How to distort “news”

The Daily Mail is a low-down, dishonest, corrupting Tory rag — and needs constantly to be exposed for that. Fortunately, the Mail itself does so on a daily basis. Its whole existence is predicated to the Big Lie:

… the broad masses of a nation are always more easily corrupted in the deeper strata of their emotional nature than consciously or voluntarily; and thus in the primitive simplicity of their minds they more readily fall victims to the big lie than the small lie, since they themselves often tell small lies in little matters but would be ashamed to resort to large-scale falsehoods. It would never come into their heads to fabricate colossal untruths, and they would not believe that others could have the impudence to distort the truth so infamously. Even though the facts which prove this to be so may be brought clearly to their minds, they will still doubt and waver and will continue to think that there may be some other explanation. For the grossly impudent lie always leaves traces behind it, even after it has been nailed down, a fact which is known to all expert liars in this world and to all who conspire together in the art of lying.

Malcolm deliberately disguises the source of that quotation, lest it fall foul of Godwin’s Law.

Today’s front page is a magnificent example of the Big Lie:

The essence of the Mail piece is:

Prescott loses police commissioner poll in his own back yard of Hull to a TORY

Except the election wasn’t just for Hull: it was for the whole Humberside Constabulary area. Here is the difference:

The political complexion, as of 2010, of the parliamentary constituencies of Humberside looks very skewed:

Ten constituencies, five Tory, five Labour, which might seem an even balance. The County seats all Tory: the Borough seats tending Labour, as one might expect. A closer look at the numbers suggests the Humberside area is safe Tory country: David Davis’s Haltemprice and Howden is regarded as the second safest Tory constituency in Britain, and has never deviated from that loyalty since 1837.

Add up the 2010 results and we have 40.8% Tory, 34.2% Labour and 25% Lib Dem:

Now consider Thursday’s results of the Police and Crime Commissioner election (though Malcolm never did get the hang of how to ‘commission’ crime):

Accepting that Prescott lost on the Second Round (39,933 to 42,164 or a 48.6/51.4% two-party split), on that first count:

  • Prescott caned the Tory — it is, in crude terms, a four or five per cent swing (and it has to be accepted that the “county” types turned out far, far better than the urbanites);
  • the Tory vote went AWOL, barely squeaking in ahead of the independent — even the egregious Godfrey Bloom (surely one of the more disreputable and bizarre UKIP types, which itself is saying something) splitting off a sixth of the total poll;
  • the Tory candidate was only rescued — just — on that second round by rolling up the odds-and-sods vote: those 19,375 who did express a second preference split for the Tory 2:1;
  • the Lib Dems were totally creamed: even proportionately, more than a third of their vote evaporated.

For the record, Paul Davison — who ran that close third —  is an ex-Police Superintendent, and probably the best qualified of all the candidates.

The real determinant was tthe total failure of second preference transfers (which, as every aficionado of Irish politics knows, is key to the whole operation). Only 27% of the odds-and-sods ballots bothered to make a second preference. That is either a failure of voter education or a clear statement by a majority to vote “neither of the above”. 51,665 second preferences did not go for either the Labour or the Tory in the final run-off — which amounts to an absolute majority of those who turned out. We should not forget the “alternative vote” was the preferred option in the Great Constitutional Débâcle of 5th May 2011. If we needed concrete evidence that AV is a sham, and no substitute for proper proportional representation, here is the concrete evidence.

Yet the Daily Mail says it was all about Prescott, and the Daily Mail is a dishonourable rag.

And the Daily Mail says it was all about the city of Hull, and nothing to do with the other lands north and south of the estuary, and, for sure, the Daily Mail is a dishonourable lie-sheet.

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Filed under BBC, Britain, broken society, civil rights, crime, Daily Mail, democracy, Elections, Fascists, human waste, Ireland, Labour Party, Law, Lib Dems, policing, politics, Tories., UKIP

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