Thursday’s ‘The Wright Stuff‘ on channel Five featured Class A numpty and former Conservative Party Parliamentary candidate Dr David Bull (see video – for readability best viewed in full screen mode) talking about Wednesday’s Tory created media storm in response to accusations by the UN‘s Special Rapporteur, Raquel Rolnik, that the ‘Bedroom Tax’ may be breaching UK citizens human rights.
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Video © Channel 5 / Viacom / BBC
As you will read if you watch the video, each and every accusation against Rolnik that Conservative Party Chairman, Grant Shapps (and his mouthpiece on The Wright Stuff) makes is simply unfounded nonsense verging on simple schoolyard abuse (“She’s a little mad” crows Dr Bull as he reads through Shapps‘ list of false accusations). It would appear that, for all of Lynton Crosby‘s much trumpeted political PR nous, his two primary strategies for dealing with this ‘crisis’ are as old as the PR game itself.
“A lie can travel halfway around the world while the truth is putting on its shoes“
The key here is to flood the media with misrepresentations of the ‘facts’ before the opponent’s message can be understood and accepted by the public. Thus from dawn to dusk Shapps, Nadhim Zahawi (a favourite ‘attack dog’ of Crosby’s although ‘mad puppy’ might be a more appropriate epithet) and others were rolled out in a misguided attempt to counter the key accusation made by the UN against the so called ‘bedroom tax’ – that the policy was incompatible with UK citizens right to adequate accommodation and should be abolished. Nonetheless, if Dr Bull had bothered to do his own research into what Ms Rolnik’s response to Shapps’ ridiculous accusations was by, say, watching the news on Wednesday or reading about the issue in a non-partisan newspaper or online he might have discovered the facts and stopped himself from spouting off eponymously. He would, I’m sure, have particularly enjoyed watching his erstwhile colleague Zahawi stumble and fumble his way through an interview on Channel 4 news.
Zahawi had, one assumes, taken to heart the reports he was reading in the right-wing media that Ms Rolnik was “loopy” or as Guido Fawkes would have it a “loony”. What other explanation can there be for his obvious lack of preparation and, as a consequence, the ‘bitch slapping’ that he suffered at the hands of the deceptively ‘eccentric’ Special Rapporteur? If Zahawi took his instructions from Lynton Crosby (David Cameron’s and the tobacco/private health care lobbies favourite lobbyist) seriously, he would have acquainted himself with the detailed facts rather than using the (wholly incorrect) Daily Mail for a cheat sheet of points to use in the debate.
Whatever the reason, for the rest of us mere observers of the shocking misrepresentations and deceptions of this government (and I am not someone who believes that Labour would spin any less abusively) this is just another example of Crosby’s, and therefore our government’s, shameless second line of defence:
“attack is the best form of defence”
In this case, the combination of Daily Mail (and other right-wing opinion sheet) headlines and the boggle eyed Grant Shapps / Zahawi combo just didn’t cut it.
If you’re reading this blog, you are probably not a DMB (Daily Mail Brit – see earlier posts for a definition) and that means that you are not the sort of person that would assume that someone is mentally unstable and has nothing important to impart because she has a foreign accent and 1980’s Buggles style pink glasses. It also, probably, means that you are the sort of person that would be outraged by the UN finding reasons to argue that the UK’s disabled community might be suffering from an infringement of their human right to adequate accommodation. Righteously outraged, but not at Raquel Rolnik; outraged at our own government’s disdain for its citizens.
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