Friday, 26 February 2010

Politicians Dish Out Rules For Us, But Refuse To Police Themselves

Gawain yesterday highlighted yet another instance of Lib Dem mendacity.

The Liberal Democrats in Watford have today apologised to the Watford Observer for publishing misleading information in their latest election campaign leaflet.

The leaflet, which was delivered to thousands of homes across the constituency last weekend, presents a quote attributed to the Watford Observer that stated: “The signs look good for the Lib Dems to topple Claire Ward.”

However, the quote was actually taken from a story in May 2007, when the quote was clearly attributed to the Mayor of Watford, Dorothy Thornhill, a Liberal Democrat.

It in no way reflects comment or opinion that has been expressed by the Watford Observer.
He is correct in saying that this does indeed come as no surprise. In fact, I touched on this subject back in May last year.

As the artist formerly known as Thunderdragon pointed out at the time ...

This leaflet for the EU elections on June 4th very much suggests that the electoral system for those elections is first-past-the-post rather than the actual proportional representation party list D’Hondt method approach. They reproduced the last Westminster election result rather than the last EU election one, which would have been far less favourable to them as in 2004 they got only one seat in the London region.
A local resident complained to the police about the matter but, as you'd expect, nothing came of it.

Why are we not surprised? Politicians have spent decades insuring themselves against any kind of meaningful censure. The expenses scandal comprehensively proved as much.

The rules they hand down to us are ruthlessly enforced without pity, while MPs who defraud the country to a much greater degree claim it's all just an innocent mistake.

They spew illiberal laws at us on a daily basis which restrict our lives to an astounding degree, but exempt themselves and their political chums when it suits.

They are so worried about the effect of advertising on our weak minds, that all manner of commercials are altered or denied for our own good. Even a 50 year old advert is banned in case we harm ourselves by eating an egg for breakfast.

Yet politicians of every party re-classify us all as deep-thinking intellectuals when it comes to election literature.

We are considered incapable of rational thought in the face of consumer advertising, but we're apparently all able to easily see through political leaflets which are riddled with cleverly disguised lies.

No party is whiter than white here. They have all been deliberately fraudulent at some point and don't want their little secrets exposed by as inconvenient an entity as a regulator. How else can one possibly view the fact that the only promotional material not heavily monitored and regulated are the leaflets thrust through our doors by political parties?

They are being observed, though, but not by anyone with any financial or regulatory clout. No. Politicians are happy to leave that job to a few ordinary citizens at The Straight Choice who have noticed that there is a very real problem.

There needs to be an on-line election leaflet project. And there is not one run by the Electoral Commission, a think tank, a regulated media organization, or a university, so it’s left to me and my friends to do it.
Politicians are busily looking at ways to increase the price of our drinks while they enjoy tax-subsidised bars. They interfere in every aspect of our lives because, according to them, we can't be trusted to make decisions for ourselves. They censor advertising because we aren't deemed intelligent enough to make our own decisions.

For all of the above they have committees, quangoes, civil servants, regulators, lobbyists, fake charities, enforcers and fines.

Yet for their own sly, and widespread, misdirection of the electorate, they have ... nothing.

Buying the wrong product on the back of false advertising may be annoying, but electing someone you are stuck with for 5 years, partly on the basis of sleight of hand and truth-bending, is potentially more damaging and a perversion of democracy.

Politicians love to hand down rules and directives for others, yet they seem reluctant to set up any kind of system of accountability for their own dishonest practices.

It's time these hideous hypocrites spent less time dictating to, and controlling, us - and more time on policing themselves.


Uncle Marvo said...

You do know that they think that they know all and we know fuck all, don't you?

They honestly think that we are all relatively stupid, compared to them.

Sadly, in the very high majority of cases, they're right.

Sam Duncan said...

“There needs to be an on-line election leaflet project. And there is not one run by the Electoral Commission, a think tank, a regulated media organization, or a university, so it’s left to me and my friends to do it.”

Of course, a libertarian could argue that this is how it should be. Although some of the independent think-tanks could get their fingers out...

Dick Puddlecote said...

That point did cross my mind, Sam. However, until such time as regulation is eased towards us, it's only correct that politicians should come under the same scrutiny.

Perhaps the reason they are so quick to inflict so many rules on us, is that they are free from such things themselves and therefore don't consider the irritation and hassle they are causing.

Anonymous said...

Why is it local pubs have to be closed at an alarming rate and there's no place left for good solid working class people to socialize, smoking having been banned, while at the same time in the Parliament's internal pub it's okay for them to meet, socialize and discuss while imbibing affordable drinks and taking in smoke to their hearts' delights?

Isn't that unfair - or no, that's absolutely defendible from their way of seeing things - them being rather special and of a better order.