Thursday, March 01, 2007

Letter to the editor: Labour spinning around again

Dear Editor

Could I just point out that only 15% of the electorate voted Labour in the recent Bensham Manor by election? Given that this is supposedly a safe Labour seat, it raises serious questions as to why Labour councillors continue to claim it as a great result – particularly at a time when the Tories are, indeed, cutting budgets.

In fact, I’d suggest their artificial merriment is merely part of yet another Labour Party spin campaign. It’s been 25 years since a Tory was elected in Bensham Manor. Yet, long before the official campaign got underway, Labour had decided to claim that their victory in Bensham Manor was a protest by the local electorate at the Conservative Council’s budget cuts. .

But why stop there? Why not produce truckloads of election material suggesting that a vote for any other party or not voting at all could let the Tories slip in. Then get Malcolm Wicks MP and Labour councillors to ring local people with the same message. Older residents of the area tell me they’ve never witnessed a campaign like it.

To top it all of why not send a media release to the BBC plus letters to the local paper predicting a huge Labour victory as a damning indictment of the Tories. (Conveniently omit the fact that Bensham Manor has been a safe Labour seat for donkey’s years, of course).

Then, on election night, carefully position every Labour guest and official by the BBC cameraman to whoop with joy and amazement when the unsurprising result is read out by the Returning Officer at the town hall. Encourage the BBC to speculate that the electorate has voted with its feet and shown their disgust at all the cuts.

And the spin still hasn’t ended. Just in case people realise what a dismal result it really was for Labour, why not blitz the local media with letters and statements reiterating the ‘great victory’ theme. After all, if they say it often enough, someone might believe it.

Sadly, all of this goes to show what a circus Labour has made of the democratic process. Rather than simply recognise that voters want real solutions to the problems they face, Labour continues to throw vast resources into denying reality then expect voters to believe them.

Yours sincerely

Shasha Khan
Croydon Green Party

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