Tuesday, 1 January 2013
Before I started campaigning, I was under the naive impression that politicians were not allowed to mislead parliament.
I thought there were very serious penalties.
It turns out, there were no penalties at all. The government can say what they like, lie through their teeth, invent statistics, and no-one can stop them. Not one Prime Minister since the middle of the 17th Century has been disciplined for misleading the Houses.
Today, we see Iain Duncan-Smith lying about Tax Credits here
It isn't a casual fib or a slight distortion, it's an out and out lie. At least we ought to call it by its real name. He claims that Tax credits rose by 58% under Labour when the actual figure is 8%
A twitter friend reminded me of this lie too and it occurred to me, perhaps we should collate all the lies here in the comment thread below? If we can put together a comprehensive list, I will print them all out and send them to John Bercow (speaker of the House of Commons) and the parliamentary standards commissioner. In the past, our complaints have been ignored and fobbed off, but if the evidence we collect is unarguable, surely something could be done?
If you remember any particularly misleading claims, could I ask you to post the link below, preferably with a Full Fact or Fact Check analysis and a very short precis of what the article is about? Any lies relating to welfare will be helpful, whether from of IDS, Grayling, Miller or Freud (obviously any others you think are relevant too.)
If nothing else, this blog will act as a record for future historians.
Those of your who often ask what you can do to help, here's a nice, simple little research project that could have a big impact.
Happy New Year to all of you and let's resolve today, on 1st January, that this lying stops.