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Hold up! Before you read on, please read this...

This post was published more than 14 years ago

I keep old posts on the site because I often enjoy reading old content on other people's sites. It can be interesting to see how views have changed over time: for example, how my strident teenage views have, to put it mildly, mellowed.

I'm not a believer in brushing the past under the carpet. I've written some offensive rubbish on here in the past: deleting it and pretending it never happened doesn't change that. I hope that stumbling across something that's 14 years old won't offend anyone anew, because I hope that people can understand that what I thought and felt and wrote about then is probably very different to what I think and feel and wrote about now. It's a relic of an (albeit recent) bygone era.

So, given the age of this post, please bear in mind:

  • My views may well have changed in the last 14 years. I have written some very silly things over the years, many of which I find utterly cringeworthy today.
  • This post might use words or language in ways which I would now consider highly inappropriate, offensive, embarrassing, or all three.
  • Factual information might be outdated.
  • Links might be broken, and embedded material might not appear properly.

Okay. Consider yourself duly warned. Read on...

I said I’d love FactCheck. Talk about multiple lies from the Labour party:

I notice that the Conservatives are offering £50 a week to help with childcare. A couple of months ago they were getting headlines for offering £150 a week, so there has already been a huge cut in the help they are offering families for childcare

So said Patricia Hewitt on Breakfast. The only problem being that the Conservatives never promised £150 in the first place. So does our Trade and Industry Secretary walk off with her tail between her legs. Erm, not exactly…

In November, the Tory offer was £150 a week to mothers to stay at home. Today we learn that the Tories have backtracked on this and will only offer £50 a week. It is clear the Tories cannot afford the £150 a week because of their commitment to cut £35bn from public spending

That was Alan “I’ll do anything to win” Milburn, writing in The Grauniad. As much as Labour would like it otherwise, repeating a lie does not suddenly make it true. But you’ve got to give them credit for perseverence:

At a press conference after her BBC appearance on Easter Monday, Ms Hewitt was challenged about the claim by a journalist who accused her of mixing up maternity pay and childcare allowances. The female reporter said: “You have said the Tories have obviously cut their pledge on childcare. They have not. That is a cheap shot as far as I can see.”

But Ms Hewitt refused to admit she was wrong.

She said: “If you go back to the headlines at the time of the Conservative briefing a couple of months ago, what you will see is very clear headlines, that they persuaded people to write, saying £150 a week for childcare – that has now come down to £50 a week for childcare.”

But, you see, FactCheck did go back to the headlines at the time of the Conservative briefing:

FactCheck went back to the press cuttings relating to the Tory proposals in November and the coverage made it very clear the £150 payment related to maternity pay and not help with childcare costs.

So she’s trying to weasel her way out of blatant lying by – erm – lying some more. Go Pat!

The official party response to this much-repeated lie?

We would accept that after they [the Conservatives] had done their press conference that particular claim is not something that we are going to continue to make. We will not continue to make that claim

So they’re not going to admit they were wrong, nor apologise for lying. But then, what more could we expect from Labour?

This 460th post was filed under: Election 2005.

Some recently published posts

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Some random old posts

Review: Confessions of a Male Nurse by Michael Alexander / May 2013, 5 minutes long

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Fantastic Insight on the Iran Nuclear Crisis / February 2006, Less than a minute long

The A-Level Debate / August 2005, 6 minutes long


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