Lies, Damn Lies & Lambeth Labour Lies

False information in election leaflets is an issue that is not only making headlines nationally. Here in Lambeth and the local Labour party is publishing literature in Herne Hill that is quite frankly, a pack of lies.

With two sitting @LambethLabour Councillors, and one Green party Councillor, SE24 has become something of a political battleground as the borough decides who will govern at Lambeth Town Hall.

@LambethLabour needs this lone Green seat to counteract the @LambethLibDems surge. The Greens meanwhile have recognised that their share of just under 37% of the vote in 2006, suggests that the electorate in Herne Hill is sympathetic to the Green message.

Ah yes – about that 36.7% share of the vote that the Greens managed to achieve back at the last local election. If you are in possession of an election leaflet put out by the much hyped #labourdoorstep team in Herne Hill, you could be forgiven for thinking that the Green’s fine performance four years ago was simply a political mirage.

Even keen to re-write political history, @LambethLabour has produced a highly misleading graph. Nu Labour feature (45%), as do the LibDems (40%) and even the Tories (15%) – the Greens are nowhere to be seen in the vision for Herne Hill, as fantasised by @LambethLabour.

Which is all a bit strange, seeing as though the @LambethLabour leaflet headlines states: “Two Horse Race in Herne Hill,” with the overt suggestion that a vote for the Greens is a meaningless vote.

Green Councillor Thackray was elected with more votes in 2006 than any of the @LambethLabour candidates. A whopping great big political lie is currently dropping through the letterboxes in Herne Hill.

I emailed Councillor Dickson, one of the current @LambethLabour Cllr’s for the ward, as well as the current Cabinet Member for Finance and Resources. With such a prestigious (and well paid) position, one would hope that the good Councillor has a fine head for figures:

“I am researching and writing a news story on the Labour election leaflets in Herne Hill. The Greens are taking issue with the claim that Labour has 45% of the vote, the Conservatives 40% and the LibDems 15%.

Please can you confirm where the figures came from, and why the Green vote of 36.7% at the last local election doesn’t appear in the leaflet.”

I appreciate that is must be a busy time for any local Councillor seeking re-election (especially so with the pesky Green vote of 36.7% giving you a bit of a headache…) – but no response from Councillor Dickson as yet.

Ever keen to find the missing 36.7% of the Green vote in Herne Hill, I turned instead to the political party that appears to have been whitewashed out of Lambeth politics.

John Hare

John Hare is one of the Green candidates for the Herne Hill ward. He very kindly agreed to give me his take on the misleading @LambethLabour leaflet, as well as look ahead, with hopefully a positive agenda for the borough.

As John admits in the audioboo below, the fabrication of the figures by @LambethLabour leaves his party in a tricky position when trying to convert the good people of Herne Hill to the Green cause.

To make an issue of the @LambethLabour lies is to possibly appear as mudslinging. It’s a difficult dilemma, and one that has wholly been created by the Nu Labour party in the borough, with the aim of making political capital out of the propaganda being published.

John was able to offer a response given from Councillor Dickson regarding the data that has appeared out of nowhere. @LambethLabour has told the Greens that the graph is:

“…an illustration of our view of the respective strengths of the three main national parties in this area.”

Which is Nu Labour speak for saying we simply made the figures up.

I was horrified to hear this. It is not illegal to tell lies in election literature. If @LambethLabour has admitted that false information has been published in the leaflets, what else is open to scrutiny?

The public consultation regarding the mutualisation of local government? The allegation that @LambethLibDems want to legalise kerb crawling? Free swimming for every resident?

John didn’t want to become embroiled in the whole seedy matter of @LambethLabour mudslinging, but to remain silent would be a betrayal of the electorate in Herne Hill. Vote Green, get Tories, appears to be the rally cry from @LambethLabour.

Um, not so

If the election results from 2006 are any indicator, vote Green, get rid of the Councillor who admits that the figures in a political leaflet have been made up, would seem more likely.

Listen!

Meanwhile I rather enjoyed my afternoon of tea and political chat with John Hare. The Green candidate was keen to put over the policies of his party, something that has been missing from @LambethLabour in Herne Hill.

John is a realist, not a liar. He recognises that the Greens won’t hold political power in Lambeth come May 7th, but he is hopeful of building upon the first Green seat won back in 2006.

With both Herne Hill and Brixton Hill being central to the Green campaign, John confirmed that if elected, the Green Councillors in Lambeth would refuse to enter into coalition with any political party. Voting and support (or lack of it) would be positioned in line with local Green policy.

I recognised John’s observation that Nu Labour in Lambeth is now nothing but an election fighting machine. I supported his observation that the role of the Greens in Lambeth is to be the conscience of @LambethLabour (even if I got my words a little tongue twisted at the end.)

So yeah, lies, damn lies and @LambethLabour lies. And we didn’t even get round to talking about Lambeth Life

7 thoughts on “Lies, Damn Lies & Lambeth Labour Lies

  1. Incredible – thanks for this Jason. Eye-opening, to say the least. And another reason why I for one will not be voting Labour in the local election this time round.

  2. The Tories in the ward where I’m standing for the Greens, Peninsula (in Greenwich borough) tried that trick, by citing 2008 mayoral election stats instead of their showing in the comparable council election in 2006. Erm…

  3. They’ve done a similar trick in Chuka Umunna’s latest leaflet, which show the LibDems in a clear third place – and I can’t see any recent election with those percentages

  4. Welcome to the wonderful world of Lambeth Labour lies – Dr Goebbels would have been proud of them. While the Greens have been hit with these completely invented voting intention figures, Labour (and the Tories too) have been doing the same to the Lib Dems throughout this campaign – and before.

    But even that’s fairly mild compared with some of Labour’s foul and dishonest campaigning elsewhere in Lambeth. Take the defamatory and untrue allegations about the local LibDems “campaigning” to legalise kerb crawling. There’s not a shred of truth in this, no Lib Dem said anything about legalising kerb crawling, or even kerb crawling for that matter, but Labour have been spreading this malicious lie about for at least a year, they even put it in their manifesto. Chuka Umunna, the Labour parliamentary candidate in Streatham, has been at it, too. And when it’s been denied they claim the Lib Dems are trying to “cover up” the campaign – a campaign which never existed in the first place.

    As for Dickson, he’s got form. How many know he was involved in the infamous Labour campaign document urging Labour candidates to “smear the Lib Dems”? The document was exposed in the “Red Pepper” magazine and reported in the Independent

    http://www.independent.co.uk/news/labour-urged-to-smear-lib-dems-1199983.html?cmp=ilc-n

    Among the advice to Labour candidates was to “find one flaw and smear them all”.

    The danger with this irresponsible and vicious behaviour is that it turns people off politics altogether so that the field is left open to people whose insidious influence brings local democracy into disrepute.

  5. A great post. As a newbie to the area I’d been learning about the state of play through party literature initially (a rather horrific little process) and wondered how many people without a strong political interest would be doing the same. Didn’t realise this situation until I read the Green leaflet on the back of the Two Horse Race flyer. Disgraceful stuff from Labour – such a shame that so many people will believe what they read.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *