THE ‘fake news’ media — or as Donald Trump would call it, ‘the fake and fraudulent news media’ — has come in for a hard time recently.
It’s a handy term to fling at news organisations that have the audacity to peddle information that does not suit your particular bias. No wonder certain politicians have merrily adopted the phrase to undermine the pesky media with their uncomfortable stories.
But I want to talk for a moment about politicians who have — ahem — a loose relationship with the facts themselves.
Remember when Theresa May insisted she would not call an election? Or the U-turn on social care was not actually a U-turn?
‘Nothing has changed’, the prime minister insisted, when that was patently not the case.
Or how about when Jeremy Corbyn claimed ‘fewer working class young people are applying to university’ at an anti-austerity protest? I’ve searched for stats to back this up but can’t find them. The figures tell a different story.
According to Ucas, the number and rate of 18-year-olds living in the most disadvantaged areas in the UK applying to university has been rising.
The rate of young people on free school meals going on to study at universities is also on the up.
Politicians of all parties are also dancing on the head of a pin when it comes to Brexit. We are in the sunny uplands of being promised the best possible, tariff-free access to the single market without free movement of people.
Control over immigration and free trade with the EU — what’s not to like?
It’s another example of politicians being economical with the truth. Tough decisions are ahead. MPs should be more honest about the choices we face — even when the facts don’t always go their way.
Europe finds it ‘b****y difficult’ to like May
MORE bad news for Theresa May as she prepares for crucial Brexit talks — the British prime minister is unpopular across Europe.
She had a negative rating in every one of seven nations represented in a YouGov poll of 8,000 people. The only crumb of comfort is that she is more popular than Donald Trump and Vladimir Putin.
At least her ‘bloody difficult woman’ message is getting through…
Make pay freeze history, teacher told member of PM’s inner circle
DESPITE Theresa May’s defence of austerity this week, it’s a matter of when not if the public sector pay cap is lifted.
Disquiet is growing among Tory backbenchers and many of the more influential thinkers around Mrs May are convinced something needs to be done.
Gavin Barwell, her chief of staff who lost his seat at the election, recalls a teacher who voted for him in 2010 and 2015 telling him: ‘I understand the need for a pay freeze for a few years to deal with the deficit but you’re now asking for that to go on potentially for ten or 11 years and that’s too much.’
Lifting the cap is a done deal, someone just needs to tell chancellor Philip Hammond.
Demands of Westminster life are child’s play to Luciana
PITY Luciana Berger, Labour’s MP for Liverpool Wavertree.
Most new mums have enough to deal with — sleepless nights, endless nappy changes and trying to work a breast pump.
But nine weeks after giving birth, Ms Berger was out on the campaign trail thanks to the unexpected General Election.
‘It’s fair to say this is not how I expected to be spending my maternity leave,’ she said at the time. After holding her seat, she might have hoped to spend some time with her little girl.
However Momentum activists have another plan. The pro-Corbyn group have won nine out of ten seats on the local branch committee and are now demanding Berger apologise for not supporting him in the past.
‘Luciana needs to get on board quite quickly now,’ said one. I’m sure she’ll have plenty of time to do that between the night feeds.
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