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Media does influence

April 23, 2010

Nick Clegg has shown that keeping to the facts and being honest rattles the old guard

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Following the wake up call that Nick Clegg and the Liberal Democrats have given, it was no surprise that certain papers that support either Labour or the Tories, have started a smear campaign. The major one – so they thought – was the Telegraph’s attempt to suggest Clegg had accepted questionable donations.

Of course this is all unfounded and Nick has said all this is public domain and declared – there is no story here.

The Telegraph has not been the only paper to do this. The right wing Daily Mail devoted a whole feature to the so called ‘The great Liberal deception’, but as the Guardian points out if the Daily Mail has set its sights on Clegg he is doing something right.

However, as unfounded as their allegations are about the Liberal Democrats “would release 60,000 convicts”, this thought and others, including allowing serious offenders to vote (see Birmingham Post: Labour prints photos of serial killers next to Lib Dem candidate in…) have begun to circulate amongst the public and as alot of people get their politics from sound bites they read in the papers or hear from opposition MP’s, this is a trend that needs to be countered.

On Twitter I have watched many of these unfounded smears being circulated by Labour and Tory supporters, and watched and participated in a counter “intelligence” posting campaign, which includes countering the lies with the facts.

The Tories can claim that the papers have no influence and are not trying to sway the electorate, but when you remmeber just under a year ago the Murdoch owned Sun changed it’s support publically from red to blue, any one with a good bit of common sense will know the media does influence. This is how the majority of people are informed on their political points.

So my point being, we need to spend the time making sure to take the fight back – not with smear, as this is not what we as Liberal Democrats do, but with fighting falsehood with facts – if someone says that (and this includes Gordon Brown who oft repeated this on last nights debate) the Liberal Democrats will with their 10 year asylum amnesty, allow a flood of illegal immigrants who will be granted immediate citizenship – counter this with the facst, as Nick Clegg did – no this is not true, this is not an open door, this is a one off to deal with the swept under the carpet illegal immigrants ALREADY here.

The one thing I have seen that I have admired greatly about Nick Clegg is that he fights back with the facts and sticks to them, no matter how many times someone tries to twist and turn it – and that is our duty too. As campaigning is viral across the web, seek out those giving false information and show them facts – show them exactly what it says in the manifesto, grab the quote as it was said, not how it was twisted, source, research and counter.

They can smear all they like, they can pretend we don’t exist or we don’t matter – but we do, and the rest of the UK is waking up to this party as the viable party, the trusted party.

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2 Comments leave one →
  1. April 27, 2010 11:12 pm

    It is disingenuous to claim that any illegal immigrant amnesty will be a one-off. Experience in other countries suggests otherwise. Amnesties granted by the Italian and Spanish governments were followed by subsequent amnesties. And every time the number of illegal immigrants these amnesties applied to increased. In the US, the Reagan administration granted an amnesty that applied to three million illegal immigrants. Today, the number of illegal immigrants living in the US is somwhere between 12 and 20 million. Only a popular backlash stopped John McCain and Ted Kennedy from pushing another amnesty through Congress in 2007.

    Amnesties don’t seem to stop further illegal immigration, so it is plausible that ten or fifteen years after an original amnesty, there will be another 500,000 illegal immigrants in Britain. And another amnesty will no doubt be proposed. The same old excuses will be made. It will be said that it is impossible to remove such people from the country, and that it would be inhumane and a human rights crime to remove them if it was possible. And so on.

    • April 28, 2010 3:55 pm

      Sorry but it is not true to suggest the Liberal Democrats are going to be soft on immigration.

      An amnesty is only for those here 10 years – isn;t it better we get these people paying tax and into society? I mean do you really think we can kick them all out – especially when Labour have done a very bad job of keeping the figures on who has got in.

      Let me also put you onto a piece of information you need to be aware of – the Liberal Democrats are looking to be firm but fair and shore up the defense of our borders by giving the proper powers to those who are there to enforce those rules:

      http://www.libdems.org.uk/immigration_and_asylum.aspx

      Years of incompetence, and failure to plan for the effects of unprecedented immigration, has led to a crisis of public confidence that threatens Britain’s historically liberal approach to immigration. We must recognise that we can only secure the substantial economic and cultural benefits of a liberal immigration policy if we make the effort to plan for the impact and consequences of that policy. But since the Tories and Labour abolished exit checks in the 1990s, we have no way of knowing how many illegal immigrants live here.

      Liberal Democrats want an immigration system that works. A system that is firm but fair, which plans for the effects of managed legal migration and promotes integration. We believe in the benefits that immigration has brought this country but we do not believe our borders should be a soft touch.

      Liberal Democrats would take control of our borders and immediately reintroduce entry and exit checks. Our National Border Force would have the power of arrest. We will bring unscrupulous employers and people traffickers to justice. We will offer families who have been here for years and want to pay taxes a route to citizenship, provided they want to work, speak English and want to commit to the UK in the long term. We would also introduce a Regional Points-Based Immigration System to ensure that immigration is targeted on areas that are under-populated and want more immigration, like Scotland.

      We will make the asylum system, for those fleeing real persecution, fairer by taking responsibility away from the Home Office and giving it to a Canadian-style independent agency, which will substantially reduce the number of decisions overturned on appeal. We will end asylum-seekers’ dependence on benefits by allowing them to work to support themselves and their families.

      To me this is fair and firm and should at least be trried because lets face it – what has been done before has allowed us to get in the mess we are in now.

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