, is the warm up act for the Hon Sarah Smith’s deb-8 at 8.
    Glenn was down in Berwick with five school pupils, Duncan Fraser was up in Perth talking to two English accented ‘locals’ and an octogenarian who feels that nowadays politicians are in it for themselves.

    The floodgates opened and we had the usual Better Together MSPs, SNP Badding the Education stats.

    Annie Wells, list MP, talking about Immigration,

    Cole Hamilton sorting flowers, and that Dick Leonard in a Paint Factory somewhere a born again Freedom of Movement convert because he has been ordered to be by his London Masters.

    A wee snip of Holyrood with Iain Gray, who is either heavily dosing on night nurse or something stronger, Cole Hamilton again, and Liz Smith in three part Better Together harmony attacking the Bad SNP on class sizes, the number of teachers, and ….

    BBC Jockland has decided.

    We Scots will not have access to Swinson Jack or Laird.
    They’re too important to actually face the trash who might vote for them?

    We will be fed the usual gaggle of jumped up List glorified councillors, SNP Badding, while all talk of WM, Johnson, being dragged out of Europe against our will, £200 billion wasted on Trident, the Tory record on Health in England which would be foisted on Scotland if Carlaw took over, the Welsh Labour record on Health if Leonard took over, will not be broached.

    We were swamped with the SNP BAD, Once in a Lifetime, Get Brexit Done, mince, which of course in the is the BBC Jockland message, delivered by a List MP who garnered 12% of the constituency vote. An electoral failure, dictating to me, and thee?

    At least we now know the order for tonight’s Better Together Farce. Ejukaishun, then Health, then the £16 billion deficit.
    It isn’t a UK GE election.
    It is get Independence crushed.

    To the folk who staff BBC Reporting Scotland; are you really True Blue Brit Nat diehards to a man and woman? If so, what a coincidence in this pluralist democracy of ours.

    ‘First question, from the man in the orange top’….

    Where the feck are Jack, Swinson, and Laird hiding?
    They’re certainly not ‘on the doorsteps’.

    Annie Wells as immigration spokesperson for the WM Blue Tory Government.

    Donalda MacKinnon, you really are taking the urine.

    It takes some nerve to insult the people of Scotland by serving up this Third Rate mince.

  2. In Scotland we have a faux democracy. Like faux leather it can be made to look a lot like the real thing but upon closer inspection you can see it is fake. If we do not have democracy in Scotland what type of system of governance do we have?

    • Cubby,

      I use the term “shamocracy”, which I am happy for you to share/use.

      However, as you refer to “faux leather”, perhaps “shammyocracy” would be more appropriate.

      Yours, aye,

      • Sorry to read about your father in law.

        It certainly made a change to read something positive about Johnsons character for once. But credit where credit is due.

        Shammyocracy is a good one but I think I’ll stick to faux democracy.

        Best wishes.

  3. Yup…. Well summarised…
    Your linkage of the pneumonia lad in Leeds to Hancock’s half-hour fabrication is spot on, but Kuenssberg et al conveyed the planted fake news it was all a stunt by a Labour activist to defuse the Hancock stunt as a further layer of deception, undoubtedly one Demonic Cummings “cunning plans”…
    BBC Scotland and SMSM undoubtedly have an agenda over indy, but when the rest of the country’s media are willing stooges or conned into dispersing fake news, it makes for dangerous times next door, and a further compelling reason to escape at the earliest possible juncture.
    With Johnson’s latest commentary on EU citizens abusing the UK, and the draconian powers to be enacted under the Withdrawal Agreement, all the hallmarks of the Weimar Republic are in place, and we know where the last one lead….

    • The Slovakian carer who looked after my father-in-law in his last days is returning home – from choice. On balance, she didn’t find the UK too bad – like everywhere, there were good and bad people ‘here’.

      However, she is greatly afeared of what BJ can and will do (as it seems he will win on Thursday). A dictator in waiting and a mini-me of Trump is what she sees. I have replied that I see the Disunited Kingdumb imploding within at most 5 years, with Scotland leading the way out of the exit door., and my country following. Throughout her time here, I have been drip feeding here little pieces of info of why no one should conflate England (and its politicians) with Cymru and Scotland and theirs (notwithstanding the former’s Labour Government.) She is sufficiently intelligent to see that I am not of the same mould as BJ as his rapacious gang of self-servers.

    • I suspect that the Slovak lady is looking askance at UK politics much as in ex-communist blocs this side. The UK escaped direct experience of Fascism, but those memories linger through generations on the continent. The frightening parallels frequently turn up in conversations of late, and that before the GE is over….
      The only upside to this Brexit farce has been increasing awareness and appreciation of the different outlooks of Wales, Scotland, Ireland, and northern England, the term “hostages” frequently crops up.
      England itself may be bombarded by propaganda informing their world view, but the view back from Europe is a country disintegrating. “Brand UK” has become toxic through a few loudmouths, an asinine press, and political class with vested financial and power interests. It took decades to gain an enviable reputation, all as dust in a but a few short years.
      It will not end well…

  4. BBC Newsnight.

    Kirsty Wark leading a debate which includes a representative of the Daily Mirror bemoaning the lack of truth in politics, politicians and the big bad unregulated internet. They are very good at this type of thing, where by default, viewers are led to assume that the broadcasters like the BBC and the newspapers tell the truth because they are regulated. It is everyone else that cannot be trusted. What a joke.

    What a brass neck the BBC has. They are the biggest liars and pushers of propaganda anywhere.

    • Journalists in the 21st Century refuse to accept the uncomfortable truth that with the advent of mass communication, where only a diminishing few get their information, comments, and world view from buying a Dead Tree Scroll and reading their pearls of wisdom, that many of the rest of us can actually string a few words together, and hold down a real job at the same time, and through the wonders of the internet reach a far wider, younger audience than they.

      Cubby, that Newsnight begins any debate on truth on the assumption that hacks and tele presenters are Hyperions of truth, the champions of the downtrodden, who hold some sort of lofty moral position in society, way above the clackers on the net, and bloggers, indicates how out of touch with reality this cocooned wee sect really are.

      The trouble at the Herald and Scotsman, I believe the NUJ have called a strike over ‘downsizing’ tomorrow, still hasn’t made the Hacks stop and think.
      Who are my audience? The Readers, or the US or London billionaire who owns my Blah?

      They knew what they were doing when they ignored us, and facilitated the spread of lies, threats and derision during Indyref 1, and a mere cursory glance at the online Blahs today, confirm what we already knew: they are to a man and woman Brit Nat apologists, a Fourth Estate Fifth Column.
      I used to joke that there were only so many vacancies selling Advertising Space on the Findo Gask Thunderer.
      Now it isn’t even funny.
      They are killing themselves.

      I couldn’t even be bothered tuning in to the Hon Sarah Smith’s Debate Farce tonight.
      Leonard, Rennie, and Jackson are quite simply not fit to administer my country, Scotland.
      But that doesn’t stop the hacks and broadcasters giving them unbridled coverage and support.

      Most journalists have no experience of life outside the Copy Room.
      Some of them have never done a day’s real work in their lives.
      Soon, some may have to face up to the reality of unemployment, and retraining for work away from a keyboard.
      What did they expect? Scotland is Shite doesn’t sell newspapers.

      • Corbyn in Glasgow trying to sell Glasgow is shite. Vote for me – Jeremy from Islington, London says – to continue the Britnat Westminster rule that created Glasgow is shite in the first place. Glasgow is shite he says on his visit to Glasgow and he expects people to vote Labour. They have learned nothing. Who the hell still votes British Labour in Scotland. Not Tom Harris ex Labour MP – now voting Tory he says. Tells you all you need to know about the red Tory party.

        The only thing that is shite is the UK and their minions in the media.

  5. The Press are leading to their own demise, especially in Scotland. Most are up to their eyes in debt. Continual reconstructed debt. Non Dom tax evading owners. No one believes a word of the biased rubbish. The websites are covered in annoying advertising. The content can’t even be read if anyone can be bothered or wants to read it. Supposed Indy supporting websites are now full of rubbish,

    Call Kaye now getting called out along with all the rest of them biased at the BBC. No one watches it any more or the rest of the MSM Sky is just a joke. Murdoch the criminal got away with £30Billion. Supporting illegal wars, financial fraud and tax evasion. The reason for Brexit. The EU is tightening up tax evasion laws,

    The UK EU contribution does not even cover the cost of the migration crisis after bombing the Middle East to bits and displacing millions of people. Other European countries have to bear the burden, cost and sort out the Westminster unionist mess.

    Despite everything the SNP keep on winning. Thanks to the internet where people exchange information. The truth will out. There should hopefully be an increased victory tomorrow. Thanks to people’s efforts.

    There is no point in having an IndyRef until it can be won. Stop Brexit and then another IndyRef soon. Support increasing all the time.

    Scotland is going it’s own way in any case with Devolution 2000. Scotland has come a long way in 20 years. Changed for the better. The best is yet to come. Massive development for the better, despite the biased Press and BBC.

  6. Can you imagine the feeding frenzy we would be witnessing if that poor wee laddie had been lying on the floor of the Southern General? It would be nothing to do with phones in pockets, or alleged punches…

  7. From another part of the World.
    The people of Bougainville, an island group in Papua New Guinea, have voted overwhelmingly for independence.

    Voters had two options – more autonomy, or full independence. Of the 181,000 ballots, almost 98% were in favour of independence.

    The referendum was approved by the Papua New Guinea government, but the result is non-binding.

    Nevertheless, the landslide victory will put pressure on PNG to grant Bougainville independence.

    The islands have a population of around 300,000, and 206,731 people enrolled to vote in the referendum.

    In total, 181,067 ballots were cast. Of those:

    176,928 voted for independence
    3,043 voted for greater autonomy
    1,096 were classed as informal, or void.

    The results were announced in the town of Buka by former Irish Prime Minister Bertie Ahern, the chairman of the Bougainville Referendum Commission.

    Buried deep in the internet not news for Scotland before the GE.
    These are a people who have been stripped of their copper and gold by the big mineral companies in licensing agreements with PNG.
    Wake up Scotland, vote for independence first.

  8. It does take your breath away.

    Yet there are people out there who knowingly vote for this idiocy. They’ve been made to accept that deceit is the norm. Didn’t take much. Merely the removal of anything that resembles empathy, charity, mercy or conscience. Replace those traits with greed, ignorance, arrogance, self entitlement (or any mix of same …) and Bob’s your wossiname. You’re a fully paid up member of the ‘in crowd’. A political class wet dream of how a proper society should work. Which is to say, it should serve them, their needs and their aspirations. Their… GoT without the laffs and the bantz.

    All they needed to do was convince people to accept the unacceptable.

  9. BBC Scotland’s fact check Aye ok , first on the list Nicola said 75% of Scotland’s Electricity comes from renewables, it’s actually 76.3%
    -Answer This is True
    BUT-
    BUT-
    -BUT-
    BUT- and thats the f/kn problem every single item of anything that looks like reasonably good news that the Scottish Government does has the inserted word ” BUT ” every bloody time .

  10. Question – anyone caught sight of or came across the much heralded REBUTTAL UNIT has it been hijacked ? or being held hostage because it appears to have sunk without trace .

  11. Robert did you look at the other onionistas.
    No BUTTs after their stuff just deliberate confusion, try carless jackasses contribution on the economy.
    We’re out of austerity with omong the best growth performances, they then mix up UK performance with the AVERAGE EU performance.
    This is deliberate in my opinion.
    Bus driver rennie’s was the data didn’t go back as far as he stated but it was true.
    Much like the insurance companies performances start after the Titanic sunk.

    • Dave I was tempted to call KAY and ask if she could confirm the her comments regarding her hatred for all Nationalists but it seems the management feel they need to answer on behalf of their prized presenter .

      I hope every SNP spokesperson on election night rips right into the BBC and STV make it personal go for their presenters what have they to lose voting is over make sure the public find out what most Indy supporters know .

  12. Jeremy Corbyn’s words in Glasgow:

    “This city of Glasgow which has some of the poorest people in the United Kingdom. Which has wards that contain the lowest life expectancy anywhere across the country. They need an end to austerity. ”

    What they need is an end to the UK. British Nationalists do nothing for Scotland. In fact they hold Scotland back and send Scots to an early grave.

    His words are hardly an advert for the UK. If this is the best the Union can do after 312 years it’s time to end this UK Union. Glasgow voted YES in 2014 – no wonder – Corbyns own words condemn this U.K Union that may be good for some people in Glasgow like the BBC but is just not acceptable.

    Vote SNP and then vote YES.

    • Cubby I guess memory lapse can be an advantage sometimes given it’s only recently Labour got their arses kicked out of running the Council , and his shop steward pal is responsible for landing the poor folk of Glasgow with a eye watering bill for the 10 years they spent fighting a lost cause , aye a bad memory comes in handy .Good auld Labour .

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