Wednesday, 29 June 2011

And another thing...PCC says the Chancellor lied for #No2AV

The Press Complaint committee has upheld two complaints from Electoral Reform Services Ltd that the Chancellor George Osborne, as reported in the Daily Fail and the paper that shall not be named, LIED (OK the language used is that he was wrong) about the use of machines and that Electoral Reform Services Ltd would benefit from a Yes vote on 5th May.

Of course the whole issue of cost was a central tenet of the No2AV teams campaign. It was their opening batsmen, their leading goal scorer, their Oscar winning script, all rolled into one. Of course referendum communication we learnt during the campaign are not held by the Advertising Standards Agency code of conduct. But the PCC has found that the Chancellor has told untruths to fight this campaign, he may argue that he was merely echoing the statement from the No campaign. But if that was based on such a falsehood surely the Chancellor should have been more careful about what he said.

As I've pointed out before, such a breach by the Chancellor of the Treasury's own advice may actually be in breach of the ministerial code. While the PM take action against so senior a member who has broken the code. He restricted the role of the Business Secretary over the BSkyB takeover, about to take place tomorrow apparently, because he said publicly that he wasn't about to bow the knee to the mighty Murdoch. Yet his Chancellor has bowed the knee to the head of the Tax Payer's Alliance and their usual tactics to spread falsehood for political self preservation.

The only part of Westminster voting reform that was up to the public was the voting system, the Conservatives had already secured a reduction in the number of members which favoured them unfairly under the current system and required a change in voting system to provide a check and balance.

Well done George mission accomplished on that one, though it's hardly cricket. More Eton Wall Game. Oops did I spot that.

1 comment:

  1. * That both sides should be required, and fully funded with parity, to send a booklet mailshot on their position to every household in the country that is voting. This surely was established constitutionally as a precedent for a campaign's fair parity, by the referendum in 1975 when the government arranged for these 2 mailshots to happen.

    * That any factual claim made by one side's campaign about the other's position, the other campaign should be entitled to an equal scale of distribution to voters, in all ways, of their answer to the claims, as the original claim attained.

    * That if, either during polling hours or after them, the winning side lets it be known, either voluntarily or by an admission under questioning, that one of the factual claims made in their campaign, against the other side's position, had been false, then the result should not stand as valid.

    These are principles for a fair referendum, that I lobbied to my MSPs given the referendum now coming up in Scotland. Sarah Boyack, who was Labour Yes, endorsed these being good points to share with the Electoral Commn.

    The more we campaign this towards the standards of any future referendum campaigns, the harder it will be to defend what happend in the AV one.