Thursday, January 20, 2011

Labour blogger compares coalition to Pol Pot

Consider the following statement:
This is the most destructive administration since Pol Pot. It isn’t killing professionals and the middle classes, but it is so damaging their lives and the chances of their children that it’s the British equivalent to wholesale slaughter.
What's remarkable is that this is not the nocturnal internet rantings of an unbalanced mind, but it appears in a bona fide article on the Labour uncut website, written by a former political editor at the Mirror Group.

To compare the Coalition to a brutal regime, one of the worst ever, which murdered professionals, banned religion and technology and tortured and executed people for knowing a foreign language or wearing spectacles is clearly outrageous. That sort of obviously inflammatory and inaccurate language demeans the writer mostly, though, Unfortunately, Labour scaremongering often needlessly frightens the people they say are trying to protect.

I wrote yesterday about how Labour in Fife worried people who were never ever going to be charged for home care services. Recently we've seen Labour people tell young people that if they're poor they won't be able to stay on at school or go to university. That is such complete nonsense and may well become a self fulfilling prophecy if we're not careful. There are plenty other examples, as I have written before.

I was struck by this exchange on Twitter last night between Liberal Youth's Chris Wiggin and Party President Tim Farron.

Chris said:
Some of the scaremongering coming from the left is quite frankly sickening
Tim replied, with his customary subtlety:
 they aren't the left, they are mostly newlabour careerist drones who have spent the last decade loved up with Bush and Murdoch
The reason I found out about the Pol Pot article was by reading Mr Doctor Chocoholic's post over at Liberal Democrat Voice about yet more Labour inspired misrepresentation and scaremongering. The Doctor cites an article by Dennis MacShane, former Labour minister who was Labour MP for Rotherham from 1994 until 3 short months ago when he had the whip withdrawn when the Police took an interest in his expenses. He basically said that the Government was removing consultation on new constituency boundaries, which is wrong.

I think that it would be a sensible precaution to take anything said by the Labour party, or anyone associated with it, with a large pinch of salt. The problem is that some of their nonsense is almost becoming accepted truth. As Liberal Democrats, we have to be much wiser and sharper about rebutting their inaccurate statements as and when we find them.


Paul Johnston said...

The thought that goes through my head on reading the Labour blog is that it is out of control hyperbole.

I think I can understand how that happens in the writers deepening responses to the political situation. The writer is very involved and is losing the plot. Losing reason.

It says more about the writer than they say about the reality.

But what of the reaction? My concern is also about a response. You said:

“I think that it would be a sensible precaution to take anything said by the Labour party, or anyone associated with it, with a large pinch of salt.”

That risks driving yourself into the position that is 'them and us', tribal, destructive of political discourse and in the long run unsustainable.

I know people in the Labour Party, Tories and SNP who I can understand, trust and debate with. I understand that I filter the information but I would never say that 'anything' by 'anyone associated with it' (Labour) should be intrinsically distrusted because of the growing hyperbole amongst the frustrated,
angry, insecure, emasculated, rudderless and soured culture of its leading adherents.

Personally I would rebuke that daft person saying the OTT stuff – and condemn the cultural trend in Labour to allow such hyperbole. But I think the blanket response of all supporting Labour (or Tories or SNP) should be avoided if – as I think – it does not stand up to the facts that there are still these same rational people in other parties which we can still work with in civil society in the future.

Peace and blessings – and I apologise for getting too philosophically pedantic. ;-)

Dan Falchikov said...

Well seeing as he starts off by talking about self immolation, I'd let them get on with it.

I'm sure the Mirror's private health insurance poicy for their employees would look after the funerals and there'd be no cost to the tax payer...

KelvinKid said...

I do not like this post one bit Caron. Ok, so the post is lunatic. Most sane individuals left and right would take it as so. To go from that to demonising everything the Labour Party says is in my view just as irresponsible.

Unknown said...

Paul, I see what you're saying, and I know there are good people in the Labour party, as there are within most parties. I've said so many times on here. I have, though, cited many examples, which have become the norm from today's Labour Party, which could actually cause harm and worry and distress.

I will question the hyperbole that they keep putting out on so many issues and I do feel that they have really weakened their own credibility by sanctioning this nonsense.

KK, when the Labour Party shows it's worthy of being taken seriously, then I shall take it seriously. Until then, as far as I am concerned, I think it's quite sensible to assume everything they come out with is bollocks until proven otherwise.

Dan - naughty and juvenile comment, but it made me laugh.

Dan Falchikov said...

Glad to be of service maam!

Dan Falchikov said...

Glad to be of service ma'am!

KelvinKid said...

So, let me get this right. Because someone on a blog not controlled by the Labour Party makes an over-the-top remark you are not going to listen to any Labour criticism until they are 'worthy of being taken seriously'. Why should I take that position seriously?

Unknown said...

No, KK, because the Labour Party have, from the moment the coalition was formed, with virtually every utterance talked utter scaremongering nonsense on just about every subject.

Their sensible pronouncements have been few and far between.

This example by a Labour blogger who used to be a serious journalist is just the tip of a mammoth iceberg and I've given a fair few other examples of other drivel they've come out with, too.

There's a difference between robust argument and telling people they are going to lose out when they actually aren't, or over-egging how bad it's going to be. Those people get very worried and it's not fair on them.

KelvinKid said...

Caron, you are simply being disingenuous. There has been as much spin coming out of Cowley Street. You're in grave danger of becoming an establishment flack.

Unknown said...

KK, I think the real Establishment would be horrified at the idea that I was one of them.

I don't think that they would have appreciated what I've said on benefits, Megrahi, Nicola Sturgeon, minimum alcohol pricing and a fair few other things.

I have spent quarter of a century fighting a Labour Party that has an arrogant sense of entitlement to power. They have personally hurt people I care about and I will call them when I see them do wrong.


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