I was brought up to believe that the worst thing you could ever call anybody was a liar. Even when they clearly were. Even when it was Iain Duncan Smith. But (I'm sorry, Mum) I have to say it. Esther McVey lied today in the Mail and the Express. Since the quote is the same in both I have to assume that it's her lie, not the papers'. "‘I meet with thousands of young people a year and they all say the negative picture painted by opposition politicians about young people and their bleak future has a very negative effect on them."
You can imagine it. She's got a captive audience of unemployed kids in a jobcentre or somewhere, and every single one of them says, "Well, it's Labour telling us how bad things are, and there's no future."
You may say it was just exaggeration. But what about the substance of this mendacious piece? Try the Mail's lengthy version. Count the number of assertions which are simply not true. The Express resorts to quoting the Mail, but at least it gives Rachel Reeves the chance to describe the comments as "pathetic".
We could dismiss all this as tripe, and rather desperate tripe at that, were it not for a piece on the Huffington Post site which makes it look like part of a concerted effort directed by Lynton Crosby, the Tories' campaign guru. We heard this week that self-employment is at its highest level since records began, and that of the 1.1 million people who have started a job since January 2008, two thirds are self-employed. (The figures are on the BBC news site.) Over the last year it's over half of new "jobs". But all is wonderful according to scary Tory MP Matthew (call me Matt) Hancock. "There are more jobs available than ever before in this country, the vast majority of the jobs are full-time contracts of employment, and there has also been a very strong growth in self-employment. " [my italics] This is simply not true. The article gives plenty of space to voices refuting Hancock's claims.
But it seems that the tactic is simple. Get out there and lie. Blame Labour. Deny the figures. Just lie.